***Spoilers. But you’ve all seen it, haven’t you?***
Regular readers may need a sedative, when they see me reviewing a Marvel Franchise film. As anyone knows by now, I generally detest any of the films made from the comics I enjoyed as a child. I find them repetitive, over-reliant on CGI, and more or less an easy option, instead of doing something fresh and inventive.
But there’s a BUT.
Everyone told me to watch this film. They said I would love it, that it was funny, and that I would appreciate the deliberate irony. So when I saw it arrive on TV, I thought ‘Why not?’
The story, such as it is, revolves around a former special forces man now working as a mercenary and fixer. He is played by Ryan Reynolds, who in my experience is a hit and miss actor at best. He is diagnosed with cancer, and decides to leave his girlfriend, rather than let her see him fade away and die. Then he is approached by a shady organisation that offers to cure his disease, warning of possible life-changing side effects. Of course, the side effects are terrible, and the people responsible become the villains. That’s about it for plot, except he spends most of the film taking his revenge on those responsible, in a spectacular fashion.
Much of the film is told in flashback sections, narrated by Deadpool with a lot of swearing. He constantly breaks the ‘fourth wall’ by directly addressing the audience, even moving the camera in one scene. He has some very funny lines, and there are references to films, music, and even Sinead O’Connor. Violence is extreme throughout, helped by the fact that most of the characters in the film are virtually indestructible. There are some sexy scenes too, and lots more swearing. All the time. Later in the film, Deadpool enlists the help of two mutants, who I think are from the ‘X-Men’ films. But I got lost a bit there, as I haven’t watched those films all the way through. (‘Wolverine’ was enough, believe me) One is a huge man made from metal, who acts a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the other a crop-haired young woman who can turn herself into a fireball of some sort.
The set pieces are well done, as you might expect from a modern film like this. The action is pretty much non-stop, and Deadpool himself is a self-deprecating, wisecracking, anti hero. The villain is an English actor I have never seen nor heard of, but most of the cast are very good, even those with small roles.
But this film is at its best when it is also at its silliest. The talking to camera is witty, not at all irritating, and often downright funny. The film laughs at itself, and that saved me laughing at it, instead of with it, which I found myself doing a lot. We are aware that it is laughably over the top and overblown, but so is the cast. And they play their parts accordingly. Eye candy is on offer in abundance. Deadpool’s girlfriend (Morena Baccaran) is gorgeous, and even the super-strong villainess (Gina Carrano) is hot stuff. Not to be outdone by the older ladies, the young mutant (Brianna Hildebrand) rocks her cropped hair, and is incredibly pretty. Female viewers are well-served by the muscle-rippling torsos of both Ryan, and the villain.
Pointless, silly, but ultimately irresistible, it seems that everyone was right. I am never one to be a bad loser, so I confess I liked it. Not only that, I enjoyed it. But would I watch it again, or bother with the sequel?
Hmm…I’ll have to get back to you on that.