Deadpool, film review: ‘Sassy, smart and sadistic’

PUBLISHED: 17:26 11 February 2016

Deadpool. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Deadpool. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Archant

Its decision to break the fourth wall could backfire, but Marvel’s latest is a welcome apology for 2015’s awful Fantastic Four, says Michael Joyce.

Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano and Brianna Hildebrand
Film Length: 108 mins

The notion that Nobody Loves a Smart Arse is one that is disproved by popular culture on a daily basis. Audiences consistently respond to the presenter/ protagonist who is the smartest person in the room and isn’t shy of showing it. Nowhere is smartarsery more loved than in the Wonderful World of Marvel where almost every superpower acquisition comes with a complimentary mastery of the cutting putdown. Deadpool, our masked, red-suited Marvel super anti hero/ anti superhero has more deadpan wisecracks than a trilogy of Avengers movies, and a sensibility that is darker than anything else in spandex. When he hooks up with the love interest (Baccarin) their courtship is a variation of Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch as they try to outdo each other with tales of their abusive childhoods. It’s also about a third of the size of most superhero films: nihilist self-ware masked mutant assassins being a chancy box office proposition.

It is alright to be sassy, sarky and sadistic, but Deadpool is also meta and audiences quickly become wary when someone breaks the fourth wall. Deadpool is something in the infinitely convoluted X-Men universe and at one point, while pondering meeting up with Professor X, he wonders whether it will be James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart. It’s one thing having Ferris Bueller talk directly to camera, but anything more than that and audiences can really turn on you. I can remember the great Fourth Wall Breaks of the early ‘90s when Arnie and Bruce tried to play self-aware, clever-clever games in big budget entertainments Last Action Hero and Hudson Hawk and were brutally slapped down by the paying public.

Deadpool is frantically, almost desperately inventive. It has more big laughs than most comedies I can remember from last year but it could perhaps have done with some variation – every quip and sight gap is in that same tone. If Fox intend it as an apology for last year’s botched Fantastic Four movie, then consider it accepted. Afterwards though I heard it compared to Kick Ass and that’s not a comparison it can live with: it’s dark, but in a flip way. It skims lightly over its dark mirror.

For longer reviews and a look at Zoolander 2 and Mickey Rourke in the blu ray release of Wild Orchid, go to halfmanhalfcritic.weebly.com

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

18:31

The Ham & High have teamed up with the Arsenal to offer a lucky reader a pair of VIP tickets to the first day of the tournament, in Club Level at Emirates Stadium.

18:31

Two moped muggers described by a judge as “personal crime waves” have been sentenced to more than three years detention.

Neighbours in Primrose Hill are urging people to oppose plans for a new “mega basement”, at the former home of Hollywood stars Aaron and Sam Taylor-Johnson.

17:30

Women’s team beaten by eventual champions in semi-finals

16:51

East Finchley schoolchildren descended on Whitehall to protest against their loss of access to libraries in Barnet borough.

13:15

A jealous Hornsey man has been jailed for six years for beating his partner with a ceramic frying pan – because she sent a text message.

Pre-season friendly: A.S. Roma 3 Tottenham Hotspur 2

16:00

Home of the French poets and lovers who inspired Leonardo di Caprio and Bob Dylan singled out to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now