This is easily Marvel’s best film so far, which, considering the recent calibre of their work, including last year’s Ant Man, and 2014’s Captain America: Winter Soldier, says a lot.
Marvel has always had a way of not taking itself too seriously and little in-jokes have been a trademark of their films. Ant Man took this to a new level with the giant Thomas The Tank Engine tearing its way through a house, but Deadpool goes even further. Every aspect of the film is shaped by the mocking nature of Deadpool and the film essentially becomes a parody of itself. Beyond just doing the much talked about breaking of the fourth wall, (talking to the audience). Deadpool seems aware that he’s just a character in a movie, openly referencing the character’s earlier appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine along with a lot of disparaging references to the X-Men themselves (with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead being about as big a slap to Sony’s face as you cinematically deliver).
Deadpool rises above its origins in the superhero genre.
Deadpool rises above its origins in the superhero genre. If the film were just about a guy in a suit who can’t help mouthing off, it would still be entertaining, but Marvel already has a character like that in Iron Man. Deadpool instead gives us a man who’s lost everything but his need for revenge. The relationship, or lack thereof, between Deadpool and Colossus, is what sets up a lot of the gags in this film and is another important part of the film as a whole. It’s also notably Marvel’s put down levelled at Sony, in the form of the big gleaming Russian being more than a little squeamish and ridiculous.
On the face of it he’s not a particularly likeable character. When he’s not killing bad guys, he’s mooching off some poor old blind woman and molesting a toy pony.
On the face of it he’s not a particularly likeable character. When he’s not killing bad guys, he’s mooching off some poor old blind woman and molesting a toy pony, but that’s how he deals with being rejected by society. Where before the mockery was a natural and comparably under-played part of his character now it’s almost become forced in places. Everything is taken to extremes (and don’t worry, we only get a picture of him and the pony,) perhaps due to its use as a coping mechanism.
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Make no mistake though, in some ways this film is a vehicle for Reynolds, and has been ever since he made a short promo clip for a Deadpool film back in 2014. Not that any of that stops him from demonstrating his versatility as an actor or makes the film any less enjoyable. Reynolds does carry this film with his own distinctive stamp but it’s very unique within its genre and well worth watching.
By Gareth Wood