Superhero fatigue: It’s a very real thing, especially at the beginning of a year in which we’ll see Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, and Doctor Strange representing the superhero film genre. By now, we’ve grown tired of the standard Marvel formula, as showcased by the less-than-stellar reviews of Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron last year. However, Fox has done their best to change not only our expectations of the genre, but for the film itself, as seen by the tone-perfect marketing campaign.
Can Deadpool rise up to the challenge with maximum effort?
Director: Tim Miller
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), as we come to find out, is a merc-for-hire specializing in defending girls from their stalkers thanks to his experience in the Special Forces. His best friend, Weasel (T.J. Miller), is a bartender and proprietor of extracurricular activities at his bar where many of the other mercs and vigilantes find their next missions, and his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), is just as twisted as Wade is. However, he’s soon afflicted with terminal cancer, making him a target of an underground lab that experiments on triggering mutant powers within humans, led by mutant Ajax (Ed Skrein) and his bodyguard, Angel Dust (Gina Carano)… you get where I’m going with this.
However, where Deadpool differs from other superhero origin films is its approach at its plot chronology. To a certain point, Deadpool tells its story in a non-linear way, allowing its storytelling to match the setting of a comic book that specializes in breaking the fourth wall and playing with its audience/readers. Undressing the film of its non-linear approach, however, reveals the standard revenge plot… but honestly, is the plot really what we’re watching Deadpool?
Absolutely not. Finally, we’re given a mainstream Hollywood comic book adaptation that truly allows the source material to be faithfully represented on the silver screen. Deadpool, as he’s become to be known currently, is the anti-hero that fully embraces his existence within the confines of a comic book, allowing the writing to go in interesting ways… ways in which the standard mainstream superhero book wouldn’t. Thusly, the comic book fandom embraces Deadpool as one of their own, someone who is a total badass that doesn’t settle for the standard or takes himself seriously… as you’ll see from the film’s very first second.
Championing the character, and this film’s sole existence, is Ryan Reynolds, who was destined to don the red and black in a way that does the role justice, not the poor excuse that was Deadpool’s now non-canon debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As he’s said in recent interviews, Reynolds doesn’t want to play another superhero character because of his organic connection to the role that highlights and accentuates the actor’s strengths. Sprinkled in are the X-Men Colossus, voiced by newcomer Stefan Kapicic, and X-Men trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who serve no real purpose beyond connecting Deadpool with Fox’s ramshackle universe. Further confusion sets in when you attempt to make sense of the Fox/Marvel universe and where Deadpool fits in the timeline alongside X-Men: Days of Future Past and this year’s aforementioned X-Men: Apocalypse, so do yourself a favor and just take Deadpool for what it’s worth.
And its worth is a near-perfect film adaptation of a fan favorite comic book that will meet audience’s expectations… and then some. I’ll go so far as to say it’ll be equitable in its box office returns in comparison to the projected blockbusters Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad, thanks to its dedication to its source material, Reynolds’ perfect portrayal of the Merc with a Mouth, and a full embracement of the R-rating that will make all superhero film fans forever curious of what it would be like to see Wolverine truly draw blood. Don’t get it twisted: this may be a Marvel adaptation, but it definitely isn’t meant for kids.
Deadpool is everything we wanted it to be since it was officially announced… beyond the predictable plot and shoddy placement within the larger X-Men/Fantastic Four universe Fox has attempted to create. Much like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Robert Downey, Jr’s Iron Man, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is the perfect casting for a role that’s destined to be franchised around. Deadpool sets the bar extremely high for its superhero brethren this year, and it’ll be entertaining to see just how each film compares to this instant classic.