Deadpool

February 16, 2016 at 9:56 am | Posted in 2016 | Leave a comment
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◊ ◊ ◊ ½

From the opening credits, you know this is no Christopher Reeves movie and superheroes have come a long way, baby. Even our icons of idealized heroism now reflect how jaded we have become. They also reflect how self-aware we are in the internet age; we now live our lives as though we were actors performing for a perpetual audience (and, indeed, many of us are). And “Deadpool” is the perfect barometer of all of that. Hedonistic, cynical, casually violent and utterly self-involved, Deadpool is the hero we seem to want. We don’t trust “good guys” because we suspect they are all hiding something; we now trust those who are crass, unfiltered and without nuance and, hence, “Deadpool” has become the highest grossing February movie of all time. Ryan Reynolds (“Green Lantern,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) is perfectly cast as the titular hero/mass murderer. He has shown an ability to play nuanced characters (“Adventureland”) but is really at home being the smart-ass and this films rests entirely on that performance. With the exception of a delightful Leslie Uggams as his blind, coke-addicted roommate, nobody else plays any character of any real consequence. Morena Baccarin (TV’s “Homeland” and “Gotham”) plays the tough as nails girlfriend but that role could have gone to anyone, as could every other role. The film works because of Reynolds and the razor sharp dialogue. True to the comic, Deadpool continually breaks the 4th wall, talking to the audience with snarky, clever asides, during which he references everything from other comic characters, Reynolds’s other films, current events, popular actors, and the list goes on. Many of these jokes land squarely with an audience that’s in-the-know, though so many come flying at you that you’re likely to miss some (yes, that was a reference to Jared from Subway). To that end, the film does exactly what it is trying to achieve: it is riotously funny, clever, shocking, cartoonishly violent and stuffed with a surprising number of masturbation jokes. If that is your type of movie, you will love it. If not, then you won’t.

 

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