2016 – A cliche superhero origin story is told via an endless succession of Family Guy cutaway gags.

Quick question: why is Ryan Reynolds famous? I know his name, but why? Is it because he starred in Big Monster on Campus and Van Wilder: Party Liaison? Is it because he was married to Scarlett Johansson and has a baby with Blake Lively? Is it because of his “trademarks,” according to IMDB?

Has appeared in several superhero/comic book adaptations

Often plays likable regular guys

Sarcastic sharp edged wit

Is “has appeared in movies” really a trademark? I know, this is a lot of questions. But one of the purported “jokes” in Deadpool is that the titular hero is a character played by Ryan Reynolds. Personally, I did not find this as shocking or amusing as I think I was supposed to. It wasn’t like when Henry Fonda played the villain in Once Upon A Time In The West. This was just… I don’t know, Ryan Reynolds was in R.I.P.D. What shit WOULDN’T he appear in?

Don’t believe the hype: Deadpool is a shit movie, the latest Z-grade “superhero” that Marvel is shoving down our throats. The protagonist, Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool), makes a living as a “mercenary.” From what we see, being a mercenary involves hanging out at a cool mercenary bar (you know the kind) and threatening a teenage pizza delivery boy because he’s “stalking” a pretty girl at school. After completing this incredible mission, Wilson appears in person to the teenage girl, who presumably hired him herself, to tell her that all is well. This begs a critical question: even in a comic book movie, can I believe that such a scenario could actually happen?

Wilson meets Vanessa (Firefly‘s Morena Baccarin) and they fall in love, but WHAM! He has terminal cancer. The only possible cure is some shady operation run by the obviously evil Ajax (Ed Skrein) that tortures people until they become super-powered mutant slaves. Seriously, that’s the concept. Wilson gains vague invincibility powers, but at the cost of looking more like Michael Chiklis than Ryan Reynolds. The rest of the movie is Wilson seeking revenge on the people who disfigured him. And that’s it.

Since the story has no twists and zero suspense (when your hero cuts his own hand off to escape and re-grows it overnight, what danger is he ever really in?), they resort to the ol’ Tarantino show-scenes-out-of-order act. Even worse, this is still a Marvel movie, so somebody propped up the desiccated corpse of Stan Lee for a cameo. Enough, already. Does he even realize what movies he’s appearing in anymore?

I’ve rarely sat through a film more unfocused and meandering. The “scenes” are more like a collection of five-second clips, interspersed with Deadpool looking at the camera and addressing the audience. Apparently this concept, created specifically for this movie, is known as “breaking the 4th wall.” It’s something that has never, ever been done before in the history of television or film or drama or literature, ever. And boy, does it generate the laughs. You see, this is a superhero movie that makes fun of the conventions of superhero movies! This concept is known as “parody.” You can read all about it on Wikipedia.

Confusingly, while Deadpool seems to be aware of many of the the artificial trappings of his superhero world, he is blind to others. For instance, he’s aware that he’s a bad-ass, “different” kind of superhero, but he’s not aware that the movie features a hilarious timid Indian cab driver character. So fresh and original! There’s also a few things that just don’t make sense, like the scene when Deadpool reveals he discovered Ajax’s real name… despite the fact that he’s been strapped to a hospital gurney by the arms, legs, and neck. How did he do this background check in such a situation?

This is a watch-it-and-forget movie. After seeing it, and forgetting most of it, there is no reason to ever watch Deadpool again. So cut out the middleman and just don’t see it at all.

Oh, and there’s nudity, but no more than your average episode of The Sopranos. I’m guessing this won’t stop hipster parents from taking their young children to see it.


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