He takes a cab to showdowns. He doesn’t carry a wallet because it messes up the line of his costume. He constantly forgets his all-important go bag. He also regularly breaks the fourth wall, unabashedly talks of playing with himself and nonchalantly tosses profanity and vulgar quips. Deadpool is definitely not your everyday superhero. Yet he’s also not as fresh and original as you might think.
Right off the bat, we’re hit with a movie that wants to acknowledge itself and its genre and have fun with both. The opening titles present us with stock cast and crew descriptions rather than actual names ending with being directed by “An Overpaid Tool.” Our hero, who is admittedly not a hero, then comes on like Donald Trump on steroids. Yet, unlike The Donald, he doesn’t continue to grow on us as he becomes more outrageous. It’s actually just the opposite with the joke becoming trite and the movie turning out to be typical and tired.
Ryan Reynolds in the title role once again is cursed with being the male equivalent of Jennifer Anniston: nice looking, at least in the pre-Deadpool flashbacks, but boring. His one-note performance lacks dynamic energy and never generates any charm, disgust or real interest. That just leaves us with his potty motor mouth and it quickly becomes monotonous.
He’s not helped with a derivative origins script that takes him from an employee of a rowdy mercenary group headquartered in a bar to an unofficial X-Man. Instead of setting out to stop an all-too-familiar world threatening evil, he’s tracking down a guy named Francis (Ed Skrein) to kick his butt for torturing Wade into becoming Deadpool. We never get to delve into that potentially interesting rowdy group of mercenaries or a sort of evil X-Men agency. Instead, we get the peripheral old blind lady Deadpool rooms with, a tough love turned sweet romance with a chick named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and some standard comic book fight scenes with slo-mo and hipster narration.
On the plus side, former MMA star Gina Carano cranks it up a notch as a superpowered baddie babe named Angel Dust. Brianna Hildebrand, as Deadpool admits, gets perhaps the coolest name ever as the literally explosive Negasonic Teenage Warhead. There’s also some fun in the fourth wall breaks and self-deprecating in-jokes, but they fall kind of flat and run out of steam. Ultimately what could have been a no-holds-barred genre and franchise sendup settles for a ho-hum Marvel flick with some gimmicks that lose their novelty.