After previous attempts to embody a comic-book character – like DC’s ill-fated “Green Lantern” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” – Ryan Reynolds scores with brash, brazen military mercenary Wade Wilson, who falls wildly in love with a bitter, wise-cracking hooker named Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). Read on…
Their short-lived romantic tryst is rudely interrupted when Wade is diagnosed with late-stage, incurable cancer and then tricked by sadistic scientist Ajax (Ed Skrien) into a painful transformation (via injected mutant genes) to become the facially disfigured yet indestructible anti-hero Deadpool, dressed in form-fitting red-and-black spandex with white fabric covering his eyes.
With the help of his bartender buddy (T.J. Miller) at a dive called Sister Margaret’s Home for Wayward Girls and encouragement by his blind landlady (Leslie Uggams), Deadpool is determined to wreak revenge.
Working from a long-gestating, slyly sardonic screenplay by Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”), it’s irreverently directed by Tim Miller, whose creative background is in commercials and visual effects. He opens the film with cheeky, self-conscious credits and breaks the fourth wall by having cynical Deadpool talk directly to the audience.
Trying to cajole him to join their mutant clan, two of Marvel’s X-Men – towering CGI-created Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and sullen Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) – show up because, as Deadpool notes, that’s all the studio could afford. Except, of course, for Marvel’s Stan Lee, whose cameo actually gets a laugh.
The R-rating emanates from raunchy language, lewd nudity and a ludicrous plethora of bone-crunching comic-book violence.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Deadpool” is a scornful, satirical, surprisingly snarky 7 – with two, teasing post-credit sequences.