Despite being rather late after the release, the first official review from Superhero Subcultures will be of the Deadpool film. I will provide a warning that it has been a while since I saw this film, so I apologise if I omit anything glaring from the review, and similarly I will be focussing on providing a spoiler free review, but again, apologies if anything slips through the cracks.
The first thing I have to say is that the film plays very well to the strengths of both the character and the style of Deadpool comics. This is completely encapsulated by the opening credits, and the listings of some characters by their personality rather than the actors who portrayed them, and throughout the film the humour is kept up well. The few breaks in this come primarily from the backstory and exposition from before Wade became Deadpool, which does need a certain amount of gravity to it given the subject matter in some of these. Equally, the references to numerous other films from Fox Studios and their Marvel licence are peppered through the film, some being obvious and others being slightly more tucked away in the background of shots, again paying homage to the source material of this film.
The film is also brilliantly cast, Ryan Reynolds is perfect for the role of Deadpool/Wade, as shown by his twitter feed in the run-up to the film, and his announcements to parents who objected to the R-rating the film secured (for good reason, I feel I must add). However, the supporting cast is equally well cast, Ed Skrein plays a brilliant villain in Ajax, and Gina Carano equally plays a fantastic henchman in Angel Dust, although I will be coming back to this point later. Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand encapsulate Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in an expert manner, with Colossus providing a brilliant voice of reason to Deadpool’s wild and unpredictable side. Morena Baccarin also provides an incredible performance despite a relatively small amount of screen time. Also, I must add to this discussion of actor’s and their portrayal of roles that Stan Lee’s cameo is definitely one of the best he has done, and I am glad that for once he received a title credit (in a way). Equally the direction and production of this film is exceptional, and I don’t doubt it is largely to thank for such a brilliant adaptation from comics to the big screen.
In terms of plot, one of the few comments I feel should be pointed out is that it is somewhat thin on the ground. While there is a reasonable revenge plot to the film, the overall reasoning for this is seemingly brushed over quite a bit, and unfortunately to me seemed to make Wade appear quite vain. Alongside this, the main villain side of the plot is equally reduced, which I feel is a shame. It is briefly mentioned fairly early on, and never really brought up again, which meant by the end of the film I had somewhat forgotten the motivation of the villains. However, the humour and pace of the film do distract from this while you are watching it, and these are not really large issues in my mind, but has been something that I had noticed more looking back on the film (admittedly a few weeks on, so I may have forgotten a few parts of the movie).
Similarly, the choice to change the powers of both Negasonic and Angel Dust seemed a bit odd. I will admit that I was pleased with what they did to Negasonic, as they had chosen to make her powers somewhat of a joke on her name, but the choice with Angel Dust seemed less necessary or rewarding to the story as a whole. However, I do also have to say that the visual effects on this film are also fantastic, and I feel this largely works because of the way that Deadpool’s costume looks at times both real and CGI, making the effects here work due to this blur of the lines. While Colossus does not look incredibly realistic, which is a shame after the appearance of Colossus in X-Men: The Last Stand, but it is still a well done piece of CGI that also took a large amount of motion capture, animators and one very talented actor to create.
Overall though, the film is fantastic, and is by far one of the best and most accurate comic book adaptations I have seen. The only lasting comment I have is that I feel without the surprise of a lot of jokes, humour and references, this film may not hold up to second viewings as well as some other Marvel films have done. I believe that the wonderfully successful marketing campaign, which also appears to have fooled a number of people who believed Ryan Reynolds was making a new rom-com, contributed in part to the film’s success, but I don’t doubt that this would have been one of Fox’s most successful Marvel movies. Overall, it seems impossible to give Deadpool a ranking of anything less than 8.5 out of 10.