Lively, violent in extremis - and quite amusing, this comic book caper of a completely costumed protagonist with super-human powers presents a moving version of a comic magazine strip, with all the bone-crunching confrontations one would expect to be depicted in that format, only here blown up into forensic, microscopic detail, complete with slo-mos and freeze-frames to enable us to savour to the fullest the gory physical details of the numerous combats. If it has one saving grace (though it's not the sole one), it's in having a sharp, witty, self-knowing script, containing frequent references to other films and various aspects of modern 'culture', mostly delivered direct to camera by Mr Dead Pool - the name adopted by the principal, Wade Wilson, and confidently played by Ryan Reynolds - in very dry humour style. Some of these 'asides' I got; at other times the audience laughed though I wasn't sure for why. Reynolds' character's manner regularly reminded me of Jim Carrey when being one of his manic characters (i.e. most of them) - physically hyperactive and ever-zany in talk.
I must admit to gritting my teeth a little at the wise-guy opening credits, which looked as though it was straining for forced comic effect. However, it wasn't too far into the film itself that I was chuckling, and indeed laughing, along with the audience with no assistance.
The story is a slender one. Set in a nameless American(?) city (actually shot in Vancouver, that increasingly frequent stand-in for an anonymous North American metropolis - and even London recently), a government law enforcer (I think) is abducted and subject to gut-churning surgical procedures by a crazed English surgeon-scientist, 'Warlord', (Canadian Michael Benyaer) to transform him into being his slave with super-human capacities and self-repairing invulnerability, through operations which turn his skin hideously pock-marked, hence the head-to-toe costume, he covering his face in Spiderman fashion. Before this happens the 'Pool' figure had started a relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and is, understandably, now rather peeved that his physical transformation has made him unattractive to her, so he keeps himself back from revealing himself to her. The entire film concerns Mr Pool seeking revenge on the one who enacted his metamorphosis, a mission in which he gets assistance from a metal giant(!) and a miniature flame-weapon of a young female, to fight against Warlord and his seemingly inexhaustible human resources. .
Tim Miller's film (this being his first feature as director), has a number of lapses of logic and continuity that I picked up on but, of course, one overlooks these in a comic-style production, and I certainly don't hold such lapses against it.
If it wasn't for the incisive script - many of the best bits being addressed to the audience, and much of it sexual, I wouldn't have rated the film that high. But it's that factor more than any other that distinguishes it.
Usually I write my reviews immediately on my return home from the cinema, so that you get a spontaneous reaction which may change with time, and regularly does. In this case I made a rare evening-venture out so have had nearly a full day to reflect on what I've seen.
'Deadpool' fulfilled its mission to divert and gave me some genuine laughs, though in the final analysis it wasn't intended to be any more profound than the forgettable 'popcorn' entertainment which it comprises. So all in all, I think a fair rating would be a reasonably wholesome...................6.
4 hours ago