When I heard that a Deadpool movie was in production, as a fan of the comics I was pretty pumped. That said, a situation like that is almost a recipe for disappointment – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace really shows how much high expectations can lead to equally high disappointment. Fortunately, there was no disappointment to be found for me in this film.
Ryan Reynolds was fantastic as the Merc with the Mouth. It’s almost doubly notable as one of the reasons Ben Affleck was cast in the Daredevil film was due to his being a fan of the comics, and for all of Affleck’s acting chops, he couldn’t breath any life into that film. By comparison, comedy seems to come as naturally to Ryan Reynolds as breathing, and with a director who recognizes that (like first-time director Tim Miller), then any comedic bricks that the script contains can be, if not fixed entirely, then at least covered for.
Now, this film, like so many other superhero films, is an origin story. However, I can cut it some slack. Deadpool’s origin, and hissupport network are not as well known as those of Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man. Thus, the origin story isn’t just setting up Wade and his abilities, but also his friends like Weasel and Blind Al – along with tying the character in to the X-Universe well enough that I really hope that in Wolverine’s last hurrah, Deadpool makes an appearance (as Wolvie is one of Wade’s two big straight men).
As for the film’s plot itself – narratively it’s pretty basic – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A too convoluted plot would make it harder for the comedy to breathe – hell, if you look at some of the best comedies, the plots are fairly simple – it’s the humor and the acting performances that carry the film.
So, I’ve talked about Wade, and Ryan Reynolds’ performance as the character. What about the rest of the cast. Well, Morena Baccarin is fantastic as Wade’s girlfriend/fiancee Vanessa, and the two have fantastic chemistry together. Actually, Ryan Reynolds has pretty good chemistry with everyone in this film – he’s like a human acting catalyst – strong acting chemical reactions happen around him.
The only time the chemistry falls down is between the villain
Francis Ajax, and Angel Dust, his henchwoman – mainly because their relationship is less mastermind and trusted lieutenant, and more like boss and enforcer. They have chemistry on par with Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob – they don’t, but it also doesn’t stick out. They feel like too people who whose only interactions is in the workplace, but otherwise they never meet. If they have families they don’t talk about them and don’t want to talk about them. This also means that their scenes together are almost the weakest in the film – unless they’re interacting with any of the other characters in the cast.
The makeup for Wade is also pretty interesting. It’s not as horrific as the makeup from Darkman, but it gives the actor more room for expression than the Darkman makeup. I do kind of wonder if the expressiveness of Deadpool’s mask was CGI or practical – hopefully the home video release will have a documentary on this so I can find out.
Anyhoo, I’m really glad I saw this film in theaters, and I recommend going likewise. Here’s to Deadpool 2!