Friday, 8 April 2016

Deadpool (2016)

It seems a certain Ryan Reynolds entire career has been leading to this one moment. Who else could play a superhero character in a badly received movie, where said character was completely panned for the overall portrayal, only then to be cast again as the same character in a somewhat undeniably risky reboot...of sorts. The next question is could he do the same thing again with another Green based superhero character?? Anyway it seemed Reynolds and co were not ready to give up on old Deadpool, they weren't gonna go down without a fight...and possible second mauling in another iffy superhero flick, which was entirely possible. So some test footage was made, footage that did look more in-line with the original source material and ultimate vision, it was 'accidentally' leaked online by persons unknown (Reynolds), fan reaction was positive and thus we have another comicbook flick (an R/18 rated one).

The plot is your standard comicbook affair really. Wade Wilson is a merc with an attitude, he's a mouthy git and a bit of an anti-hero essentially. He meets a girl at the local escort/stripper bar/club type place and they fall in love. Everything is going swimmingly until Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer, but luckily there is some shady government type that offers Wilson a chance to be cured through some dodgy, top secret experiments. Normally most folk would be like...dodgy top secret government experiments you say?, I'll pass but thanks for asking. Alas Wilson is gonna die from cancer soon so what the hell right. The experiment in question is a process to try and awaken latent mutant genes within the body, something that is done by torture basically, which seemed weird to me. I mean, does every human have these latent mutant genes? does this mean technically anyone can be transformed into a super powered human through this process? I don't believe there was anything particularly special about Wilson originally so I guess anyone can be transformed as far as I can see. Anyway the process eventually works and triggers mutant genes which enables Wilson to heal super fast, this cures his cancer, or manages to stop it going further, but somehow deforms him badly at the same time, leaving him looking like a burn victim for no reason whatsoever. From here on Wilson wants revenge and a cure from the man who did this to him (Ajax) and thusly becomes the masked vigilante Deadpool.

This takes me to me first point and question, admitting right here that I'm not up on Deadpool lore. Why exactly does Wilson want to kill Ajax so much? I understand that Wilson did not expect to get badly disfigured in the experiment, so that's a bummer for him sure, and I understand that Wilson simply took a disliking to the guy, so bad first impressions, OK sure, but he still managed to save his life and give him what he ultimately wanted. So yes I can see why Wilson wants to get Ajax for the possible hinted cure, but end of the day, he did make him a superhero, he did technically cure his cancer, so that's somewhat good right...right?? This also leads me to something Ajax said which I didn't get, he mentions to Wilson that they actually create slaves for wealthy people, what exactly does he mean by this? is this a diehard comicbook thing I'm not getting? Who are these wealthy people? super villains? would that be why they need mutated super strong slaves?  Obviously that's another reason why Wilson wants revenge on Ajax because he was tricked, technically, but I'm just not sure what the trick was about.

Like many movies of this vain there are the usual things that are...kinda dumb. The fact that the main protagonist is invincible yet the bad guys keep on shooting at him, at what point do you realise it ain't doing shit. On a counter point, why does Deadpool run away from bullets when they don't really have any effects on him, I'm guessing because healing takes time, but still, he hides a lot when there appears to be no need. At the end when Ajax fights Deadpool, sure I know you gotta have this sequence for movie reasons but its just pointless, Ajax knows he can't really defeat the guy. This is always a problem with comicbook flicks, there are many characters that can't really be beaten so fighting amongst themselves feels aimless, its just there to look good. I also found it kinda weird how people don't think much of a bloke running around in that costume with guns and swords strapped to himself. That cab driver merely takes it all in his stride, oh there's some masked vigilante with a multitude of weapons on my back seat, just another day then.

On the plus side this movie is a fresh approach from the more formulaic superhero flicks of late, or ever even. By that I of course mean the outrageously, in your face, smartass humour which Deadpool is of course infamous for, and the unique fourth wall breaking. Now I'm not gonna say this movie was ball-bustingly hilarious or anything, but it certainly made you smile at times. Again the humour isn't exactly intelligent or witty, its more crude, crass and obviously caters for comicbook/movie nerds more than anything, some of it hit home nicely, some not so much. For example, when Deadpool mentions that Negasonic Teenage Warhead looks like Ripley from 'Alien 3', I kinda cringed a bit because its a very dated reference about females with shaven heads that everyone used back in the day. On the other hand I did smile at Wilson's mention of Basil Fawlty when taking the piss out of Ajax's British accent. Nothing outstandingly amusing but a nice little bit of pop culture that will have gone over many youngsters heads I'm sure. The fourth wall breaking I found unusual mainly because its not really been done before and I'm not used to this characters antics. I guess it sorta works, but at the same time it sorta doesn't. It took me outta the film I gotta be honest, if they include this in future X-Men movies or whatever then it might harm them, the seriousness aspect obviously.

As for the characters well again it nothing overly spectacular really, again being a diehard comicbook fan probably helps here. Ajax is just some muscly bloke who doesn't feel pain, his sidekick Angel Dust is just some super strong chick, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead sounds awesome but didn't really do that much in all fairness...accept exert big explosions of energy or whatever. I really liked the look of Colossus in this, he looked really badass, maybe overly badass, the fuck do you stop him badass, like...who would win in a fight between Hulk and Colossus type badass (probably Hulk?). I didn't like his cheesy, cliched last bit of dialog at the end either, mind you that whole scene with Deadpool mulling over whether to kill Ajax or not, was completely predictable and hamfisted. The only real issue I had here was the blatant lack of any other characters from the X-Men universe...or even some X-mansion students. Yes I know this was actually the quip of a verbal joke from Deadpool which was amusing, but it only tended to highlight why there genuinely wasn't any more characters. I mean they could of at least thrown some extras in the background as students for the X-mansion scenes surely, those sequences looked really cheap and sparse because of that. Maybe that was the aim for the point of the joke, I dunno but it looked weak. The quick quip from Deadpool in one of these scenes mentioning both actors that have played Professor X in other movies, was another example where I was taken out of the movie, clever but ultimately distracting.

It is nice to see a kickass violent action comicbook flick that's set within a more PG-13 universe (eventually), that hook most definitely works/worked. The violence itself was nothing original nor mind-blowing though, the usual CGI stuff, CGI blood and wounds, high-flying martial arts type tomfoolery, lots of faceless henchman cannon fodder types blah blah blah. The whole film looked a bit...plastic to me to be honest, a bit fake in general, Deadpool's CGI animated eyes also looked a bit cartoonish to me, if I dare say that. I also realise this film didn't have as bigger budget as other superhero flicks but this movie did tend to feel more cramped at times, more confined to a few scenes. The trailer featured a lot of highway action, and a lot of the movie certainly does spend time there (from a flashback perspective), similarly there is a lot of time spend on the finale sequence which seems to be based on one of those helicarriers from The Avengers movies. In the end, again I just can't go along with current hype as I simply didn't find this movie as good as it was cracked up to be. I think more practical action/violence based effects would have been better here (damn I miss big squelchy squibs), but that's just my personal preference. Again, I find myself saying its not a bad movie by any stretch, there are some solid moments, and more importantly it is pretty fresh, but its still no way as awesome as I was expecting.