There’s a lot of huffing and puffing in Deadpool, but the only one who can blow down your resistance to yet another screwed-up citizen of the Marvel universe is Ryan Reynolds. Armed with an unlimited arsenal of delicious snark, Reynolds has a blast playing Wade Wilson, the Special Forces operative turned mercenary turned cancer patient turned medical experiment turned Deadpool, a scar-faced mutant with a penchant for superhero drag and a mouth on him.
As played by Reynolds, Deadpool looks at the camera and talks right to us. Nothing is sacred, including the opening credits which refer to the film’s creative team as “tools” and “asshats” and name-check Reynolds as People‘s Sexiest Man Alive. Screenwriters Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick turn the comic created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza into their personal playing field for R-rated dirty talk and viscera-ripping violence. The PG-13 timidity of so many Marvel movies has made some of us hungry to see depraved crazies at the controls. Now we’ve got them. Deadpool has no off-switch. This dude keeps cracking wise even when he’s plotting vengeance against Ajax (Ed Skrein), the villain who made his face look like corn-beef hash.
That’s one of the reasons Deadpool wears a mask and keeps away from Vanessa (Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin), a strip-joint hooker to whom he has pledged his heart. Believe it or not, Baccarin and Reynolds make you care about this hot couple from hell. And T.J. Miller gets in his licks as Deadpool’s bartender buddy from his Wade days. Newbie director Tim Miller keeps the action coming in gory chunks, mixing in appearances from bad-girl Angel Dust (Gina Carano) and two X-Men — Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Deadpool keeps ripping the studio for cheapness since it only provided two X-Men, but provides a nasty Wolverine impression you won’t want to miss.
I gotta tell you, this movie’s junky feel is part of its charm. Sure it goes on too long and repetition dulls its initial cleverness. Still, Deadpool is party time for action junkies and Reynolds may just have found the role that makes his career.