Oh, to be a teenage boy again.
From beginning to end, Deadpool is just that: a journey back into the realm of juvenile humour, with fart jokes, dick jokes, and enough swearing to make the Trailer Park Boys blush. It feels like an adolescent wrote the script, and what’s supposed to be a wink-wink nudge-nudge superhero film turns into just the kind of movie it’s out to mock.
Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Deadpool is meant to be subversive, poking fun at a genre that’s going stale. The ultimate irony is it ends up being another formulaic superhero movie: sad backstory, hero falls in love with girl, something happens to girl, hero comes back from adversity to defeat the big baddie and get the girl. The only thing that separates it from the glut of other superhero movies is the endless jokes, dark and vulgar, which come at a rapid-fire clip. Sarcasm drips off the screen at all times.
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All of that said, the movie is as true to the comic as it can be. Directed by Tim Miller, who’s sitting in the director’s chair for the first time (he’s done a couple of short films in the past), the Deadpool visuals are hypnotizing and unexpectedly gory. Ryan Reynolds as the titular Deadpool is perfect for the role, his comedic timing spot-on and his superhero body chiselled to insane proportions. Morena Baccarin as Deadpool’s love interest (but she’s so much more than that) is a welcome surprise; often robotic in her performances, Baccarin looks cool and relaxed here. One can only wish she had more screen time.
Deadpool’s pal Weasel (T.J. Miller) is similarly underused. Too bad, because he has some of the film’s funniest lines.
So are you saying that only Deadpool comic-book fans will enjoy this movie?
No, not exclusively, though they will enjoy it more because they have a point of reference. Fans of dirty humour and the aforementioned topics of penises, sex and farts will find a literal smorgasbord in this film. Deadpool’s backstory is enough to hold interest, but due to the film’s back-and-forth-through-time structure, you’ll get to the film’s halfway mark and it’ll slowly dawn on you that nothing’s really happened yet.
Fight sequences are run-of-the-mill as far as superhero movies go, but there’s an added kick (sorry) to the proceedings, which is probably due to director Miller’s previous experience with visual effects and on-screen artistry.
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Do the jokes hit their mark?
Probably about 50 per cent of the time. Reynolds has proven himself adept at physical comedy (believe it or not in The Proposal and even as far back as Van Wilder), and while his timing is on, the writing isn’t. There are chuckles to be had, and maybe one or two guffaws, but overall it’s hit-or-miss.
That said, there was uproarious laughter emanating from some pockets of the theatre, so some people definitely thought the film was hilarious. Depends on your humour preference, it seems.
You say it’s teenage humour, so can I take my teenager(s)?
With the film rated R, all young ‘uns will need to be accompanied by an adult. Really, it’s up to you if you want your teenager to watch this kind of movie. Its humour may be juvenile, but there is ample nudity within the first 30 minutes, lots of swearing, and the gore is so… well… gory that moviegoers were turning their heads away. To compare, if you can handle The Walking Dead, you can handle this.
It is definitely way too much for kids younger than 13, unless you have hyper-developed offspring. If so, kudos! Grab some popcorn and settle in.
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What’s the bottom line?
Great for fans, fun for newbies, Deadpool is a comic-book romp. For the more serious folks, this probably isn’t for you. When the movie’s jokes flop, it can get awkward, but there’s no time to dwell. In a matter of mere seconds, Reynolds and crew deliver another one. If anything, Deadpool can’t be accused of being boring.
‘Deadpool’ opens in theatres on Feb. 12.
Deadpool (2016) | PrettyFamous