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‘Deadpool’ Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents

'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents

With R-rated Marvel comic movie “Deadpool,” Ryan Reynolds has finally found the Hollywood role that has thus far eluded him. He was raw and real in the well-reviewed solo drama “Buried.” And you can see glimpses of his comic talent opposite Sandra Bullock in the hit romantic comedy “The Proposal,” Jeff Daniels in “Paper Man,” and Ben Mendelsohn in last year’s “Mississippi Grind.” 

After several attempts at scaling a comic book movie in Marvel’s’ “Blade: Trinity” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and DC’s horrific “Green Lantern,” Reynolds has landed a winner at last. With a raucous witty script by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”), Reynolds comes into his own as strange and sarcastic post-military mercenary Wade Wilson, who meets and falls in love with his match (“Homeland” star Morena Baccarin) before joining up with the wrong group of miscreants.

They turn him into a guy who looks like “an avocado that had sex with an older avocado,” as his wise-ass bar owner friend  (well-cast TJ Miller) puts it. Now called Deadpool, covered up in a nifty red suit (that doesn’t show blood), our anti-hero not only has miraculous self-healing powers, but is set on revenge. The movie plays with his much-battered body, which flops and regenerates in amusing ways. 

Early footage from “Deadpool” played well for fanboys at Comic-Con last July, where TJ Miller (“Silicon Valley”) described Reynolds’ character as a “wiseass with superpowers.” The movie will be a huge hit for Fox, which got to make it because it’s R-rated; Disney gets the mainstream Marvel fare. 

Shorts director, animator and graphic designer Tim Miller makes a stunning debut, as the movie is fast-paced, romantic, irreverent and hilarious, as well as providing a running break-the-fourth-wall meta-commentary on the comic genre. And women hold their own in this Marvel universe, from Baccarin’s tough and sultry Vanessa and villain Angel Dust (fighter Gina Carano) to fiery X-Men recruit Negasonic Teenage Warhead (rookie Brianna Hildebrand). 

“Morena’s a bad-ass romantic lead,” said Reynolds at Comic-Con. “She gives him lip right back, not necessarily the talking kind. She’s a perfect match to his crassness. Angel Dust has anger issues and allows me the outlet to have my anger issues resolved.”

Read reviews of “Deadpool” from around the web below.

Kate Erbland, Indiewire:
“By its midpoint, once the novelty of a superhero movie showing super levels of violence wears off, the thinness and lack of spark in the fight scenes becomes more readily apparent. By the film’s end, they are hard to distinguish from any other superhero fare. Similarly, lack of imagination keep the film’s prodigious swearing and occasional nudity from feeling like anything original. They appear to be shoe-horned into the film simply because they could be, not because they serve an essential purpose. And here we thought ‘Deadpool’ would do something different.”

Justin Chang, Variety:
“Fast, ferocious and inevitably a bit too pleased with its
own cleverness, this Fox-produced offshoot of the ‘X-Men’ series nevertheless
can’t help but feel like a nasty, nose-thumbing tonic next to the shinier
delegations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as represented by Disney’s ‘Avengers’ franchise (and its various subfranchises) and Sony’s not-so-amazing ‘Spider-Man’ movies. Better still, ‘Deadpool’ knows exactly how to use
Reynolds, an actor whose smooth leading-man good looks have long disguised one
of the sharpest funnyman sensibilities in the business, as fans of ‘The
Proposal,’ ‘Definitely, Maybe’ and the underrated ‘Just Friends’ can attest.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:
“Beyond even what Robert Downey Jr. has done in the ‘Iron Man’ series, Reynolds lets fly here in a manic, sly, self-conscious way that leaves
you not quite knowing what hit you; the irreverence slides quickly into lewd
comic territory, the inside jokes about Marvel in particular and pop culture in
general come fast and furious, the fourth-wall breakage is disarming and the
actor’s occasional fey, high-pitched voicings add yet another strange element.
As in the presence of motor-mouthed comedians, you either sit there stone-faced
or eventually capitulate to the cascade of weirdness and the fertility of
wayward minds unleashed.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap:
“It’s a film that’s amused with itself, but thanks to a
screwball screenplay by Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick (‘Zombieland’) and a
charmingly snarky lead turn by Ryan Reynolds, that amusement is both thoroughly
earned and completely contagious. If you loved the way ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ turned the standard superhero formula on its spandex-covered ear – and you’re
old enough to handle some very R-rated language and violence – ‘Deadpool’ delivers a similarly delightful surprise.

Matt Singer, ScreenCrush:
“Armed with a pair of swords, a bunch of guns, and a demented
sense of humor, Deadpool’s basically what would happen if you took Jim Carrey’s
character from ‘The Mask,’ gave him an R rating, and taught him how to do
parkour. ‘S—, did I leave the stove on?’ he wonders aloud right before he
decapitates a guy in the middle of a multi-car freeway crash. A generous
admirer could describe him as ‘pure id.’ A less appreciative viewer might go
with ‘the most obnoxious movie character ever.’ They would both be correct.

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