Deadpool

 

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First seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Deadpool - aka Wade Wilson – arrives with his own solo and incredibly violent, self-knowing superhero horror-comic, deliciously personified by Ryan Reynolds.

 

Deadpool, Marvel’s latest cinematic superhero drawn from their comic-book catalogue, could just as well be called Meta-Man. In fact, the film is so self-knowing, so determined to tear down the fourth wall, that at one point our anti-hero quips that maybe he’s just broken down the sixteenth wall. He is Wade W. Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a former Special Forces operative and all-round bad guy who gets paid to “fuck up” worse guys. Then he meets the woman of his dreams (Morena Baccarin), a doll who can hold her own in the fast-mouth department and under the sheets. Once their relationship is established, Wade then gets cancer and, agreeing to a revolutionary new procedure, loses the disease. However, he also ends up disfigured, but phenomenally agile and virtually indestructible. So, obviously, revenge is on the cards…

 

Deadpool II

 

The film sets its knowing tone from the get-go, when the brilliant opening credit sequence introduces us to the types of generic character we are going to meet, rather than the stars: Hot Chick, British Villain, Moody Teen, CGI Character, Gratuitous Cameo, and so on, leading up to the legend: Directed by an Overpaid Tool (in this instance Tim Miller). The film is also stuffed with movie references, with a fondness for British culture: everything from Notting Hill to Basil Fawlty by way of David Beckham, Monty Python and Keira Knightley are cited. The dialogue spills out rat-a-tat and probably gives devotees a reason to see the movie at least twice. And Ryan Reynolds, who first played Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), knows how to flick out a line. Wade, who’s from Regina in Saskatchewan, not only uses “Canada!” as a swear word but wisecracks at one exuberant point: “Now that’s why Regina rhymes with fun!” The best line of all, though, is deadpanned by Morena Baccarin near the end, when she answers a confessional from Wade with the query: “So you live in a house?” But you’d have to know your Monty Python to get the laugh.

 

Whether or not comic-book fans will catch half the allusions, they will certainly love the on-going chaos. The cross-over appeal, though, may be limited by the ultra-violence and ceaseless profanity. Dismemberment and lewdness are the order of the day, yet when one of the breasts of the villainous Angel Dust (Gina Carano) pops out of her leotard top, her nipple is tastefully concealed by the hand of Colossus. That’s Hollywood for you.

 

Ultimately, then, watching Deadpool is like spending a boozy Saturday night out with a gang of uncouth, relentlessly foul-mouthed and articulate yobs. The hangover may be optional. Still, anoraks should stay for the post-credit sequence. It’s worth it.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, Leslie Uggams, Jed Rees, Stan Lee.

 

Dir Tim Miller, Pro Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg and Ryan Reynolds, Screenplay Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, Ph Ken Seng, Pro Des Sean Haworth, Ed Julian Clarke, Music Junkie XL, Costumes Angus Strathie.

 

20th Century Fox/Marvel Entertainment/Kinberg Genre/The Donners' Company-20th Century Fox.

107 mins. USA/Canada. 2016. Rel: 10 February 2016. Cert. 15.