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Deadpool, "the merc with a mouth", is a comic book character from Marvel who featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds has played a number of superhero characters, but seemed like the only choice for the immoral, over-the-top and juvenile, Deadpool. This is his origins film, an action adventure comedy and sci-fi thriller that could be described as a pool of Kick-Ass, Spider-Man, Watchmen and Darkman.

Wade Wilson, a former special operative turned mercenary, becomes the guy who deals with bad guys. After undergoing a highly experimental medical procedure, his body mutates... giving him special regenerative healing powers and painting a target on the back of the doctor who made him immortal. Oh, and he connects with a girl, a blind lady and a bartender.

It's an irreverent superhero and feature film debut for director Tim Miller, throwing a brash, unpredictable and funny albeit potty-mouthed antihero into the limelight. Deadpool loves breaking the fourth wall in his comic books, so there's plenty of self-aware comments and moments where he turns to address the audience. The profanity is frequent, the action is ultra-violent and Deadpool's juvenile no-holds-barred comedy dominates in this tongue-in-butt-cheek superhero flick.

The jokes are thick and fast and the character operates without boundaries, sifting from the present future back in time to give us a before and after contrast. He's living in a fairly hedonistic head space since his special healing powers mean he's virtually unstoppable, allowing him to exist in a consequence-free dimension. The experiment-gone-wrong has gifted him with mutant superpowers, but seems to have multiplied his already alternate attitude.

The antihero film is reminiscent of Kick-Ass in the way Deadpool takes his own brand of vigilantism to the streets with very little remorse and a penchant for Mortal Kombat style ultra-violence. His self-made spandex, mutant superpower and transition from normal guy to superhero mimic Spider-Man with a similar romantic distraction and disdain for the man who created him. The revenge story is soaked in Sam Raimi's Darkman with our antihero prowling around and possessing a similar affliction, while the gritty, irreverent and diabolical tone has an affinity with Watchmen.

Ryan Reynolds does a superb job of holding all of the pieces of the film together. His charming alter-ego helps sell his dark side antics, making him a complex social agitator, trained killer and sexual oddity. He's supported by Ed Skrein as "the British villain", Ajax, a CGI X-Men character named Colossus voiced by Stefan Kapicic and T.J. Miller as his inside man, Weasel. The film could've done with a more intimidating villain, but it's quick-paced enough to keep you off-balance and distracted.

The origins story has been done to the point of pig vomit, but by doing and saying what many superheroes wish they could do and say, the writers manage to keep it filthy but fresh. The interlaced superhero references will have many fanboys laughing their heads off until blood starts spewing out of their necks... did I mention it's gory?

I just found that while Deadpool was clever in breaking the fourth wall and dishing up a double serving of juvenile humour with no regard for human life, it was wicked like Kingsman: The Secret Service. The constant onslaught of off-colour comedy takes the edge off, but it's the sort of Natural Born Killers crazy movie you could imagine mass murderers referring to as an influence in a homicide case.

The twisted nature of our immoral antihero, his proclivity towards killing people as a form of amusement, his Joker temperament and his tendency towards getting others to solve their problems by killing... well, let's just say you wouldn't ask him to babysit your kids. It's worrying that this passes as entertainment and perhaps it's just a raw conglomerate and representation of how depraved media has become these days.

Deadpool isn't for everyone. In fact, it's the opposite of family-friendly... churning up depravity, profanity and violence under the mask of entertainment. Hopefully it exorcises the demons rather than encouraging them to fester in the curtained parts of the mind. If you managed the mania of Kick-Ass and can stomach a strong dose of Hell... you'll come out of Deadpool alive, but maybe there's enough Hell in your life already to excuse yourself from seeing this one.

The bottom line: Subversive

7.00/10 ( 1 Vote )
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