Of all the Marvel characters, Deadpool is the one you’d expect to shake up, or ditch, the dull origins side of the comic book movies. Things start well, with an amusing taxi ride intro, followed by a slick fight scene on the freeway. But then the movie promptly and obediently falls in line with Marvel’s origins story machine. To make things worse, the origins story is spliced in throughout the rest of the film, constantly wrecking the momentum.
Wade Wilson’s transformation into Deadpool isn’t complicated and isn’t particularly interesting. It could have acknowledged this, especially as Deadpool loves breaking that fourth wall, by simply giving us a quick, cheeky origins montage from the start. You can almost see it, “and now that mandatory shit is over with, here comes the good stuff,” for example. As expected, the material must be drawn out into as many films as possible. Hell, a sequel was green lit days before this film hit cinemas – I’m sure Deadpool himself will have something to say about that in the next film. That sequel can’t come soon enough though.
Why? Despite a few perfunctory Marvel moments, Deadpool is one of the most enjoyable ‘superhero movies’ in years. There’s a loose understanding in the comic world that Deadpool knows he is a comic book character and, as such, frequently makes knowing jokes for the readers about the universe around him, especially at the expense of other Marvel characters, who naturally take it all so seriously.
This strange issue isn’t tackled head on, instead Deadpool occasionally pauses the world to explain something or you’ll hear him mock the lack of any ‘proper’ X-Men in the film in relation to studio budgets. The Stewart or McAvoy gag is something any Marvel movie fan will get a kick from too. Ryan Reynolds is ideal for the role, with spot on timing and enough cheeky bastard charm that perfectly balances the fact that Deadpool’s a complete bellend.
Sure some of the humour is a bit juvenile and often focuses on dicks and assholes, but when you’ve suffered through such endless, oh so worthy and selfless heroes from the other comic book movies, the shift change is most welcome. It never falls into the painful parody feel either. Deadpool has enough character of his own and a sharp script pokes just the right amount of fun at other comic movies, with the additional bonus of existing in the same universe, so it rarely feels cheap. Deadpool is a part of the Avengers and X-Men universe, whether they like it or not!
There’s no denying Deadpool only had a fraction of the budget the Avengers gang get for their own individual movies, and as such, the film is light on blockbuster set-pieces. Hell, there really isn’t that much action at all. If you’ve seen the freeway scene in the trailer, you’ve seen the best bits already.
At a lean 108 minutes, the film doesn’t really have time to invest in many more action scenes when it’s constantly backtracking for the origins bits. The corner cutting also means the villain of the piece is as flat as they come and there’s not much enthusiasm for the finale. But now, after years of fans requesting a Deadpool movie, Marvel have begrudgingly tested the waters with this moderately ambitious piece. They’ve clearly realised Deadpool’s potential now though, despite the license not being family-friendly. Next time we see Deadpool and his massive ego in action he’ll have the budget to match.