Man with face like a testicle with teeth
Shafts enemies in tight-fitting red sheath
Screenplay Cinematography Performance
What I know about Marvel Comics I could write on the back of a vapour box. Wolverine, Beast, Havok, Nightcrawler, Maggott – they sound more like my exes than X-Men. And given the spate of superhero films to have hit the big screen over the past several years (I still bear the scars of Daredevil, which if you remove a few letters gives you a bang on the money critique: drivel), when Deadpool was released just over three weeks ago it was more on my f**k it than bucket list. However, when I started to read some of the reviews (The Telegraph: “enjoyably obnoxious”, Variety: “scabrously funny”, The Guardian: “an innocent pleasure”), I thought I’d give it a whirl. And, boy, what a hoot!
Ryan Reynolds (who also produces) plays Wade “I may be super, but I’m no hero” Wilson who following a dishonourable discharge from the US Army joins “a big group of guys who take a dime to take people down”. By “a big group of guys”, we’re talking skinheads, bikers and leather-chapped chaps (think the Village People with type 2 diabetes). By “take people down”, we’re talking threatening violence rather than actually following through as evidenced when he flounces into a fast food takeaway shop and slaps a nerdy pizza delivery boy on the limp wrist for getting too close to a prom queen. And by “dime”, we’re talking dime.
In his local alehouse of ill-repute, presided over by his close friend Weasel (T J Miller) who runs a book called the Deadpool on which one of his mad, bad, and sad clientele will pop their clogs first, he meets the love of his life in the shape of call girl Vanessa the Vamp (Morena Baccarin) with whom he engages in a Pythonesque “We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank” chat-up head-to-head. They meet, they greet and they whisk one another off their feet for a year-long sesh of sweaty sex. “Your left leg’s Thanksgiving and your right leg’s Christmas”, he says to his legs akimbo partner. “Can I visit you between the holidays?”
But their bonkfest is brought to a shuddering halt when Wade is diagnosed with a terminal illness – a quadruple whammy of The Big C in the liver, lungs, prostrate and brain – which he describes as “a shit show” like “Yakov Smirnoff opening for the Spin Doctors at the Iowa State Fair”. All is lost, until a suited stranger with a paedophile disposition known as The Recruiter (Jed Rees) informs him that not only can he cure him of his cancer but also equip him with superhuman powers. Where do I sign? says Wade. But all that glitters is not gold, for the Jim’ll Fix It aficionado was a front for Ajax (Ed Skrein), an artificially-mutated member of the secret research facility Weapon X which creates super slaves rather than super heroes who are are sold on the black market to the highest bidder.
A struggle ensues, Wade’s face is badly disfigured and along with fellow X-Man Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapičić) and sullen trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) he spends the remainder of the film tracking down Ajax and his sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano) to do to them “what Limp Bizkit did to music in the late ’90s”. From beginning to end – It. Is. A. Hoot. The one-liners come faster than a priest giving choral blessings: “today was about as much fun as a sandpaper dildo”. No turn is left unstoned, however juvenile the jape: “Have you ever heard David Beckham speak? It sounds like he mouth-sexed a can of helium.” And the action sequences are both funny and impressive: with a budget of almost $60 million you’d expect nothing less. I’m not one for X-Men and I’m not one for sequels, but given that a follow-up has already been greenlit, to quote Wade Wilson: “I’m touching myself tonight.”
Reviewer : Peter Callaghan