Deadpool Movie

Platform(s): Movie
Genre: Action
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: Feb. 12, 2016

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As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


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Movie Review - 'Deadpool'

by Judy on Feb. 12, 2016 @ 3:00 a.m. PST

A former Special Forces operative-turned-mercenary participates in a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers. He adopts the alter ego Deadpool and hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

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From the opening credits until the post-credits scene, "Deadpool" will have you laughing so hard that you'll need to wipe away a tear. Instead of the usual humdrum fare, you're told from the get-go that this is a film directed by "an overpaid tool" and starring "a moody teen", "a CGI character" and "a British villain." The irreverent humor successfully keeps the audience engaged – and chuckling – throughout the film, even when the plot is a little thin.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces soldier who's a good egg behind the tough, wisecracking exterior.  He works as a mercenary in a bar called Sister Margaret's Home for Wayward Girls, where he meets prostitute Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).  They immediately hit it off and date for a year.  After being diagnosed with late-stage cancer, he leaves Vanessa to undergo an experimental procedure at a secret facility helmed by Ajax (Ed Skrein).  Angel Dust (Gina Carano) tortures Wade for days to activate a healing factor that cures the cancer.  It works, and he gains Wolverine-like healing abilities, but it has the unfortunate side effect of severely warping his skin.  He becomes a masked vigilante named Deadpool and kicks ass and takes names to locate Ajax, who can fix his skin so he can return to Vanessa.

Since this is an origin tale, there's a lot of zipping back and forth between the backstory and the present.  In less skilled hands, this could've been a disaster, but the movie is masterfully done and edited.  There are just enough flashbacks to do the job, and they clearly convey the story without generating any confusion.  The flashbacks also distract you from noticing the thin plot, but of course, the film makes fun of this, too.  Weasel (T.J. Miller) tells Wade about a shady guy who was looking for him, "You should go talk to him. It's a way to further the plot."

Another spot that I had trouble with was the love story between Wade and Vanessa.  Moments after meeting, they trade increasingly woeful childhood tales, which start off sounding real but quickly escalate to lies so they can one-up one another.  My reaction veered from amused to horrified and then finally settled on puzzled. I had a tough time knowing when they stopped telling the truth and started making up stuff … they were making it up, right?  This is Deadpool, so of course it's unconventional, but it's difficult to absorb that talking about molestation can rev your engine.

"Deadpool" is a love letter to your teenage self.  The Merc with a Mouth definitely earns his moniker as he makes fun of everything, from fondling Wolverine to the film's low budget.  The rapid-fire rate of the wisecracks hardly ever lets up, and although it can get a little one-note, you're too busy laughing to care.  For days after the screening, I was incorporating quotes from the film into daily conversation.  "Deadpool" is endlessly quotable, and I can't wait to see the deleted scenes reel.  In order to be true to the character, the movie required an "R" rating, which certainly made studio execs nervous.  Luckily, it wasn't  neutered to obtain a "PG-13" rating (ahem, "Live Free or Die Hard"). 

Reynolds was clearly made for this role, and I'm having a tough time imagining anyone else as Deadpool.  A sequel is already in the works, so I won't have to worry about this yet.  We can't see his face behind the mask, so it's awesome that the mask provides expressive eye movements to convey a wealth of emotions, including suspicion and surprise. 

The scenes with Colossus are seamless, even though the character was added months afterward. It's well done, and the development team jumped through a lot of hoops to ensure the character's reflective body accurately rendered his surroundings and foes during fight scenes.

There isn't much to merit watching "Deadpool" in IMAX.  Everything looks sharp due to the much bigger screen, but it was done in postproduction, so unless you have a driving need to see a magnified view of Reynold's naked butt (or something else flopping around), you can pass. You'll see more of his avocado head than anything else.  In a couple of the scenes, the camera slowly pans across a surface, and watching that unfold on an IMAX screen made me a little queasy.

From the moment Deadpool appeared in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," fans have been clamoring for a solo Deadpool movie, and that day is finally here.  This is Tim Miller's feature film directorial debut, and to his credit, the opening sequence reels you in, and the action sequences are solid.  The plot isn't the strongest, but Reynolds is there to shoulder the burden and deliver more laughs than you can handle.

Score: 9.0/10

"Deadpool" is rated "R" and has a running time of 1 hour and 48 minutes.  It's showing in 2-D and 2-D IMAX.

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