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We are living in the Golden Age for superhero movie fans. This addition to the ever expanding array of Marvel flicks is lots of fun, but is far from a cookie cutter replica of X-Men or the Avengers.
First up, the violence is much more graphic. Think Game of Thrones, True Blood, Daredevil TV series level of gore.
Secondly, not only is Deadpool the wise-cracking, smart-ass lead in this film, but everything is tongue-in-cheek about this movie, from the opening credits to the teaser at the end (as with all the Marvel movies, fans know there's a teaser after the final credits, so make sure to stay to the very end).
Wade Wilson with his love interest, Vanessa, from the Fox Movies Deadpool promotional website
Thirdly, the sexual references are kinky and frequent. Much has been made in the press about Deadpool's pansexual nature. I'm not sure that he comes across as pansexual in this movie so much as a smart-ass who likes to discomfit his opponents with his sexually provocative wise-cracks. His monogamous and sweet (albeit sexually adventurous) relationship with the lovely Vanessa (played by Morena Baccarin - so good to see Inara from Firefly in a leading lady role in a movie again) makes it irrelevant to dwell on his sexual proclivities, while leaving it open for future plotlines to delve more into this side of his character should they choose to in any sequels.
Deadpool is constantly making wise-cracks to his opponents and the viewers. Examples are: he pokes fun at his (Ryan Reynolds) acting ability, makes an oblique reference to his failure as the Green Lantern, and repeatedly fails to conform to the Honour Code that other Marvel heroes adhere to, including inciting a taxi driver to murder his love rival under his breath, while at the same time paying lipservice to how wrong this is, for the benefit of the two X-Men in the taxi with them at the time.
There are many apt and funny asides and I'm almost tempted to see the movie a second time as I'm sure I missed a few. I've read that just before filming started, they were told they had to cut several million dollars off the budget by trimming the script. As a consequence, they appear to have replaced some big expensive action scenes with one-liners regarding budget constraints which are peppered throughout the script. These actually work really well.
Evil British Bad Guy - Photo from the Fox Movies Deadpool promotional website
Having said all that, it's a pretty gritty movie with some fairly harrowing plot lines, lightened up with a generous sprinkling of wise-cracks throughout the movie.
Wade Wilson is a former special-ops operative, who undergoes a radical transformative treatment, which he is promised will give him superpowers, but which he ultimately agrees to undergo as a last resort to beat his terminal cancer. While the treatment results in him gaining superhuman regenerative powers, it also leaves him horribly disfigured. Feeling unable to then go back to his former life and amply cheesed off with the motives and the cruelty he suffered during the therapy, Deadpool is born, ready to exact his revenge on the people who did this to him. Cue much violence and even more wise-cracks.
This movie is a worthy addition to the Marvel franchise, and takes it in new and interesting directions. Ryan Reynolds sizzles as Deadpool. If you like your superheroes with sass, aren't too grossed out by a fair amount of blood and the occasional beheading, and enjoy a bit of sexual innuendo, you'll get off on this, much like the unicorn that Deadpool strokes till he spurts rainbows at the end of the movie. I'm actually not even making that up.