Deadpool Kicks Ass, Takes Names, Unfortunately Does Not Eat Tacos
Look, when you go to a Deadpool movie, you don't expect a fancy, original plot with surprise twists.
You go to watch Deadpool kick ass, rattle off profanity-laden one-liners and then kick some more ass. Preferably all at once.
So while my biggest quibble with the Deadpool movie is its tired, un-original plotline, you kind of can't be mad at it.
The first two acts of the story are told largely in flashback, revealing how Deadpool came to be Deadpool while he simultaneously fights off a horde of "badder" guys (with only 12 bullets). We see his love for Vanessa, his cancer diagnosis, Francis/Ajax's experimentation and finally Deadpool's quest for vengeance. From there we proceed through the obligatory "girlfriend-gets-kidnapped-by-bad-guy" to "save-the-girl." I haven't really spoiled anything at all here because this was basically all in the trailer/in two out of three superhero movies featuring male leads. There are no shocking twists, and it really is that simple.
All that being said - Ryan Reynolds knocks it out of the PARK.
If the actor playing Deadpool wasn't into it, this movie would have fallen apart. But Reynolds is all over the role, giving 110%. His love for the character shows in every scene, and it more than makes up for the plot's failings. He would even make you forget about the tragedy of that OTHER superhero movie he was in (with a green, animated suit) if it weren't for the movie's quippy references to it. He snarks, he shoots people, he is Deadpool.
And the excellent casting doesn't stop there. I have loved Morena Baccarin since her Firefly days, and she's always a treat on-screen. Her introduction is well-handled, and the chemistry between her and Reynolds is definitely there, as evidenced by the hilarious holiday sex montage. I wish we could have seen more of her (and I wish she'd had more agency rather than just being the object of Deadpool's love), but I'll pin those hopes on the sequel.
Also in the "excellent casting" corner is TJ Miller as Deadpool/Wade Wilson's best buddy. Miller has been all over the place of late, and he's well cast here as a character that enables much of the witty dialogue. Somebody's gotta be on the receiving end of those one-liners, and Miller's Weasel gets off several of his own too.
I was less impressed with the villains. Ed Skrein did OK as Ajax but wasn't menacing enough for me to feel he was a real threat to Deadpool. Part of that fault lies with the writers as well, but it never felt like the stakes were particularly high, even at the final fight.
The movie is loaded with jokes and gags, some of which will actually take you a second to catch as they fly by; even though the writers didn't do great in the plot department, they nailed the dialogue. Montages are put to fantastic use, and the special effects don't suffer too poorly from the relatively low budget. And that R rating could have been independently earned by either the sex, the violence or the language - let alone all three.
But what else would you expect from a Deadpool movie? It's exactly what I hoped it would be and what it should be - two hours of snark, sex and ass-kicking. I can't wait for the sequel.
Other Assorted Thoughts:
- My single favorite joke of the movie came during a montage of Deadpool tracking down Ajax - a scene where he rides a zamboni down an ice skating rink while his injured victim tries to pull himself to safety. It's as funny as it sounds.
- My second favorite would have to be the moment during Deadpool's countdown of bullets on the freeway when one of the bad guys comes around the car only to discover that his gun is out of ammo - and Deadpool, lying comfortably on the ground, chides him for not counting bullets too before killing him.
- Oh my God, Dopinder. All ten for you, buddy.
- "Hakuna his tatas" was such a great line.
- So many jokes about the budget! And apparently the reason Deadpool forgets his weapons duffel bag twice is due to budget cuts that forced changes to the big action sequences.
- Nice cameo, S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier.
- Nice cameo, Stan Lee.