Saturday 30 April 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

A superhero profane comedy, Deadpool deploys sarcasm and juvenile jokes in large doses to try and paper over the lack of content.

The story is partially told in flashback. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) takes a taxi to a freeway where he waits to ambush the motorcade of his foe, a man named Francis (Ed Skrein). As Deadpool causes carnage on the highway, he recalls his origin story. Wade Wilson (Reynolds) was a former military special forces soldier from a troubled family who became a low-level mercenary, helping low-lifes settle the score with lower-lifes. He met and fell in love with "escort" Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), and they were planning to marry when Wade found out that his body was ravaged by terminal cancer.

He accepted an offer from a mysterious recruiter (Jed Rees) to undergo life-altering treatment. Francis (who prefers the name Ajax) and his sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano) dish out the subsequent brutal "medical" treatment that resembles a prolonged torture session, permanently disfiguring Wilson's body but also curing him and providing him with self-healing powers. He adopts the persona of Deadpool and is now seeking vengeance against Francis, and refusing the pleas of X-Men superheros Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to join the forces of good and resist revenge temptations.

Directed by Tim Miller, Deadpool offers panache and plenty of attitude but also tedious repetition of the genre's worst excesses. Together, the fine eye of artistry and the foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed barrage of one-liners provide some relief from an otherwise tepid experience. The story is remarkably slight and flimsy, and without the cynical narration and over-the-top humour with plenty of fourth wall breaks, the film would have very little to offer.

As it is the final act descends into the usual boring territory of mass destruction and carnage using unconstrained amounts of CGI. The stuntmen and CPUs take over, destroying virtual sets imagined against the Vancouver skyline. The twin dilemmas of whether Deadpool will re-win the love of his girl and join the good-guys of X-Men are nowhere near interesting enough to compensate for the childish action on display.

Ryan Reynolds is passable and Morena Baccarin as Vanessa matches him as they both emphasize sizzling sexual attraction over any character redeeming traits or acting talent. The supporting cast offers the usual assortment of hissing villains and interchangeable good guys and bad guys quick to unleash violence on each other.

Deadpool is rude and crude and offers moments of genuine fun, but the infusion of edgy attitude cannot mask yet another tired and formulaic genre rehash.

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