Sarcastic superhero is an R-rated blast

Colin Barry

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Deadpool is one of the most popular characters Marvel Comics has ever produced, debuting as a generic bad guy who later developed into a sarcastic jerk in the 90s. Nowadays, Deadpool is best known as a fourth wall breaking, over-the-top violent anti-hero. Deadpool has had more than a few comic series, having been featured in cartoons and his own video game. Now, the Merc With a Mouth has gotten the Hollywood treatment.

In addition to being a near-perfect adaptation of the character, the film is an unadulterated blast.  Its exhilarating action scenes and instantly quotable dialogue combine the best of “serious Deadpool” from the 90s and the “goofy Deadpool” comic fans know and love today.

Ryan Reynolds’ performance as  the title character is absolutely flawless, as he perfectly captures the character’s wacky side while retaining some of his seriousness that makes him more three-dimensional on-screen.

Accepting a proposal from a mysterious organization that promises to make him “a superhero,” Deadpool, as his alter ego Wade Wilson, is subjected to torture by the sadistic Ajax  (Ed Skrein).

After being mutated and driven insane by the same healing superpowers that cured his cancer, Deadpool embarks on a violent journey to get revenge on Ajax.

Deadpool’s quick witted and immature jokes rarely fail to make the viewers laugh. He makes jabs at the “X-Men” film series, such as poking fun at who will play Professor X in this movie or how the film can’t afford to put other X-Men in it. “X-Men” star Hugh Jackman, even receives a few quick shots.

Aside from Reynolds, the underappreciated T.J. Miller gets a few great laughs as Deadpool’s gawky best friend Weasel, particularly during their exchange when Wilson reveals what Ajax did to him.

One of the better parts of the film is the romance between Wilson and Vanessa Carlysle, played by Morena Baccarin (“Firefly”). It is more romantic than it should be, as Reynolds and Baccarin have unique on-screen chemistry. Their relationship is unconventional, as the majority of their time is spent have gratuitous sex and playing skee ball. But when the film gives them the chance to be a couple, they are actually very charming.

Action movie fans will feel right at home with the film’s set pieces. First-time director Tim Miller shows great competence behind the camera in showing Wilson’s random, but creative and chaotic fighting style. The highway shootout at the beginning of the film and the two fights with Ajax gave the audience a sense of hard-hitting fun that most action films today cannot deliver.

Superhero films that have come out over the past few years have benefited from some very solid villains, but unfortunately, Deadpool’s antagonist is one of the film’s weakest characters. Ajax is incredibly one-note and very much “evil for the sake of being evil.” His motivation is lame and poorly explained. His costume in the comics has an interesting design, but in the film he looks like a low-rent Jason Statham.

Former MMA superstar Gina Carano is almost wasted as Angel Dust, a mutant with super-human strength. Aside from a relatively lackluster fight scene with X-Men’s Colossus, she does not do much.

This may be a bit of a nit pick, but some of the CGI is not great. Not horrible, but it looks like it won’t age well and sticks out like a sore thumb. Some of it even looks like it came right out of the Deadpool video game.

Deadpool is a great time for fans of the character, but first-time viewers may be turned off by the crude humor and violence. Still, if moviegoers give it a shot, they will not be disappointed. Reynolds makes the film, but the rest of it is still a great time. Deadpool may be one of the most straight-up fun superhero movies in quite some time.