By Jack Markham @str8edgesprint
The fourth wall gets broken, stabbed, shot at, and blown to a million pieces in this deeply irreverent and decidedly NON-superhero flick from Marvel Studios.
This should be obvious from the opening sequence, a tracking freeze-frame of Deadpool and some thugs in a variety of violent and uncompromising positions.
Set to Juice Newton’s Angel of the Morning this scene also foregoes the conventional crediting of actors and producers in favour of such labels as “a British villain”, “an entirely CGI character” or “some douche”.
If violence, dirty jokes, and meta-humour are for you then this could well be the most enjoyable hour and a half of your life.
Reflecting the explicit nature of the Marvel MAX imprint upon which the comics are based, Deadpool is a blood-soaked thrill ride that certainly shares little similarities with previous Marvel blockbusters like The Avengers or Captain America.
Bad guys have their heads sliced off, ribs pulled apart, and bodies peppered with bullets with almost Tarantino-esque euphoria.
Equally extreme is the film’s humour, masterfully delivered by Ryan Reynolds’s enthusiastic portrayal of the titular character.
Be prepared for toilet humour galore; it wouldn’t be Deadpool without poking fun at taboo topics.
The main talking point of the film for most viewers however will be the frequent breaking of the fourth wall.
Deadpool adjusts the camera in fight scenes, quips about real-life actors in the film, and in one particularly poignant moment even expresses concern over being given a “green and animated super suit”, a reference to Reynolds’s last superhero film Green Lantern.
Such references could get tiresome if overplayed, but the film does well in toning them down to better pace the overall narrative.
The plot of the film itself is a little less ground-breaking, a relatively by-the-numbers superhero origins story mixed in with a touch of romance courtesy of the gorgeous Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).
This subplot links into Deadpool’s main objective in the movie; finding and killing the chilling Ajax (Ed Skrein) who permanently disfigured him in a variety of brutal experiments.
When Ajax kidnaps Vanessa, Deadpool is forced to team up with a couple of ‘genuine superheroes’, Colossus and the brilliantly named Negasonic Teenage Warhead, to take him down.
The film’s climax is predictable, but delivered with suitable aplomb.
Is the film self-indulgent? Sure.
It knows that poking fun at Reynolds’s career or joking that Fox couldn’t get any of the other X-Men in the film will have countless fans and bloggers gleefullydiscussing how ‘edgy’ and boundary-pushing it is.
But for the legions of Deadpool fans out there, and the casual viewer looking for a hilarious take on an oft-stale genre, the film delivers tenfold in a tantalising twister of blood, jokes, and excellent music.
This is a rare example of a movie being made purely out of love for the material and we as viewers, are much better off for it.
Deadpool is showing cinema-wide in Sheffield. (Rated 15) (108 minutes)
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