Reynolds delivers blows laced with laughter as wisecrack anti-hero Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds as Marvel Comic’s Deadpool. (Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.)

Marvel’s latest comic-to-film adaptation Deadpool, directed by Tim Miller, was released nationwide Friday, starring Ryan Reynolds as the leading anti-hero with a dirty conscience and even filthier mouth.

Protagonist Wade Wilson, also known as Deadpool, is a former U.S. Special Forces agent who spends his time protecting young women from aggressive stalkers in the dangerous streets of New York City. He continually reminds the rescued ladies, “I may be super, but I’m no hero.”

Wilson meets an escort at a bar named Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin, and the two fall madly in love with one another.

After a year of blissful passion, Wilson retrieves a ring pop from in-between his butt cheeks and proposes to Vanessa. Later that night, he collapses onto their bedroom floor. The next day, Wilson is diagnosed with terminal cancer in his liver, lungs, prostate and brain.

Although Vanessa is hopeful about finding a cure, Wilson virtually gives up hope, until a recruiter from an unknown facility, played by Jed Rees, approaches him with an opportunity to cure his cancer and award him the gift of superpowers.

Wilson quietly leaves Vanessa’s side in the middle of the night to meet the recruiter and accept his offer. At the facility, Wilson is introduced to Ajax, portrayed by Ed Skrein, who administers a special serum into Wilson’s bloodstream to catalyze a mutation within his cells.

After enduring days of torture from Ajax’s aid, Angel Dust, played by Gina Carano, Wilson is placed into an airtight glass chamber where oxygen levels are decreased dangerously low.  The exerted stress on his body sparks a cell mutation, vastly increasing his ability to heal and subsequently causing his cancer to rapidly escalate, covering his entire body with tumors and sores.

Left physically scarred and deformed, Wilson escapes the confines of the tank by igniting oxygen with a match he stole from Angel Dust’s mouth during a quick head-butt. The resulting explosion destroys the covert facility and Ajax leaves a presumably-dead Wilson to rot beneath a mountain of concrete and steel.

Wilson emerges from the rubble the following day with incredible strength and agility, superhuman healing, strength and a bloody thirst for revenge. Deadpool is born.

He embarks on a ruthless rampage for justice, relentlessly searching for Ajax while slaughtering anyone who dare cross his path. Too ashamed to show his grotesque face to Vanessa, Deadpool remains estranged from his fiancé, who assumes he fell victim to his fatal disease.

He receives a tip informing him Ajax and Angel Dust are looking for Vanessa. Deadpool returns to the strip club she works at, where we are presented with comic genius Stan Lee’s recurring cameo in Marvel film, this time as a club emcee. The villains abduct Vanessa from the club before Deadpool can locate her.

Joined by X-Men Colossus, voiced by Stefan Kapicic, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand, Deadpool launches a hostage rescue mission to save Vanessa from imminent death at the hands of Ajax.

Reynolds’ flawless portrayal of the sarcastically cynical superhero yields 108 minutes of ludicrous humor and gory carnage. Vulgar and perverse dialogue provides a refreshing juxtaposition of adult banter contrasted with the usual idolization of superheroes. His lack of tact interwoven with a myriad of witty dialogue sparked my immediate interest from the film’s inception to its conclusion.

Weasel, portrayed by T.J. Miller, provides a plethora of laughs in the film as Deadpool’s best friend and sidekick. He is also the proprietor of the bar where Deadpool met Vanessa. “You look like Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah,” Weasel proclaims to his friend.

Initially I was intrigued by Deadpool’s pansexual identification. As a member of the LGBT community, I was ecstatic to see my demographic blatantly represented to the masses in such a magnitude.

I was extremely displeased with how Deadpool’s pansexuality was portrayed in such a trivial manner. Simply sporting a “Rent” T-shirt, harboring an unrequited love for Wolverine and allowing your girlfriend to peg you, or penetrate with a strap-on dildo, does not make one pansexual. I feel the topic was made a mockery of by providing homoeroticism that is essentially laughed off as hetero humor.

By no means am I a Marvel scholar. I merely enjoy the explicit action and violence characterized by superheroes in feature film adaptations. Deadpool did not disappoint, taking the hero’s journey to new crude, scatological heights.

Deadpool smashed box office records over the weekend. According to studio estimates, the film grossed over $135 million, breaking records as the biggest R-rated opening and biggest February opening ever.

Reynolds’ portrayal of the masked assailant unquestionably won me over. As a newfound Deadpool fan, I intend on partaking in multiple re-screenings as I patiently wait in anticipation for the film’s prospective sequel.

Rating: A-

02/16/2016

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