(Please note: This review is written in such a manner as to not spoil the film.)
The first superhero movie of the year crashed into theaters this weekend. However, the Marvel/Fox collaboration Deadpool is nothing like its predecessors.
I’m a huge superhero fan. I love everything from the cheesier, lighthearted fare of the Spider-Man films, to the darker, gritter movies Hollywood has primarily been pumping out more recently, such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With Deadpool, however, the genre goes where it has never gone before: rated R. And with it comes a film that is bolder, bloodier, more vulgar–and 100% funnier than anything we’ve seen so far.
Starring Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern) as the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool essentially combines the irreverent humor of Guardians of the Galaxy with the fourth-wall-smashing of Ant-Man (with its own hefty addition of F-bombs and innuendos). The dialogue is witty and fast-paced, the jokes (and body count) fly, and the characters are lovable not for being good people, but for being unapologetically, outrageously awful (but still, you know, at least better than the antagonists).
It’s clear everyone involved with the project loved and understood it on an innate level. Every detail is polished to a shine, from the ridiculous opening credit sequence to Stan Lee’s perfect cameo (to, well, pretty much everything else). Without a doubt, this was the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play and it’s no wonder this was the first R-rated movie to surpass $100 million domestically in its opening weekend.
Of course, Deadpool‘s not perfect. The plot is so straightforward, it often feels like an afterthought beneath the pileup of comebacks and battles, and the constant back-and-forth of the storytelling style (flashback to present to flashback to present) gets a little tedious after a while. Plus, I’m concerned about the numerous cultural references (which carry many of the quips) growing stale in a few years.
The first two of these problems are minor in the grand scheme of things, though. The film is definitely more a comedy than a thriller, so the fact that the jokes work matters far more than the twisty-ness of the plot. (And they do work, really, really well.)
As for the cultural references becoming dated: Maybe we just need to get a Deadpool 2 in a couple years to make up for that?
Deadpool is in theaters now. Tickets are available for showings at both Goodrich Quality 16 and Ann Arbor 20. Grab them before someone spoils all the punchlines (both literal and metaphorical) for you.