It's been far too long since Fox put out a Marvel-based character property that wasn't painful to watch. It was 2011's X-Men: First Class that was the breath of fresh air (and hope) on to the mutant family of films, but now the long holding of breath for the next non-stinker is finally here. Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds as the super-healing, swear-like-a-sailor, super-mercenary, fourth-wall breaker is the film that the long-suffering Marvel fans have been deserving.
Quick paced, energetic, and utterly irreverent, the movie is all the fun the character has always been in the comics. That the studio had the balls to let the film go out with a relatively solid R-rating was nothing short of a miracle. The prime demographic of most comic films, as far as studio execs are concerned are teenage boys – this however will leave the adult fans likely cheering all the way to the box office to see it again. It should be remembered that at last year's San Diego Comic Con, when the trailer was first shown – the audience gave it a standing ovation until it was shown a second time. That hasn't ever happened at least within the past half decade for any other film.
This is the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Reynolds), who after discovering that his body is riddled with inoperable cancer being decides to undergo a rogue and torturous experiment, which rather than simply healing his cancer, leaves him with increased strength, agility, and accelerated healing powers (on the order of Wolverine) and adopts the alter ego Deadpool. The abilities also leave him hideously scarred, so he chooses to hide from his ex-girlfriend while he goes on the hunt for the man who put him through the torture of his transformation.
Deadpool isn't the type of anti-hero to skulk about in the shadows. When the mood strikes him to go after the bad-guys, he'll do so in the middle the day on a busy freeway. This draws the attention of X-Men's Colossus (Andre Tricoteux) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) who keep getting in the way until they all team up and go fighting the bad guys.
This film isn't about saving the world, it's about getting revenge on someone who sold you a bum deal. It's crass, violent, and utterly charming. The casting is probably the most perfect since Downey Jr. stepped into the role of Tony Stark.
It should also be pointed out that this makes two for two of the X-Men-centric films which didn't have Bryan Singer at the helm. The last time (the aforementioned First Class), the studio turned right around and gave the next film back to Singer and it went right back into the lower end of the spectrum. Hopefully this time the studio will stick with newcomer Tim Miller as director for at least a few more rounds at the plate.