directed by Tim Miller
(20th Century Fox, 2016)

Let's keep this short. Deadpool is freakin' awesome.

Yes, yes, we either already saw it and raved about it or we didn't see it and probably never will. It's one of those movies where people who like it will love it, and if they don't, they won't.

I can't be much plainer than that.

Deadpool is Wade Wilson (former Green Lantern actor Ryan Reynolds), a merc for hire with a hot girlfriend -- definitely a strip-club waitress, possibly also a hooker -- and, unfortunately, cancer. He grabs for a possible cure that involves leaving his girlfriend -- and let's be honest here, she's played by Morena Baccarin, so that's no easy choice -- and submits to a course of drugs and torture in hopes it'll spark a mutant transformation that will cure him.

It seems like dicey logic to me, but what do you know, it works. It also burns his skin to a mottled crisp, but hey, side effects. At least he didn't get a slight headache or oily stool.

Although Deadpool is a Marvel character, technically existing in the same universe as Spider-Man, the Avengers and the X-Men, you probably shouldn't expect to see him interacting with those heroes in their own movies any time soon. That said, two second-string X-men -- Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (?!) -- do provide notable support to this film.

But Deadpool avoids the family-friendly approach that has worked so well for The Avengers, Iron Man and the rest of Marvel's brightly clad heroes. The movie is rated R, and that's because there's plenty of gruesome violence, colorful language, sex and nudity. Deadpool also breaks the fourth wall on occasion, addressing the audience in a way Captain America and Wolverine would never dare attempt.

And it all works, coming together in a fun, gloriously irreverent package that could redefine the course of future superhero movies. This approach won't work for all of them -- and, let's face it, if they tried the gimmick would quickly become tiresome -- but in measured doses it's a heck of a lot of fun.

review by
Tom Knapp

23 July 2016

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