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Review: ‘Deadpool’ Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano

Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: an ordinary man becomes reluctantly imbued with superpowers, but in the process becomes horribly disfigured. Betrayed and damaged, he seeks vengeance on the person who maimed him, is forced to reconcile who he has become, and then saves his girl from the clutches of the villain. In broad strokes, that’s the story of “Deadpool.” It’s a film that desperately wants to upend the tropes of the comic book movie, but perhaps more shocking than anything that comes out of the mouth of its often obnoxious titular hero, is how blandly the picture sticks to the origin story playbook.

To be fair, the structure of the film is mildly clever, at least in the ways that it tries to disguise its familiarity. Things kick off with an action sequence that our narrator and frequently fourth-wall-breaking Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) uses to anchor multiple flashbacks from and get the audience up to speed with his story (in another parallel with your average superhero movie, there is a lot of exposition). The short version: before he donned the red suit, Deadpool was Wade Wilson, a mercenary for hire who took on any dirty job, big or small. But then, his life is upended by two major events: first, he meets and eventually falls in love with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who matches his smart-ass attitude and sexual appetite toe-to-toe; then he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer in every major organ you think of, and given a short time to live.

While Vanessa searches for a Hail Mary cure, Wade mostly gives up, but seeing the pain the love of his life is going through, he decides to secretly undergo a wildly experimental treatment proffered by a shadowy henchman (Jed Rees) working for the even more nefarious Ajax (Ed Skrein). As one would expect from a clandestine operation, the intentions aren’t quite as noble as stated, and Wade winds up a guinea pig for mutant experimentation. The relentlessly wise-cracking Wade quickly makes an enemy out of Ajax, who in turn pushes the tortuous procedures to the extreme, leaving Wade super-powered, but gruesomely deformed, or looking like, as his best bud Weasel (T.J. Miller) describes, “an avocado that had sex with an older avocado.” Unable to face Vanessa looking like a monster, Wade goes on a mission to find Ajax, force him to bring back his Ryan Reynolds good looks, and then kill him. And this propels the linear, flashback-free, second half of the picture, in which Deadpool continues to provide running commentary and snarky asides in a strained attempt to distance himself from the very ordinary superhero movie he’s actually in.

READ MORE: ‘Deadpool’ Soundtrack Features Salt-N-Pepa, DMX, Wham!, And More

The ambition of director Tim Miller, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”) is through script and character, to offer a self-aware and sarcastic send-up of superheroes. Unfortunately, they want it both ways; mocking super hero films and their forced interconnected tie-ins, but embracing all these cliches and formulas regardless. Worse, despite an exhaustingly energetic effort to turn every moment into a three-joke scene, the screenplay often mistakes juvenile attempts at button-pushing provocation for humor. For every smart one-liner that manages to land, many more miss, and it’s often the ones that are wrapped with the most off-color humor. It would be giving those jokes too much credit to say they’re offensive, but while they’re not as noxious as the material Matthew Vaughn aired in the similarly-spirited “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” there is a palpable distaste that lingers through many of the scenes.

This sensation also follows into the film’s regrettable and at times ugly attitude towards women. Often on the receiving end or subject of crude jokes, they are not given much to do and wind up as one-dimensional character signposts (Gina Carano’s Angel Dust has about one or two more lines than Dave Bautista in “Spectre” and her biggest moment centers around her boobs; Wade cements his love for Vanessa through a montage of sex and that’s about as much depth to her character that’s provided). However, things reach a tipping point with an egregious strip club sequence, that as the camera leers at the naked women on stage, is further punctuated with an ill-advised, gross fanboy cameo. It’s an immature, bro-y sequence, that 20th Century Fox and Marvel might have questioned, given an age of heightened sensitivity to depictions of women in film, but the adolescent type of titillation is very on-brand for the R-rated franchise.

Meanwhile, the relationship between “Deadpool” and 20th Century Fox’s "X-Men" series strains between indifference and transparent desperation. Though Miller throws some jabs at the more earnest X-series, it’s not for nothing that Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters serves as the home base for Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who make it their mission to try and guide Deadpool away from his penchant for being nasty, to making nobler choices. Colossus in particular delivers some heartfelt (and hamfisted) pleas to Deadpool to consider a more righteous path. Its comic juxtaposition they’re aiming for, the sincere undercut by the flippant, but his forced speeches still feel like they’re from a different movie and a way to incorporate studio “make a connected universe” feedback. While the upcoming “X-Men: Apocalypse” sets the timeline for that crew in the 1980s, you can practically hear the gears of Fox executives whirring, trying to figure out how to include some Deadpool sass alongside their flagship mutant title down the line. And if that happens, they can at least feel assured that Reynolds is the big bright spot of this picture, and delivers in the lead role.

Given a second crack at playing Deadpool after the misfired "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," and another chance at a superhero role following the flop of “Green Lantern,” the actor relishes the opportunity to get it right. His Merc With A Mouth lives up to the name, even if the material he’s given often doesn’t. Reynolds’ charm goes a long, long way in keeping “Deadpool” light on its feet, moving along quickly, and delivering some genuine laughs. Yes, “Deadpool” can be entertaining in fits and starts, and after a rocky opening third, manages to find a more solid handling of its irreverent tone in the back-end of the picture. For its many faults, those occasions where it works and the intention and execution line up perfectly, you can see sparks of the truly off-brand film Miller and co. aspired to make.

READ MORE: "Deadpool Is Nothing But Tangents" Says Director Tim Miller, Plus New Images From The Film

However, the conventional framework continually prevents “Deadpool” from ever really flying gloriously off the rails. Even the film’s climactic action sequence features a relentlessly dull showdown between Deadpool and Ajax that’s boxed into a feat of CGI-drenched mega-destruction that would make Zack Snyder proud. For all of Miller’s faux middle finger wagging at the comic book establishment, “Deadpool” sometimes functions like a reel or resumé to graduate to the same big leagues he half-pretends he wants no part of. Indeed, instead of reinventing the wheel, “Deadpool” only reinforces the genre expectations of the superhero movie, hoping that a string of profanities, some winks to the camera, and the occasional flash of nudity will distract from what is ultimately, a very by-the-book story. [C]

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Comments

loco73

Glad to see that not everyone drank the kool-aid and bought this cinematic mediocrity as some kind of irreverent later day masterpiece…These days audiences are soo desperate for some substance to accompany all the on-screen flash and style, that they are ready to an anoint even the most unremarkable or as said before, mediocre, movies as the best thing ever… Otherwise how can you explain "Mad Max Fury Road" and "The Force Awakens"…aka "Furiosa and Sidekick Max" and "The Farce Awakens"

    Nicholas Nelson

    If you could rate ratings, you would be fucked right now.

Deadpool-RELOADED

AHAA. NOOB.Hater much? Deadpool is the best film made in at least 15 years. ID1OT. Go fnck yourself

Deadpool

a

Cata

It’s amazing to me how sensitive people are right now and how much we’re willing to bash someone’s work just because all that we understood from the movie were the nude scenes and some misunderstood scenes. Ryan has been fighting to get this movie made for 11 years and pushed through until he made a record-smashing title. What exactly of value have you done with your life in the same time frame? But I guess you’re too busy looking for stuff to get offended about that you can’t even get away from your Mac or iPhone.

Richard morris

Kevin jagernauth – please get a new career.. You are clearly a retard at watching movies.

Deadpool was fantastic

Crispy97

Im having trouble figuring out whether or not the "critic" who wrote this review is aware of, or was aware of, who the Deadpool character is. I understand he writes MOVIE reviews, and thats what he did, but almost 100% of what makes Deadpool awesome in comics was used to make this movie amazing. Honestly, no offense to the writer, but I think he was either too old to write this, or too disconnected frok the source badassness.

Norm

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never been a Ryan Reynolds fan, but this movie was great for a Super Anti-Hero movie. Most movies that have characters breaking the 4th wall tend to end up very cheesy. this made it work. Here’s a thought for the guy who wrote the article. If the only reason you saw the movie was because your editor made you watch it, put that at the top of the article or don’t bore us with your commentary on how cliche’ it is. The numbers are against you on this one.

Arron

You sir, are a retarded f^ckst!ck who has no sense of wonder or class, a completely unintelligent and biased review and assessment, it doesn’t even deserve the words infantile and just redundant. That movie had everything BADASS going for itself. Fack yourself brother.

Catharsis

While the showdown could have been better as Ajax was barely 2d the Movie was a great movie and for the most part exceeds expectations and in my estimation along with box office proceeds competes easily with other films released by Marvel. FINALLY R rated movies are being released and showing movie studios they do/ can make a decent profit. I hope the trend continues not for the gratuitous violence/ nudity but for the more gritty realistic experience.

iqbal khan

I agree with you

J

I’m sorry, did you just negatively view something for staying close to the original story? You, sir, are what’s wrong with the entertainment industry. You are the cancer that eats away at it from the inside and forces us, those who love her, to turn and look away in pain. It’s because of people like you why everything needs to be turned into an arthouse project, it’s because of people like you we can’t get the stories that have sold countless issues for decades, it’s people like you who act as if every release has to be groundbreaking and encourage the jaded disposition to anything other. Comedy’s can be dumb comedy’s and still be good action movies can be cheesy and filled with explosions, not everything needs to be catered to one market, and if it’s not your style it’s not your style it doesn’t make a movie bad though just because you didn’t like it’s style, when did objectivity get replaced with subjectivity in reviews? You’re supposed to judge something on how well it meets the standards for it’s medium not whether or not you enjoy that medium.

River

Playlist hates fun.

Emperor Zerg Rush

Here’s something I bet many of us who’ve been bumming around The Playlist for years now never thought we’d see – people actually leaping to Kevin’s defense in regard to a review he’s posted. If Kevin actually read the comments I imagine even he’d be surprised.

Alice

I’m with THESCHU. The people in here are goons, sheesh.

ThePuniSSher

Jeez man…get over yourself. Its freakin’ Deadpool – not The Bicycle Thief. He’s a loud, cheesy comic book character

theschu

Thanks for the Deadpool history lesson and if the critic was reviewing the character of Deadpool, you might be right. But he’s not and you’re not. The critics job is to review the movie as it is. Not to do a bunch of research so that they can be more informed. It’s not a biopic.

Vinicius

I think the critic should at least know Deadpool’s history before getting to the tone of this evaluation… Deadpool gets crazy when he passes through the mutantion process, he start to listen to dozens of voices in his head, he tells the story, no matter what will happen in the "real story", what we will see in the movie(as in the comics or games) is the crazy mind of an mercenary, that went nuts, and his side of the events

theschu

I love how people trash the critic for not liking the movie and writing about it. That is the critic’s job after all. A movie critic is not a comic book critic. He reviews the movie and if the movie doesn’t deliver for him, then you can’t say he should have read the comics. Because who gives a crap if he read the comics? You think that would make the movie any better in his eyes? You think all the people that read The Rainmaker liked the movie more because they read the book?

Seriously, the level of childish rage at a film critic is incredible. I also love it when people say things like "it’s not supposed to be Citizen Kane". Well that’s pretty obvious guys. Film critics, in case you don’t know are people who love all kinds of movies, when they are well done. Can’t you love Star Trek and A Few Good Men at the same time? Why does a movie that is just supposed to be entertaining have to get a pass for being badly done? There have been a lot of terrific, entertaining movies (like Star Trek) that are also well written and don’t insult the audience.

You know you all sound like George W. Bush with his "if you’re not with us then you’re against us" type speeches.

Seriously, get over it. So one critic doesn’t like your movie. I’m sure you can find a bunch of other ones that will tell you exactly what you want to hear about yet another comic book movie.

fliM

Asking "Indies" about something 10,000% geared towards the habitual comic crowd is much like taking advice on Arcade Fire’s latest album from a drunk frat boy at a party: it’s not for his consumption particularly. He may be able to give you one or two songs he "sorta digs" but you gotta ask the "smart-douchey" guy in the skinny jeans, ironic glasses and I-found-it-in-the-dumpster leather jacket what he thinks to get the true picture. Same for the niche of Deapdool. If it didnt turn some people off, it wouldnt be true Deadpool. Does s*** explode? Check. Fourth-wall humor? Check. Some needless CGI? Check. This was always supposed to be more like a Trnasofrmers/Avengers/Star Trek type deal than a Citizen Kane/A Few Good Men type of movie.

Manny

Well said oogle monster. I never understood what people see in him. Boring, average looking, dull actor.

Jeff

It’s a mistake for this reviewer to review a comic book movie. So, this comic book movie is such a comic book movie, What!!!? What are you, Mark Kermode? If they made the deadpool movie capable of satisfying you, it would not have been a deadpool movie. wawawiwa allow yourself to have a little fun brother.

Fhantom

" ‘Deadpool’ only reinforces the genre expectations of the superhero movie, hoping that a string of profanities, some winks to the camera, and the occasional flash of nudity will distract from what is ultimately, a very by-the-book story."
" ‘Deadpool’ only reinforces the genre expectations of the superhero movie, hoping that a string of profanities, some winks to the camera, and the occasional flash of nudity will distract from what is ultimately, a very by-the-book story."
….isn’t that kind of the point? It’s meant to be a parody of comic book movies; therefore, the "by-the-book story" is obviously intentional. Did you not see the opening credits, where it introduces characters as "bad British guy," "some hot chick," etc? Seems like the not-so-subtle humor went over your head.

Jay

This guy clearly doesn’t have a sense of humour and probably went into the movie just looking for knit picks. The film did exactly what it meant to do, it was genius and clever….everyone will now know deadpool. You cannot compare to other movies….

Kyle

You’re an idiot.

fukyourmum

Typical, we have yet another critic who tries to be special by giving it a bad grade……….cunt

Ashish Chauhan

You have no idea what the essence of Deadpool is, do you? This review droves on as if this film was created simply as a film to "rebel" against your average superhero movie, but you seem to not be privy to the fact this is a comic book itself.

KEVINS A DOUCHE

I’ts called a review. Not a spoil the fucking movie before it comes out because you hated it. Go back to film school you bag of dicks.

zach

"Unfortunately, they want it both ways; mocking super hero films and their forced interconnected tie-ins, but embracing all these cliches and formulas regardless." jeez…this is what deadpool does, since he’s a 4th wall breaking superhero with an annoying pentiant for the bleeding obvious. you’re pretentious nature should have disallowed from reviewing this movie in the first place…

Emcube

Yep, this movie sounds exactly like what I thought it’d be. Generic superhero film with some obnoxious meta-jokes so that they can go, "Hey, look, this movie is self-aware!" Meh. I’m baffled by the amount of high praise this movie is receiving but I guess that says a lot about the superhero films today that even a slight deviation from the norm like this is enough to make people praise it for being "different."

kaveriis

Bro, do you even read comics? What you just wrote was basically ever Deadpool comic fans dream. It’s EXACTLY like the comic. You’re disappointed that a comic book movie is like a comic book movie? What? I was upset that there were no dinosaurs in 50 Shades of Gray. You’re the one bad review I could find. If everyone says the sky is blue and you say it’s purple…maybe you’re the crazy one.

Paul

You could say this review is a "a very by-the-book" review and fails to show any creativity.

Sorry Bro

To all those saying ‘solid review’ and ‘butthurt fans’ – I’ve also seen Deadpool and can quite honestly say this guy is on the money, sorry bro.

Bill Moore

A Sadly inaccurate review by a has been reviewer. Get your nose out of the air and stop being such a pretentious asshat. Writing OFF this site as a place to follow.

Josh

To all those saying ‘solid review’ and ‘butthurt fans’ – I’ve also seen Deadpool and can quite honestly say this guy had his head firmly up his pretentious a$$ when he wrote this. The film is excellent and the majority of the general audience will also think that way I’m sure.

fredf

enjoy your 15 minutes, jacka$$

jacky

hey dumbass, congratulations, you just made it very obvious that you know jack-shit about deadpool. he is not a character to be taken seriously, he never was nor was he ever meant to be taken seriously. he is a character that is a spoof of a dc character. the movie follows his character and comics perfectly. do yourself a favor and shut up and do your research before ever speaking about a movie again.

deadpool

That big bitch from GOT is coming for your azz, Kevin. She’s bringing that bell and yelling SHAME! at the top of her lungs… You’ll see.

Dennis

David Ehrlich at Rolling Stone seems to have it way more, fyi. Check twitter.

BMAD

Some pretentious people just can’t have fun watching a movie apparently.

Matt

There’s always that one reviewer that tries to stand out.

JRah

I feel like Kevin Jagernauth is a very boring human being. That’s all.

Ryan

Yeah this "critic" is just trying to be different from everyone else. No one has said anything bad about the film. You’re a moron. Please stop writing reviews. For the sake of everyone.

Alex P

Solid review, don’t let these butthurt fanboys tell you otherwise

Alucard

What was that Kevin? I’ll tell you what it was, a go round and round in circles review. Bs.

Dave

A very competent review as always Jagernauth.

Not Deadpool

I happen to think that Ryan & Fox are the best things to happen to Cinema sense sliced bread.

Peter

Wanted to be in first as the first bad review on Rotten Tomatoes I see. What a crock.

Zac

Bro, do you even comic book? O.o

Sri

This review makes no f****** sense, so the only problem with the movie is that it had a very normal plot? Like wtf is wrong with people nowadays?

Realist

Expect a lot of people disagreeing with your silly statements in a lot less civilized way than me.

Mat

Sounds great to me! But then another positive review wouldn’t get you get so many clicks would it…

Devon Wheeler

So lets get this straight, your saying that a movie with a plot that is normally regular and that’s all is what is bad about a movie. Okay tell me if you have heard this before, look at the F*cken charcter traits and don’t judge the movie based on just normality dimwit. How about look at if you enjoyed the movie instead of being a dum witted writer of the normality progression of society.

Showtime

This review is utter garbage written by someone who has probably NEVER read a Deadpool comic in their lives.

Johnny 5

I give this review an F. Basically you gave it a bad review to bring people to your site, you give it criticisms that aren’t necessarily criticisms. How does this reinforce the superhero genre may I ask? Yes it may have similar story conventions however presentation wise and what it contains is much much different.

David

Dear me, when a reviewer mentions a film which was widely seen as great film last year (Kingsmen) you do loose quite a bit of credibility. Also, on a professional note you should realise by now that a review should not contain spoilers. Luckily I’ve already seen the film already and can quite confidently call this review a piece of utter pretentious claptrap. Please review films about lesbian Himalayan goat herders in future, they may just be just about pretentious enough for you. If you’re a normal movie-goer then ignore this review as you’ll be missing out on great time at the cinema.

anony

Why do people come to the comments and tell a reviewer that they are wrong? It’s not because you like a movie, they have to like it aswell.

No, a review isn’t bullshit because they don’t like something.

V

This review reads like a pretentious food critic slamming a Big Mac for not being healthy.

David Jones

I think this is the only overly negative review of the film that I’ve seen.

LupeX

SPOILERS much? Very unprofessional review.
I have no issues with your opinions, but a review should never give away more about the plot of a movie than the trailer does. regardless of your thoughts about the plot of the film. Let the audience discover these on their own.

Leon Brill

If this reviewer doesn’t care for these kinds of films, he really shouldn’t be reviewing them. Kingsman was a fantastic film, and the attack on that movie in this review provides sufficient reason to discount the majority of this reviewer’s opinion.

Derpington

If you’ve ever read the comic, you’ll realize it follows the story perfectly. You need to find a new profession.

doris

the best thing about this movie being released is that the embarrassingly desperate and smug marketing campaign can finally end

Franka

Fanboys. It got a much better grade than it could have. Stop crying.

Franco

Fanboys can’t handle anything but blind love. You keep doing you, Kevin.

Deadpoo

Lol so much butthurt in the comments. The movie sucks, deal with it. The intended audience of splooging adolscents will still flock for the titties and the naughty language… it’s gonna be the douchebags favourite film. That alone will make it a hit.

Chap

Reviews here are getting more and more up their own arse. What pretentious bulls*** are we going to give an A to this week? YAWN.

Grape

Regarding the ‘heartfelt but hamfisted’ Colossus, that’s how he’s in the comics. Direct to the point. And Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman, it ain’t no Citizen Kane, but was fun to watch.

Dial down, Kevin. It’s not like every movie has to depressing.

oogle monster

Ryan Reynolds career is absolutely baffling. A woman in the same position – with a string of flops – would be completely career exile. She would never have the opportunity to lead a franchise film. But it’s like for every flop, Reynolds is given another chance. Weird stuff.

Emperor Zerg Rush

That was a letter higher than I was expecting it to be given.

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