They say Hollywood doesn’t listen to the fans. When the big studios decide to take a beloved franchise and turn it to a movie, they sometimes take secondary characters and mess them up. The fans might cry out because this character has a fairly large following and ask for a movie for that character to fix the issues. Most of the time they studios ignore it. But if there is enough support from an actor with a bit of star power and the studio, already making money off the franchise and character rights, says what the hell, you get a movie like Deadpool.
Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds at the titular (anti)hero, a role he (sort of) played in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It is considered part of the X-Men film franchise The movie is directed by Tim Miller, which is his first movie as director. The film had been in development since 2004, with Reynolds being attached to star since 2009. It is rated R in the United States and 18A in Ontario, Canada as there is strong language, excessive violence and nudity.
The movie follows Wade Wilson, a down-on-his-luck mercenary getting by on small time contracts. The film references that he was part of a special forces team but doesn’t directly reference Team X (or fit in the X-Men Origin: Wolverine timeline.) His life turns around when he meets Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) an escort who is a messed up as he is. They end up living together for a year before Wade becomes sick. They discover that he has terminal cancer and not long to live. Then it gets worse.
Wade is approached by a recruiter to join a special program that would not only cure his cancer, but give him super human abilities. He leaves Vanessa in the middle of the night, promising himself to return when cured. However, the organization he joined intended to turn him into a mindless super slave to be auctioned off. Wade was injected with a serum to activate dormant mutant genes than tortured by the head scientist, Ajax/Francis (Ed Skrien) and his assistant, Angel Dust (Gina Carino). After a week of torture, his powers manifested (super-healing) but at the expense of his looks and his sanity. He broke out and set fire to the lab but was beaten and left to die by Ajax. But he survived the fire and escaped back to the city.
Deformed and deranged Wade couldn’t bring himself to go back to Vanessa. Hoping that Francis would be able to undo the disfigurement, he embarked on a one man war against his organization. With the help of his friend Weasel and roommate, Blind Al, he starts taking apart Francis’ operation, but his methods have attracted the attention of the X-men, in the form of Colossus and Teenage Negasonic Warhead(?)
Deadpool is a hyper-violent movie that doesn’t take itself seriously. Like in the comic books, where he sometimes talk directly to the readers, the Deadpool in the movies sometimes talks directly to the audience, often confusing the characters around him, While the events of the first solo Wolverine movies are not directly referenced (and are, in fact, ignored), there are a few references to it, such as an action figure of that Deadpool and a line about sewing his mouth shut. They also take a shot at Ryan Reynolds’ other superhero movie by having Wade ask that his costume, “not be green. Or animated.” The inclusion of two X-Men help to create the shared universe, with Colossus and Negasonic being used to add humor mostly. There is even a scene (filmed outside Hatley Castle in Victoria, BC) where Deadpool remarks that there are only two X-Men because “Fox cut our budget.”
Deadpool and X-Men fans with love this movie as it get the character right after previously messing him up. Fans who only know the x-Men from the movies might not like the less than serious approach, but in this day and age of overly serious superhero movies, it is nice there is one that can gladly take the piss out of itself and reveal in the absurdity.