The next report card is for the long awaited film about The Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool.
Deadpool—directed by Tim Miller; written by Rhett Reese (screenplay), Paul Wernick (screenplay), Rob Liefeld (character), Fabian Nicieza (character); starring: Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson / Deadpool), Morena Baccarin (Vanessa), TJ Miller (Weasel), Ed Skrein (Ajax), Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead), Gina Carano (Angel Dust) and Leslie Uggams (Blind Al).
Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, aka the titular protagonist of the movie, is spot-on. Fans have been clamoring for this character to be brought to life on the big screen properly for years, particularly after the complete misstep of X-Men Origins: Wolverine's interpretation. Thankfully, there's nothing to fear here, as this is indeed the Deadpool we know and love from the comics. Anybody who was worried that it wouldn't be faithful has nothing to worry about, and I can't imagine any other team being able to pull it off as well as this team did.
Unfortunately, if I'm judging this movie based on all of the characters as a whole, I can't score it in the A-range. Everyone other than Deadpool is pretty thin. Sure, the characters work in their respective supporting roles, but they're so overshadowed by Deadpool that there's basically no meat to anyone else.
For example, if you ask anyone that has just watched the movie what the name of Gina Carano's character is, they probably won't be able to tell you. It's Angel Dust. I'm pretty sure she's referred to as just "Angel" and only once in an offhand comment. The bad guys are just the bad guys, like out of some '80s action flick. I'm still really confused about the choice to add Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead into the movie as the two representatives of the X-Men branch, but I have no complaints about them in particular, as they were fun extra additions to throw into the mix.
This is a Deadpool movie where everyone's going to see it because of him, not because of anyone else, so it's somewhat excusable, but that's why it doesn't reach even an A– from me.
As per usual with a superhero film, you're not going to see performances that will be hailed as Oscar-worthy outside of the extreme rare exceptions (Heath Ledger as The Joker being almost the only example) so you have to grade it on a sort of sliding scale.
Ryan Reynolds is the man, capturing the spirit of Deadpool better than anybody else could have done it. There's no doubt that he'll go down as one of the top 5 people to have fully embraced a character and translated it to film without changing too much or trying to put his own spin on it and thus, deviating from what the fans love.
T.J. Miller's Weasel left much to the imagination, sadly. This new version of Colossus is better than the Daniel Cudmore one (sorry dude, but maybe you can be Captain Marvel in the Shazam movie to make up for it, eh?) We don't see anything from Copycat, just her normal self, but I bought into the relationship between Morena Baccarin and Ryan Reynolds, so points go to both. Ed Skrein as Ajax is certainly just going through the motions, as is Gina Carano as Angel Dust.
VISUALS (FX, MAKEUP, COSTUMES, SETS): B
Major points for the Deadpool costume looking just like it does in the comics, complete with the eyes. There needs to be more of a willingness to do this in comic book films instead of always cutting the eye holes out and ignoring the blank white slots.
If you really examine things, you can tell that this movie doesn't have the same budget as some other Hollywood blockbuster films, but that doesn't matter. What they have to work with, they pull off very well. Not once did I think to myself that the makeup for Wade's deformed body looked too unrealistic, nor was I spotting fake looking cardboard props or anything of the sort.
MUSIC & SOUND: A–
Very similar to Guardians of the Galaxy, this movie utilized old classic songs for laughs and will be revitalizing a lot of them on iTunes, I'm sure. I was also a big fan of the Deadpool theme song's lyrics.
TONE (ACTION, ROMANCE, COMEDY): A+
The tone of this film was the biggest thing separating it from normal superhero movies, so much so that it caused all of the delays. How could a comic book movie filled with graphic violence, language, nudity, and zany fourth wall breaks really have mass appeal?
Well, this movie accomplishes everything it set out to do in all of those regards, and it seems like audiences are loving it. The violence is a tad more restricted than I thought it was going to be, and surprisingly the romance has a bigger presence than I had predicted. The comedy is unlike any other superhero film that has come out, and you get a good feel of that from the opening credits to the very end post-credits tag.
FINAL GRADE: A–
Bottom line, you're going to love this movie or hate it. If it doesn't appeal to you, you won't get it, everyone else will look like complete idiots for being fans of it, and it's going to drive you nuts hearing about it for years to come. If this is your type of thing and you were interested in the character, you'll have a smile on your face for the entire time you're watching it.