Deadpool is the superhero movie that isn’t supposed to be. It’s obnoxious, breaks the fourth wall at every turn, and is super-violent. Executives all want the next Avengers, don’t they? But, in 2016 Deadpool saw the light of day. And I finally got around to watching it.
Wade Wilson is a mercenary, and not a high-profile one. He’s ex-special forces, and trying to make a living any way he can. Then he meets Vanessa, a prostitute, and they hit it off. Fast-forward to the day they get engaged. Right after she says ‘yes’, Wade keels over on the toilet. It turns out he has inoperable cancer.
Wade’s life falls apart, and he decides to follow an experimental treatment from some very shady people. They’re awakening mutant powers, with the aid of a doctor called Ajax. They manage to awaken Wade’s, which cures his cancer. Unfortunately, his powers come at a cost: Wade becomes completely disfigured.
The doctor says that he can cure Wade, but he refuses to do so, because he’s just that kind of asshole and Wade annoys him. They fight, Francis escapes, and Wade starts a crusade to find the doctor, calling himself Deadpool.
Wade — played by Ryan Reynolds — is not your average superhero. He swears, kills people, and constantly talks to the audience. He’s not above crude jokes, and talks incessantly. It makes for an interesting change of pace compared to the likes of Iron Man and Captain America. Reynolds is clearly enjoying himself. In fact, Reynolds worked a decade to get the project off the ground. Of course, his other venture into superhero territory — with Green Lantern — did not fare so well. But this project does much better.
Morena Baccarin — you know, Inara — plays Vanessa, Wade’s love interest. She holds up quite well, although the movie is mostly about Deadpool, of course. But she does have agency, which if often lacking from the girlfriends of superheroes.
Ajax, a.k.a. Francis, is played by Ed Skrein, the cocky British doctor who makes Deadpool. He is the antagonist of the story, and he does so with flair. He’s not out to get Deadpool, until Deadpool starts hunting him. He was just going about making money being a criminal, and then got dragged into this vendetta. Story-wise, that’s a good thing. A bad guy is not just evil for evil’s sake. They should be the hero of their own story.
Finally, there’s Weasel. Weasel is sort of Wade’s sidekick, or rather, he and Wade hang out. Weasel doesn’t get directly involved in anything, he’s just in charge of the mercenary bar where Wade works from. He is — as the name implies — a Weasel, but a funny one. Unfortunately, the actor, T.J. Miller is less funny, having been repeatedly accused of sexual harassment, and having been charged with making a false bomb threat while severely intoxicated on a train (you can’t make this stuff up).
I didn’t have very high expectations for Deadpool, given Green Lantern, but I was wrong. It was a fun movie. And a breath of R-rated air in an otherwise PG-13 superhero world. I have to watch the second one some time soon as well.