Those that know me, read my work or listen to my radio spots and podcasts are well informed that I am a die hard comic book fan and have a certain reverence for the source material and sometimes a contempt for how the characters are portrayed in big screen adaptations. Aside from a lot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I don’t think a standalone comic book movie has ever gotten a character completely right in every aspect, at least in my eyes. This has now been corrected and it’s something fans like me have woefully deserved for years.
I am a massive fan of the character of Deadpool. Created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, my love for this wise cracking, fourth wall breaking “Merc With A Mouth” is a Batman level comic obsession. Unfortunately for movie goers up until this point, Wade “Deadpool” Wilson is only known as a completely botched attempt at villainy in the totally studio mishandled X-Men Origins: Wolverine. There we had a under costumed and maskless Wade Wilson in the form of Ryan Reynolds that eventually became a bald overgrown muscle man in the form of Scott Adkins under the name of Weapon XI, who had been given everyone’s mutant powers. It was both frustratingly laughable and a total slap in the face to the fans from a studio that had no clue what they were doing.
Little did us fans at the time know but someone important felt the exact same way. Just as much a lover of the source character, Ryan Reynolds was more than unhappy with the final result and the bastardization of this beloved anti-hero. Reynolds would from then on become our champion, fighting for a true vision of the character we all wanted to see anytime that Marvel logo flipped across the movie screen, the chimichanga loving mercenary that had every last pouch that Liefeld could give him in his own movie. After an eleven year development, he is finally here and I couldn’t be more satisfied with it.
Yes, this is another origin story but unlike Spider-Man or the X-men or even any of the Avengers, Deadpool’s origin is told with such a comic true panache that I could care a less about the franchise starting staple of origin introduction. This is Deadpool, a character to break the mold of every origin story up until this point and the most insane superhero film you have ever seen. This is evident right from the wickedly brilliant opening credits, another lampooning of a film stereotype that will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter for the ingenuity of it.
The basic story is really that of revenge. Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is kind of a dirtbag former government operative who now works for the “little guy” in the form of scaring pimply stalkers away from wayward teenage girls and spends the evenings drinking at a dive bar run by his best friend Weasel, played by one of the greatest stand up comics and podcasters, T.J. Miller. One night he meets the woman of his dreams, Vanessa (Firefly’s gorgeous Morena Baccarin) and after about a year of continuous sex and their own brand of romance, Wade pops the question. Then everything goes sideways.
Wade is quickly diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer, riddling his body with the incurable disease. With a death sentence looming over his head, he leaves Vanessa to spare her having to witness him deteriorate and die. While drinking at Weasel’s bar he is approached by a recruiter looking to cure his cancer and turn him into a superhero. Wade reluctantly agrees and enters the program that instead tortures him and instead turns him into a indestructable but monstrous looking science experiment in the purpose of using him as a slave. Wade escapes and is bloodthirsty for vengeance on the man at the head of the operation, Ajax (the good looking first Dario on Game of Thrones, Ed Skrein).
For those ravenous readers of the Deadpool comics who feel trepidation when they look at this movie, be well assured that this is the film you have been waiting for. Ryan Reynolds promised a movie we would love and he delivered as a man of his word. He earns me buying a movie ticket for any bad romantic comedy or drama he could ever do for a paycheque after this one. Hell, I’ll even give him a kidney, this movie is that good. This over a decade long process completely paid off and he really earned that red and black suit, which he actually kept as a souvenir. To be fair, after that long of a battle, I would too.
Outside of the movie, I need to applaud the marketing team who provided possibly the greatest marketing campaign I have ever seen. There is not even a single dull ploy attempted by the usual hackness that comes from Fox’s braintrust. Whether it’s the brilliant posters all over the city, the Santa style standees in the lobbies of movie theatres, the well wishes from Deadpool on Australia Day or, ironically, even cancer awareness spots, these have all been so well handled and so much fun for the general audience.
I feel like people who aren’t in the know on Deadpool and his personality and storytelling style won’t get the inventiveness of this true to story adaptation. To them it may seem over the top and gratuitous but this is the character to a T. Deadpool is exactly that, insanely out there, unfiltered and wants to be your best friend so much he will break the fourth wall to do it. All I ask is keep an open heart, a fun attitude and let him love you. I love him and I love this movie. Five out of five, buddy, now let’s go grab some chimichangas.