When a film opens with opening credits that describes Ryan Reynolds as ‘God’s Perfect Idiot’ and the obligatory Stan Lee appearance as ‘A Gratuitous Cameo’ instead of their names, you know you are in for a comedy like no other. Deadpool, a film almost ten years in the works, looks at the origin story of the antihero and is the eighth in the X-Men franchise. From his torture by Francis Freeman to his seeking revenge for his kidnapped girlfriend to the ultimate showdown, the film is packed with emotion, character development and of course, more than plenty sexual innuendos and coarse language.
The film is everything to be expected of a Marvel film and more. The writers haven’t wasted time on a lengthy backstory that no one usually cares about, but instead integrated with what is actually a compelling backstory, perhaps more so because I didn’t know it, into the action of the present day of the film. As someone who is not well versed in the Deadpool comics, and a little more so in the films of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), I was more than pleasantly surprised by what I was faced with. There were a few, rather obvious if you knew them, references to the last Deadpool appearance and Ryan Reynolds’ last MCU role as Green Lantern in 2011. But, the film did not hide anything from the viewers so even the least versed viewers, such as I, could understand the plot and still relate to the events going on.
Ryan Reynolds excels in this film, his part goes beyond that of an actor as he also produced the film as well as helping with some rewrites of the script. He embodies one of the dirtiest characters, if not the dirtiest, in the MCU and is only pushed further by the supporting cast. TJ Miller provides more comedy in Deadpool’s trusty sidekick and is a driving force of character development outside of the main action sequences. Ed Skrein is suitably British and terrifying as Francis Freeman, sorry, Ajax, bringing a chill and darker tone to what is otherwise a hilarious film.
The only criticism that I would have of the film is that it has a rather clichéd ending: you can guess where it is going and while it is satisfying to see the ending as it is, I perhaps expected a little more from the MCU. The cultural references are perhaps so numerous that they get lost in the script and lose the comedic value they would otherwise hold. But, the film keeps the audience in a state between laughing, cringing and heartstring pulling and the film seems a lot shorter than it actually is.