By Bradley Griffith
“Deadpool” can be described in one word: graphic. The movie contains graphic language, graphic violence, and graphic nudity. It’s not your normal superhero movie, and it earns its R rating.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former soldier turned mercenary. He’s not the kind of mercenary that fights tribal warriors in Africa, but the kind who intimidates stalkers of young women. He takes their cash and the creep who has been following them everywhere suddenly sees the positive side of staying as far away as possible.
Wade is a loner with a smart mouth and a quick wit. He meets his match when he runs into Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) in a bar run by his best friend. She has everything it takes to challenge Wade on an intellectual and physical basis. The two quickly fall in love amidst a montage of sex scenes guaranteed to make you cringe or blush. Or both.
Everything is going great for Wade and Vanessa until Wade passes out and discovers he has terminal lung cancer. Soon after Wade is given no hope for survival beyond a few months he is approached by a stranger who offers Wade not only a cure for his cancer, but the chance to become a superhero. Wade leaves Vanessa in the middle of the night without telling her about the possibility of a cure or that he is leaving.
Wade is taken to a lab and strapped to a gurney before he is told the truth by Ajax (Ed Skrein), the sadistic madman in charge of the lab. While the serum will cure his cancer, it will not make him a superhero. No one knows exactly what will happen to Wade, the serum affects everyone in different ways. Each person who is injected suffers a different mutation to their genes. Ajax induces the mutation and then sells the mutants to the highest bidder.
Only things don’t go as planned with Wade. His mutation gives him unparalleled healing powers (think of Wolverine) but also changes his skin to look like he was burned over his entire body. Wade escapes the lab and becomes Deadpool. He believes that Vanessa will never want him in his disfigured state, so he spends all of his time trying to find Ajax and the cure to his mutation so he can finally return to Vanessa.
“Deadpool” may seem like a superhero movie, but it’s not. Sure, Wade is given superpowers and a couple of mutants from the X-Men franchise make an appearance. But Wade is no do-gooder looking to right the wrongs of society. He’s a foul-mouthed mercenary out for himself, bent on revenge.
Everything about “Deadpool” is over the top. While certain parts of the movie are laugh-out-loud funny, many scenes and dialogue will leave you cringing and thinking, “Did he just say what I think he said?” The action and the constant quips by Wade come and go so quickly it’s easy to miss some of the subtle references, like Reynolds making fun of the atrocious “Green Lantern” movie in which he starred. And while the movie is moderately funny and entertaining, it’s not nearly as clever or funny as the filmmakers intended.
Beyond the constant vulgarity, the main problem with “Deadpool” is that there isn’t much of a story to the movie. Wade is disfigured and wants his life and good looks back and he won’t stop until he finds Ajax and the cure. That’s it. There’s nothing else to the plot. Maybe the sequel will be more satisfying on that front.
Despite the fact that “Deadpool” has made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, it’s nothing special. It’s neither particularly good nor particularly bad. If nothing else, I expected it to be funnier. It’s funny in a way that appeals to immature males, very immature males. It’s definitely not a movie for children of any age.
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.