How in the world can a movie Twentieth Century Fox was reluctant to make wind up earning more than 130 million dollars over the President’s Day weekend?
It could be the action scenes or snappy dialogue from Ryan Reynolds. However, I think it’s really the opening credits. Where else will you see the cast identified as “God’s Perfect Idiot,” “A British Villain” and “A Gratuitous Cameo,” all while “Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton is playing? You’d be surprised how the producers are introduced.
On the one hand, it’s a spoof of the the success of the Marvel movies made by Fox, Disney and Universal. On the other, it’s a blood and guts version of how the “merc with a mouth” came to be.
In a way, it’s a twisted version of the Captain America origin story, even though it exists in the X-Men Universe. Wade Wilson is a former Special Forces guy who is no hero, but does very brutal things to help others. He meets up with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who also has an edge to her. Seeing them compare bad childhoods is a bit uncomfortable, but also oddly romantic.
Of course, some bad news emerges to ruin this love story. Wade has cancer, and it’s incurable. However, he’s offered a cure by a recruiter nicknamed Agent Smith (Jed Rees). Against his better judgement, Wade goes to an underground facility run by Ajax aka Francis (Ed Skrein). He’s a mutant who’s hard to kill, with an equally tough partner in Angel Dust (Gina Carano).
Wade goes through a very painful process to acquire regenerative powers similar to Wolverine (who, more or less, helped get this movie made according to Wade). However, it also ruins his looks. So, he vows revenge, especially when Ajax grabs Vanessa (which is almost required in Marvel movies).
The movie also includes the only X-Men who aren’t in X-Men Apocalypse, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and a girl called Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who apparently has explosive powers, but doesn’t want to be bothered while she’s texting. They think Wade can use his powers better by being part of the X-Men, although he could wind up taking over the franchise. There’s potential in NTW, certainly as a moody teen heroine. She still should have had more to do. Maybe they’re saving her for X-Men Millennium (or whatever the next movie will be). They should have tried to make Colussus more flesh and blood, too. Deadpool comments more than once on how the movie’s budget was cut, mainly the scenes where he forgets his guns.
Of course, a hero is as good as his sidekick. T.J. Miller is very funny as Weasel, the bartender at the place where Wade’s fellow mercenaries hang out, and sometimes bet on who will die next in a (what else?) “dead pool.” Some will be surprised to see actress and singer Leslie Uggams as Wade’s roommate, Blind Al. She’s also a hoot.
This movie is obviously not like other Marvel movies. The “hero” clearly admits this is only a movie, and is quite inappropriate in many ways. There’s plenty of in-jokes mainly about Ryan, Hugh Jackman, and even Green Lantern. Stan Lee is also there for his traditional cameo, but in a very unusual place.
If you want a Marvel movie with a hero who acts as if he’s in a Tex Avery cartoon but is still as deadly as they come, Deadpool is for you. It’s interesting this movie and Ant-Man were more or less comedies. Considering that Civil War that’s coming in May, we need all the laughs we can get.
Oh, and there is a post-credit scene that’ll look familiar to fans of movies from the ’80s.