Friday, February 12, 2016

Deadpool ★★★1/2

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     "Deadpool" is unreasonably vulgar, ill mannered, disturbed, salacious, and, at times, it can be downright depraved. I could run off countless adjectives of the like; however, I think you get the gist of it. And yet, it might just be the greatest superhero origin tale to ever grace the big screen. (While the character of Wade Wilson can ultimately be deemed an antihero, considering his inability to engage in selfless acts, for the sake of this discussion, I'm afraid that we must view this film solely as a constituent of the much-exhausted superhero genre.)

    Ryan Reynolds stars as the rude and crude central protagonist, and, you guessed it, Reynolds is a perfect cast. He is truly an uncanny representation of this maniacal, eccentric human being. In fact, he is so chipper in this rolewhich features an endless array of explicit and derogatory languagethat any future return to the romantic comedy variety for this leading actor may be in jeopardy. (Needless to say, I'm sure that most audiences will forgive any occupational collateral damage that results from this production.)

    When it comes to Reynolds' performance here, it's not so much about technique or method as much as it is about destiny. Clearly, Reynolds was born to personate this rather sardonic individual, and it would be relatively impossible not to notice a sense of relishing after every spoken line. (What performer wouldn't kill for a portrayal infused with this copious amount of range and freedom?) Throw in a bit part played by the always amusing T.J. Miller (a small-time actor who is made for comedic relief) and a supporting role filled nicely by Hollywood newcomer Morena Baccarin, and you pretty much have a cast that is built for box-office success.

    Now, I could discuss the picture's boorish dialogue and over-the-top graphic violence at some length (I dare not mention the specifics, yet this is obviously not a film intended for a younger viewing audience); however, much to my surprise, it is not this irrefutable display of indecency that defines "Deadpool" but its cinematic and technical uniqueness.

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    Director Tim Miller (in what is arguably the most scandalous directorial debut since Quentin Tarantino's sordid first effort entitled "Reservoir Dogs") instills the picture with such style that it almost becomes an ingenious work of art. There is an acceptable portion of tonal irony, several "breaking of the fourth wall" moments that never fail to rouse excitement, and in some stretches, the film simply becomes a pragmatic yet riveting digital camera display.

    Even the script, penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick ("Zombieland" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"), adheres to this somewhat intelligent and sophisticated air, structurally speaking. (A bulk of the dialogue seems to comment directly on the current state of affairs; this exercise in metafiction not only supplies the picture with this rich sense of refinement, but it essentially adds an extra layer of depth to what can already be considered a cinematically compelling piece.) As for the film's intellectually undemanding humor: I even found myself chuckling at a number of twenty-first-century witticisms that appear to be incredibly sincere, among other things.

    And what about that ever-important plotline? You know, the aspect of the story that really determines a film's direction. Mostly, "Deadpool" doesn't overly focus on its plot, and it basically becomes an engrossing, intimate character study that shocks as it delights. (The film's non-linear structure melds action with exposition to produce an entertaining and gripping experience, and, well, it succeeds invariably.)

    Which reminds me: I think my previous statement, which commented on this particular product's sorting, needs to be rescinded; for, "Deadpool" should never be aligned with the superhero class of filmmaking. If anything, this film builds on what is now becoming a highly profitable breed of its own in Hollywoodthat being, the anti-hero genre. Of course, one could make the argument that these types of movies have been around for years, but there is very little evidence to suggest that it ever evolved into a full-blown model. (I mean, even Oskar Schindler comes off as an antihero in some capacity, yet these spirited personalities have never been more prevalent.)

    Here is a movie that's certainly more engaging than "Guardians of the Galaxy," the latter of which being the kick starter of this recent industry trend, and I believe it sets the bar perfectly for this year's upcoming "Suicide Squad." Most importantly, however, "Deadpool" seems to be the kind of picture that gives us good reason not to take it seriously. (This is something that most superhero films direly lack.) Let's face it, our society has become all too politically correct, and this unfiltered, almost Trumpian disposition provides us with a much-needed dose of reality. Hollywood needs "Deadpool."

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