Ryan Reynolds’ labor of love turns out to be a career defining moment for the actor, and one of the best pictures of 2016. Irreverent, well-paced, and unencumbered with the seriousness that drains most superhero movies of their “fun”, Deadpool is overflowing with comedy, pop-culture references, and gratuitous violence. It’s a decidedly different approach but the mixture pays off big time.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary with a soft spot for kids in danger and hookers. The solider of fortune makes terrible life choices and trashes himself in the name of protecting others, if the money’s right. Then Wade meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) a prostitute with an even more disturbing past than his, and the two fall passionately in love. The night that he pops the question Wade collapses and is rushed to a hospital. The doctors give him a terminal cancer diagnosis and a short time to live.
Reeling from the news and the effect it will have on Vanessa, Wade decides to partake in an unorthodox procedure that could make him cancer free. The operation is to take place in a secure location with the country’s best physicians, but Wade quickly becomes aware that he’s caught in a sinister situation headed by an English accented villain named Ajax.
The horrible torture Wade faces inside the institution leads to a mutant gene buried in his DNA to manifest itself. The result gives the former dying cancer patient a form of quick healing and invincibility. However, Wade is ghastly deformed and unable to summon the courage to approach his former lover in his current state. So, he becomes revenge-minded and obsessed with hunting down Ajax and those responsible for his mutation.
I appreciated the laconic almost ad-libbed feel to not only Reynolds’ performance but the entire picture. It’s a burst of entertainment that sprints through it’s uncomplicated story in an efficient 110 minutes. All credit to the creative forces that stuck with the material and managed to make a unique superhero origin film in an era littered with lousy peers.
Director: Tim Miller
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller