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There are so many super hero movies that come out, that I was amazed when I saw the posters for films “coming soon” in the lobby of the Reading Town Square. One of them for Batman v Superman and the other was for the latest Captain America — Civil War, which has him fighting Iron Man. Yes, they’ve done so many of these movies that we now have super heroes fighting each other.
We also have actors playing multiple super heroes. Captain America’s Chris Evans has played two super heroes, and after Ryan Reynolds was so bad in the awful Green Lantern — I didn’t think any studio would ever let him near a super hero movie again. Yet he’s been working for years and years to get this film made, and it paid off. It’s getting critical praise and broke some major box office records, taking in over $150 million over the weekend (on a budget of around $58 million).
The opening credits are easily the funniest credits you’ll ever see in a movie and it lets you know right off the bat — this isn’t your parents’ super hero movie. This is a raunchy comedy that’s going to change the rulebook on what a super hero movie can be. Most of the jokes work and it’s very entertaining. It might not be as clever or as funny as it thinks it is, but it’s a good time at the movies.
I’m not sure why they went non-stop with the pop culture references. Tarantino might drool over that, but it takes away from the story. And I’m guessing most people won’t get the Cocoon mention, or even know who Ronnie Milsap is. That’s a shame, because the legendary Leslie Uggams (Roots) does remind you of Milsap, playing the crack addict Deadpool ends up living with.
It’s crazy to think that this is the debut film for director Tim Miller. I’m guessing it also makes his opening credit an inaccurate statement (“an overpaid tool”). He gives us some exciting action scenes to go along with the non-stop jokes.
Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Reynolds) is a former special forces operative, who does mercenary work for a company that I’m not clear on. He has to smack around guys that are stalkers, and he meets up at a bar with others like him, joking with T.J. Miller, who is pouring the drinks (he’s always fun as comic relief).
We get a meet-cute that…isn’t so cute. Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is gorgeous, but she’s a prostitute. They joke, and he asks what $248 will get him. That leads to an evening playing video games and winning cheesy prizes. Oh yeah, and some graphic sex scenes. This is a hard R rating, and I’m guessing the parents that brought the 8 and 12-year-old to the showing I was at, probably didn’t realize that. Or maybe they did. Parents these days don’t seem as concerned about their kids watching R rated films. Either way, it’s not for kids under 17. Some would argue it’s not for adults over 35, with some of the juvenile jokes (they did at least 15 masturbation jokes, which is about 14 too many).
One day Wilson collapses. They find out he has terminal cancer and not much hope. Until a guy in a dark suit shows up in the bar. Never a good sign when they’re wearing suits. He tells Wilson that a new experiment can cure the cancer and give him super powers. He’s reluctant at first, but eventually does it. There end up being a lot of negative side-effects (as the bartender tells him, “You look like an avocado f***ed an older, uglier avocado, and had a baby.”).
Ajax is the mutant bad guy that tortured him and brought on the side effects, and with a new name (Deadpool) he goes about seeking revenge.
I’m not sure why he can’t call Vanessa on the phone and let her know he’s out of town on business. I’m also not sure how he gets a few X-men style mutants to help him in his mission. They’re Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Since she has a shaved head, this lets Deadpool make a variety of Sinead O’Connor jokes (about 10 more than needed). And speaking of musicians, he’s obsessed with Wham! That means, with Zoolander 2 also using Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley is having a good week.
I’m not sure how audiences will take to the constant breaking of the 4th wall (he talks to the audience almost non-stop). Perhaps they’ve gotten a little used to that with shows like Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, and others. The nod to the Ferris Bueller ending after the credits was the best of the bunch.
Speaking of “bests,” the Stan Lee cameo ranks up there, too.
The movie got exhausting at times, and was a bit uneven.
The self-deprecating anti-hero was fun, but a little of that goes a long way. And just like Kick-Ass, it sort of becomes the conventional super hero movie that it was making fun of.
This wasn’t as funny as Guardians of the Galaxy, but it’s the type of film that everyone will enjoy — not just the fan boys.
Sure, it seems through most of the movie his super power is just screwing like Dirk Diggler and cursing like George Carlin…but he takes the Tony Stark snark up to 11.
This gets 3 1/2 stars out of 5.