Deadpool (2016) – Review

Whether you like Deadpool or not, he has an Adventure Time watch.  And that’s really cool.

Tim Miller’s self-depreciating Super’hero’ flick has proven to be something of a hit at the box office, raking in more on its opening weekend than any other R-rated film has done before.  More importantly, though, it’s proven to be a hit amongst audiences.  While the film itself isn’t a complete world-beater, it’s packed with enough frivolity, naughty quips, extreme violence and fourth, fifth and sixth wall-breaking to make it something at least a little bit different from the norm.

It’s easy to compare it to Guardians Of The Galaxy in that sense; both are Marvel superhero films which forgo the usual rigid formula in favour of something more rambunctious and brazen, using a joke to disarm the audience (and the villain) instead of the kind of austere line you’d expect to hear from someone like Captain America.  But that’s where the comparisons should probably stop.  Guardians director James Gunn recently shared his thoughts on Deadpool by predicting that Hollywood will completely misinterpret its success – just like they did with his film – and start trying to make every superhero film in the same way.  Is he right?  Judge that for yourself by taking a peek at the new poster for the now R-rated Wolverine 3:


In any case, at least the formula does work here.  Breaking the fourth wall is fairly common in contemporary cinema, but it’s not always done so successfully or, frankly, quite so confidently.  While occasionally Deadpool pushes it too far, to the point where it comes off as a just bit desperate to be funny and independent, for the most part the self-depreciating humour works really well.  From the opening credits where the camera weaves through a freeze-frame midway through a highway crash while Deadpool wedgies a foe, the film is already making fun of itself; rather than starring Morena Baccarin as Wade Watts’ girlfriend, it stars “The Hot Chick”.  It’s also directed by “Some Douchebag”, and written by “The Real Heroes” (my personal favourite).  It’s hard not to be won over by such overt irreverence.


It may not be quite as original or hilarious as it would like to think, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable, naughty ride that revels in making fun of itself, Marvel and the whole Hollywood system.  Reynolds was practically born for the role (it’s basically Van Wilder in spandex), so even when the film has some shortcomings, he’s always around to keep us laughing.  Expect plenty of imitators to follow.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Director: Tim Miller; Screenwriters: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick (the heroes); Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano; Running time: 108 minutes; Certification: 15