As another year approaches, so begins the next chapter of comic book adaptations. Throughout the years, 20th Century Fox has slowly lost their tight grip on the rights to some of Marvels most famous heroes. Following the failure of last year’s Fantastic 4 reboot and the loss of Daredevil and Blade, it looked like the X-men were the only franchise that Fox could keep alive. Now, desperate to keep aboard the money making superhero train, is this Hail Mary pass to one of comics greatest peripheral characters a last ditch effort or the best play to keep them in the game?
Deadpool tells a story of vengeance as mercenary Wade Wilson hunts down the man responsible for both saving and destroying his life. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wilson takes part in some back alley experiments to cure him only to discover that the ‘doctor’ responsible has an ulterior motive to creating superheroes from the terminally ill.
Director Tim Miller has done an exceptional job considering that this is the first time he has picked up the camera. Right from the start, the tone of the film is laid out for all to see, throwing violence, jokes and some incredibly thought out action sequences at the audience. This works out in the films favour as the audience are forced to leave whatever expectations they had at the door and just take it for what it is – crazy good fun.
The films simplicity allows the story to remain well balanced, expertly flicking between present and origin story with ease. Rather than cause confusion (as some origins have caused in the past), we are dropped in the middle of Deadpools plot, with flashbacks giving the audience an opportunity to catch up with the events rather than following a linear progression from beginning to end. It’s this structure that works to the benefit of the narrative as we don’t feel like we’re watching yet another origin of yet another mutant.
Although its simplicity is its key to success, it also serves as somewhat of a double edged sword. As with many films like this, the plot itself is fairly predictable, meaning that not a lot happens that the audience may not be expecting. This lack of depth then has further repercussions on the supporting characters as they are not really given the time to build ground and provide motive for their actions. This can be seen most with the random use of X-men, clearly brought in to provide variety in fight scenes rather than give any true diversity to the story. Although these things don’t necessarily take anything away here, these little issues with plot and character development certainly become more apparent when you compare it to other origin stories such as Brian Singers X-men, John Favreaus Iron Man and even Joss Whedons Avengers.
If one thing is for certain however, Deadpool wouldn’t be Deadpool if it wasn’t for Ryan Reynolds. Gaining back some of his spiralling credibility following X-men Origins and Green Lantern, the Canadian actor may have finally found the character that he was meant to play. His charisma brings Wade Wilson to life and his sense of humour really help to give traction as Fox are no doubt scrambling to get an X-men crossover to the table. TJ Miller provides a few additional laughs here and there as side kick ‘Weasel’ but ultimately, the lack of other character development impedes a little on supporting performances and as such, give us little more than something ‘passable’.
Overall, the merc with a mouth has not only managed to get his own standalone movie but one that brings laughs, a simple origin and just about the right amount of madness that newbies and fans will both appreciate. Although a little light on the ground when it comes to the plot or supporting characters, audiences are sure to leave the cinema with a big old smile on their faces after Deadpool has his way with them. A violently enjoyable thrill ride earns Deadpool 4 out of 5 stars.