We are quickly reaching the point of superhero oversaturation. We know every spandex-clad trope by heart; from the origin stories all the way through to the reboots, we have been there and done that. Which means now is the perfect time for “Deadpool.”
Deadpool is a character deep down the Marvel roster of heroes most closely associated with the X-Men. He is a wisecracking mercenary who is nearly impossible to kill and whose loyalties tend to drift around.
Sounds pretty standard, but in the hands of director Tim Miller, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick of “Zombieland” fame and star Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool” is a razor-sharp, fourth-wall-shattering, superhero sendup that is as hilarious as it is violent.
Smart-aleck, teenage boys now have their “Citizen Kane.”
Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is happily living his life as a retired Special Forces operative turned thug for hire. He’s got a warped sensibility, a quick tongue, and a jaded worldview; and the only time he spends socializing is when he is trading insults with Weasel (T.J. Miller, who would have stolen this movie away from anyone other than Reynolds), the owner of a mercenary bar.
Things change for Wade when he meets the slightly-less-twisted Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and the two weirdos fall madly in love with each other.
But just as things are looking up for Wade, he is diagnosed with late-stage, terminal cancer. His only hope comes from a shady, experimental treatment at the hands of the sinister Ajax (Ed Skrein) designed to unlock Wade’s latent mutant powers.
Wade gets his cure and his powers, but at an extremely high cost and spends most of the rest of the movie assuming the identity of Deadpool and looking to exact his revenge.
This all sounds like grim stuff, but the jokes are relentless as “Deadpool” slices through every last ounce of self-seriousness the genre has overstuffed itself with in recent years.
This has been a passion project for the oft-maligned Reynolds, who pours all of his charm, wit, and sharp-tongued smarm into the character, making Deadpool insanely likable when he should be, at best, painfully annoying. The dude does not stop talking. Ever.
But this movie isn’t just a goofy spoof. The action sequences are as spectacular as you would expect from any top-shelf superhero flick and the soundtrack is killer (and mostly ironic, although it’s hard to tell as everything in this movie is a joke. Even the jokes are jokes on themselves. It’s all so deliciously meta).
Even Reynolds is the butt of many a gag, including several jabs at his ill-fated turn as the Green Lantern.
This movie works like gangbusters. It takes the ultra-violent, ultra-raunchy path blazed by “Kick-Ass” and then floods it with hilarity.
It’s doubtful you’ll ever have this much fun at a superhero movie, although as is the case with anything this dementedly good, you might hate yourself just a little bit in the morning — and Deadpool will be right there, loudly jeering at your walk of shame.
“Deadpool” is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content, and graphic nudity.