Friday, January 13, 2017

Dipping Into Deadpool!

Truth told, it's entirely possible I might not have seen Deadpool the movie for a very very long time. I didn't feel compelled to see it in the theater, I didn't feel compelled to get it on DVD, and I doubt that it will be on regular TV for some time (if ever). But I got a copy of the DVD for Christmas and I'm very grateful I did. It's a howler of a good movie, slick and clever and frenetically paced.

My only experience with Deadpool was when he turned up in those tiresome New Mutants comics by Rob Liefeld. He seemed at the time just one more overly designed bad-ass wannabe character among an avalanche of such types which fell upon us in those days. I found the name memorable because of the Dirty Harry movie but beyond that very little about him stuck. I quit the X-Men and later all new Marvel and so was only aware of the success of the character from a remote distance, not one which allowed me to have much real appreciation of the character.

But that's not quite true. I did see Deadpool as part of the ensemble around Logan in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As portrayed by Ryan Reynolds he did stand out and became a significant part of that movie. I got the sense at the time that his many fans were not especially happy with the version which showed up in this movie, but since I only really knew maybe half the mutants on display in this story it was fine by me.

(I must confess I almost bought this one when I saw it one the stands just for the cover.)
And it appears Ryan Reynolds was not happy either as he pushed to have this Deadpool movie made. And I"m glad he did. The "Merc with a Mouth" as he's apparently called made for a fun adults-only movie which added a neat smear to the whole superhero genre. Reynolds is the heart and soul of this movie and without him it doesn't happen, pure and simple. As miscast as he was as Green Lantern, he's ideal for this role. But then he seems to agree with that. His snarky Deadpool put me in mind of his Hannibal King character in Blade:Trinity, a rather underrated movie in my opinion.

The first hour or so of this movie is a delight, bristling with witty dialogue and structured in such a way as to not really to allow the audience to slip too far away from the moment at hand. It's a dandy bit of movie-making. Sadly the last half hour is less stellar and the movie falls flat just a little bit though the ending has just a nifty mix of mirth and romance.

One weakness is the villain Ajax who seemed by my expectations a great henchman, but who somehow lacked the verve to rise above that status. I kept waiting for another baddie to emerge from the shadows, but then I realized that this guy was it.  His sidekick named Angel Dust was actually a bit more interesting when all things are considered.

The appearance of Colossus was fun though far afield from his more sedate presentation in the earlier X-Men movies. But I"m fine with that and the newbie named (and I had to look this up) "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" was just fine. I wanted more, but as Deadpool himself lamented, maybe the budget wasn't up to it.

So in the end Deadpool is a movie with a real neat blend of funny and fight, a film that doesn't expect much of its audience other than rapt attention and a willingness to forget that these X-Men movies are supposed to be serious endeavors. This one ain't and that's dandy.

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