British man tortures mutations outta Van Wilder

For the seething masses the modern day Marvel comic book renaissance of sorts is seemingly a cream-fest of epic proportions that has no end in sight. While your average movie going human is lining up for another round at the all-you-can-eat bro-fest at the super hero buffet, I've taken a couple of bites from each deep-fried delicacy and quietly moved on with my empty, husk of a life.

As a general rule these super hero films have been the rare cocktail of box office powerhouses and decent movie going experiences for even the most hardcore fans of the genre. Those I haven't seen I've been preached to, at length, about their supposed merits and what a downright stink-puss I am for my preference for the campy, low budget super hero films of days gone by (Dolph Lundgren's original portrayal of The Punisher comes to mind). A stink-puss I might certainly be, but that hasn't stopped the powers that be bless me with a copy of Marvel's latest cash-cow and comic book adaptation, Deadpool

While previous Marvel outings have come across as a bit serious and stiff, something I am not, Deadpool promises to be the self-aware, tongue-in-cheek counterpart to oh so much seriousness and bravado. A film for the fun loving, life affirming human that just doesn't have time to cram every piece of Avengers cannon into their skulls just to try and keep up with the erotic fan fiction.

This first major outing for Deadpool sees on-again, off-again Hollywood half-hunk Ryan Reynolds take the reigns and is forced to dig deep, combining his super-hero chops from the woeful Green Lantern and his charming tomfoolery from Van Wilder: Party Liaison and whether you're a fan of Reynolds or not, he's about 95% of what makes this film tick and has finally found his niche between sappy male love interest and slightly awkward action hero.

Reynolds may not immediately seem like world’s most obvious choice, but he plays the world’s biggest smart-arse, sarcastic to a fault, anti-hero like he was born to do so and flourishes in the absurdity of it all; throwing out one liners with the best of them and working himself into a rich and creamy acting lather.

Before Reynolds can become Deadpool, Deadpool needs to become Deapool; and before Deadpool we have regular, all round good-guy Wade Wilson. Ex-Canadian Special Forces(!) member and current vigilante; budget defender of those whom cannot defend themselves. Shortish story short, Wilson falls deep, DEEP in love and then develops a major case of cancer, bummer. Wilson seems pretty fine with dying until his thirst for love pushes him into some pretty shady dealings brokered through his best friend, Weasel's (Silicon Valley's most excellent T.J. Miller) dive bar. Ultimately a rude British man, who I shall refer to as not Jason Statham, trades Wilson's cancer for a heavy dose of mutation that leaves our once handsome protagonist looking like, "Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah,” and thus sets up a classic case of revenge as the newly workshopped Deadpool attempts to track down not Jason Statham so he can reverse the general melted-ness of his entire being and continue being in love. Phew. Anyway things don't go entirely to plan and ultra violence tinged hilarity ensues and, spoiler, things pretty much work out just fine and the legend of Deadpool is born. Hurrah. 

First time feature director Tim Miller is given the green light here and his unique, seemingly un-jaded approach to major studio film making is a refreshing splash in the proverbial face and here's hoping he doesn't fold into the studio mould too quickly. Miller seems to deem no film making cliché too sacred not to rip the shit out of and doesn't shy away from being extremely self aware, constantly taking the piss; decent traits for any wholesome human being looking to perhaps fill my future full of cinema.

In a way, Deadpool succeeds in doing exactly what it set out to do, which is a feat in itself. It truly is the anti-super hero film for those either too over saturated with, or just downright uninterested in fanciful films fraught with spandex and saving the world one more time. It's smart without ever treating the audience as idiots. It's self-aware without becoming parody. Most of all its just a solid hundo minutes of Van Wilder being a badass and I for one can get down with that. Three thumbs up. 

- Jay Edwards

Movie Details

Title: Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Director: Tim Miller