Reynolds & Baccarin Rubbed My Funny-Heart-Bone in the solid “DEADPOOL” Reynolds & Baccarin Rubbed My Funny-Heart-Bone in the solid “DEADPOOL”
Is "Deadpool" a worthy Valentine's Day movie? Kenchun says "Yes!". Reynolds & Baccarin Rubbed My Funny-Heart-Bone in the solid “DEADPOOL”

Director: Tim Miller

Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds

Composer: Tom “Junkie XL” Holkenborg

Cinematography: Ken Seng

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Jed Rees

Running Time: 108 minutes

 

Growing up in Seattle I visited my neighbors to the north quite often. Those that leave their doors unlocked, and have been the home to production for the adventures of Mulder & Scully. As Vancouver was just a ferry ride and a couple podcast hours away from fries, cheese curds, gravy… and the Expo ’86 “Baby Epcot” building. As a fan of many things Canadian, I would list Ryan Reynolds in my Top 50 Favorite things from Canada. Somewhere within the lovely comfort food dish known as poutine (numero uno), ice hockey, Terrance & Phillip, about 25 Canadian actress beauties, along with John Candy, Jim Carrey, Micheal J. Fox, Ramis & Moranis, TKITH, SCTV, Trailer Park Boys etc etc…

 

Deadpool Baby Epcot

There’s Expo ’86s “Baby Epcot” in the background. Perhaps fresh poutine is being served inside the globe by some of the aforementioned Canadian beauties? Oops, back to thoughts on the movie…

 

Ryan Reynolds has always been a hit with the ladies, gay men, and men secure with their “man-crushulinity” too perhaps. Not so much with his attempts at super hero film stardom. But as a fan of Van Wilder, Just Friends, Waiting, Smoking Aces and The Nines, I’ve always liked Ryan’s schtick, and his acting too. So I was rooting success for him this go round. Welp, third times the charm as they say, as his long in development passion project – shot in Reynolds’ hometown Vancouver no less – finally makes it’s debut. At roughly an hour and forty plus minutes, the simple, sarcastic revenge tale Deadpool hit just the right spots of heart, juvenile “self aware-verything” comedy, and bloody hard R action. Especially after a month or so of dramatic Oscar fare catch up movie going, this flick came along at the right time for me.

Being a non-comic book aficionado, my only knowledge of the Wade Wilson/Deadpool character is whatever that was on-screen in 2009’s Wolverine: X-Men Origins (where his turn as Hannibal King in Blade Trinity some years prior was more akin to Deadpool than Fox’s “Merc With a Sewn Shut Mouth” iteration apparently). That, and an old video game called Marvel Ultimate Alliance, where I found myself selecting the Deadpool character often to play with mainly for two reasons…

 

Deadpool Dual Katana Art

1.) Deadpool’s outfit, gear, hero costume…

 

deadpool-wade_00351866

…I really dig the crimson & black color scheme, sort of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Spidey mashup with “white comic book mask” eyes. Love those.

 

Deadpool Dual Wield

2.) Deadpool’s applied use of the old “John Woo Two” weapon format, two guns & two katana are always good in my book.

 

…so other than those two things, I’m a noob when it comes to Wade “Deadpool” Wilson. Let’s meet him shall we.

Ex-Special Forces operator turned mercenary for hire Wade Wilson is taking life day by day. Avenging teen girls with stalker problems, starting bar fights with blowjob shots, and trying to find his next paying gig. One evening after a job, he meets the “computer created girl of his dreams” in escort Vanessa Carlyle at his local drinking hangout. They find love over their relative rough childhoods, skee-ball, Voltron, and copious amounts of healthy “honeymoon part of a budding relationship” sex. During their blossoming relationship, Wade gets diagnosed with terminal cancer (bummer, as Baccarin is so darn attractive in this flick, no computers needed). Enter a shady man-in-black that offers a possible cure for what ails him, in return he wants to use Wilson’s cancer ridden body as a Petri dish for some hush hush Frankenstuff. Shit goes bad, Wade’s mutation is unlocked, with said mutant ability basically being immortality. But the trade off is he suffers a lifetimes worth of poking and prodding torture in a few months, and the bonus prize is his entire epidermal surface is now more akin to Freddy Krueger instead of Ryan Reynolds…and let the Wade Wilson revenge tour commence.

 

Wade Wislon Post Surgery

“Hi, I’d like a lifetime supply of Pro-Activ please.”

 

With this familiar set-up, the movie falls squarely on the shoulders of Reynolds, and he relishes every opportunity to do what he does best, carrying the movie with all he’s got, doing a fine job all throughout. What Deadpool lacks in complexity, director Tim Miller with his leads Reynolds and Baccarin make up for in the committed execution of the movie’s tone, attitude, and great chemistry. Fleshing out this adorable “hard knock life” pair to root for. With Firefly alumnus Morena Baccarin playing opposite Reynolds, giving the film its heart amidst all the f-bomb dropping, sliced human head kicked like a soccer ball- levity. I was very happy to see Baccarin on the big screen, even if she’s playing a hooker with a heart of gold again (with perhaps kinkier tastes than her Firefly character). I wanted to see more of her, as their courtship of each other, their “meet & sleep” cute worked really well for me.

The baddie Ajax’ (played vanilla fine by Ed Skrein) motivations for being a crux to Wade is aptly silly, like the movie. Since he essentially creates the “Merc With A Mouth”, after Wade figures out Ajax’ real birth name and teases him endlessly on said name as Ajax dials the torture up to “11”. That’s it, easy silly peasy. T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) brings the laughs as well as Weasel, Wilson’s bartender buddy at the “Saint Margaret Home For Wayward Girls”.  A front for a mercenary bar slash networking hangout spot for hired guns. Miller and Reynolds bounce off each other with improv riff fests, trying to come up with deleted scene or final cut zingers and vigilante name ideas. All while a sort of “non-Singer” version of X-Men team member Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic, mocap acted by Greg LaSalle) and his young  X-Men trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead, join along as sort of a partner/foil to Deadpool’s vengeance tour. With Colossus trying to convince the potty mouthed ‘Pool that he needs to embrace his heroic self… and stop swearing too.

 

Deadpool Colossus NTWarhead

The odd trio of ‘Pool, Colossus, and NTW (played by Brianna Hildebrand) made for some of the funniest, crowd pleasing scenes.

 

As I mentioned earlier, this film’s universe and execution is small and simple. An opening scene, an interspersed flashback, and a third act finisher (or second scene if you will). A comic book origin story all shared from the view of the titular character, in the exact way how Wade/’Pool would tell his own story. As he narrates and rewinds/fast forwards VHS style for the audience on how this long awaited Christmas Day of revenge came to be.

Even when the movie holds back getting too sappy for a quip (via dialogue, a soundtrack choice, or visual gag), this softy still found himself caring about Wade & Vanessa. Even if Reynolds, Tim Miller, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick may have wanted me to to just laugh along, perhaps saving the serious for another Oscar-nom flick I haven’t seen yet.

Overall, I’d say Deadpool is probably the best “rom-com” released on this, or any other previous Valentines weekend I can remember. And probably the best comedy flick I’ve seen since 2015’s What We Do In The Shadows. Even though the scattershot quips, jokes, snarks and visual gags zing so fast (with a high rate of fire like Mr. Pool’s duel wielded guns), what might work for some, may not work for others. Jabs at past comic book movies from Fox Studios,  ’80s & ’90s film/TV/music references, dick jokes, Reynolds poking fun at his own career. Judging by the mixed aged audience I saw it with – young folk, older folk, couples and probably some Deadpool die hards – there seemed to be a little something for everybody. As the theater was guffawing a few times over a string of jokes, missing a few in the process, sometimes in unison (and sometimes not), making Deadpool a multi generational laugh-along if you will.

With the R-rated action, gore, the physical raunchy comedy, gallows & meta humor being the clear sort of “risky” strength of what Fox allowed Tim Miller, the writers, Reynolds and his co-stars to focus their creative efforts on, that risk for Fox Studios paid off it seems. As last I checked, Deadpool is breaking February box office release records set by last years Valentines weekend juggernaut 50 Shades of Grey. “Cha-ching-michanga!” indeed.

From the opening credits until the final post credits scene, Deadpool entertained me more than I thought it would, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Wade Wilson & Friends back on the big screen in some form or fashion (along with more low/mid budget flicks like this and 2012’s Dredd/2014’s John Wick). As they too can have a seat at the table, satisfying my tastes just as well as some of the $200 million plus heavy hitters of this zeitgeist genre.

 

Deadpool is now playing at a theater near you.

 

Now off to find my Chicago Greatest Hits album…

 

 

 

Author Image

Ken "kenchun24" Tomsyck

"My name is Ken and I bet you didn't know this - I'm Hawaiian, Chinese, German, French Ca-na-dian, and Polish!" I love my family, friends, food, film, and football (both versions).

  • CoolHandJuke

    the voices was a decent flick. nothing i’d watch again. but it made that hipster chick who’s everywhere now a little bangable…

  • Dee

    Kendrick?

  • I_am_better

    Keeps getting great reviews. I’m gonna see this in a week.

  • Sagamanus

    Colossus makes this worth seeing alone. But I bet he’s hardly in it. I haven’t read the article yet to avoid spoilers.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Au contraire, mon frère. Colossus is in it quite a bit. As is the fetching Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

  • Stalkeye

    “I really dig the crimson & black color scheme, sort of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Spidey mashup with “white comic book mask” eyes. Love those.”

    Deadpool creator Rob Liefield sure has a knack for stealing other people’s designs that’s fosho! I’ll finish this article once I see the Movie presumably today. Great review for what little I have read.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/Tz13BBm.gif[/img]

  • Dee

    Good review, kenchun. I am torn about this kind of humour. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It did work in “Kick-Ass”.

  • franks_television

    Thanks for the review. I think I might like this. I like Deadpool because he makes fun of the Marvel Universe, which is really quite silly.

  • Toruk_Makto

    I just fell in love with James Gunn.

    “”The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.”

    That’s a quote from Deadline Hollywood, attributing it to a Hollywood “suit.” I love Deadline and get a lot of my film business news from them. And I love Deadpool even more – the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film – but COME THE FUCK ON. That’s no reason to rewrite history. This quote has to have been said by the dumbest fucking Hollywood exec in the history of dumb fucking Hollywood execs.

    Let’s ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down – God knows I’m biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the fuck was Ant-Man??!

    Come on, Deadline.

    After every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians. It “wasn’t afraid to be fun” or it “was colorful and funny” etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up “like Guardians,” and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh.

    Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

    Deadpool wasn’t that. Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.

    For the theatrical experience to survive, spectacle films need to expand their definition of what they can be. They need to be unique and true voices of the filmmakers behind them. They can’t just be copying what came before them.

    So, over the next few months, if you pay attention to the trades, you’ll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They’ll be green lighting films “like Deadpool” – but, by that, they won’t mean “good and original” but “a raunchy superhero film” or “it breaks the fourth wall.” They’ll treat you like you’re stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn’t do.

    But hopefully in the midst of all this there will be a studio or two that will take the right lesson from this – like Fox did with Guardians by green-lighting Deadpool – and say – “Boy, maybe we can give them something they don’t already have.”

    And that’s who is going to succeed.

    Have a great day.”

  • Tarmac492.1

    Anna Kendrick is creepier than a tarantula with ernest borgnines face.

  • Dee

    that’s poetry

  • Stalkeye

    Morena is sooo hawt!!!

  • Kylo-Kenchun24

    I know right! Hope to see more of her on the big screen (Deadpool stuff or otherwise).

  • Tim R.R. Something

    Just saw it. Really fun.

  • Bop

    Cool article, Kenchun. I just finished the movie.

  • Bop

    Colossus is enough in it. Motherfucker was really funny.

  • Bop

    Very hawt. Not to mention Firefly too.

  • Zed

    She was the prettiest lady on a show full of pretty ladies.

  • Zed

    In the movie he even makes fun of how Fox has handled the X-Men franchise. It’s a real hoot.

  • Zed

    Mr. Gunn speaks truth. Deadpool turned out pretty great, and the suits have no idea why.

  • Stalkeye

    X-cellent review Ken! I have written a rough draft after seeing the film on Monday but I kinda left it on the backburner for now. You should write more articles but I know you’re quite the busy guy.

  • Stalkeye

    And what did you think about it?

  • Stalkeye

    <—-Never saw Firefly but I know she's on GOTHAM.

  • Stalkeye

    Voices proved that Reynolds is not as bad an actor many are quick to assume. He just kept getting shitty roles! *Cough*BladeTrinity*Cough*GreenLantern*Cough*

  • CoolHandJuke

    i’d say Buried proved that. wasn’t too impressed with his performance in Voices. maybe i was distracted by the British chick with the rack there…

  • Stalkeye

    maybe i was distracted by the British chick with the rack there…”
    Jeez, you are 5x worse than me. At least I paid enough attention to appreciate Reynolds’ solid acting. Then again, I was with the missus. XD

  • Frimmel

    I had a couple of problems with the film. First off I saw about half the jokes coming/knew the punchline already. So while I did laugh it was often at times when I was the only one doing so. As I’ve noted on more than one occasion I have “issues” with the shaky-cam style.

    While it didn’t muck up the action (which was top-notch and bloody as far as this stuff goes these days) it did muck up the tone of the film. If the movie is going to have a proscenium that the character breaks it needs to keep that proscenium. The shifting between locked down camera where Deadpool literally turns to the audience and speaks with them and the “reality-show” shaky-cam stuff where he’s making the same sort of quips and the voice-over narration kept me on a bit of a yo-yo (you’re outside watching, you’re inside with the characters, you’re outside watching) especially when combined with how often I’d see the jokes and gags coming.

    The color saturation of the movie and grain/texture also seemed all over the place.

    I enjoyed the straight-forward get revenge, get the girl tale and particularly enjoyed Morena and there are some funny bits in this but they kept bouncing me right out of really getting invested.

  • Stalkeye

    Annnnnnnnd, here’s our dear friend, Dan’s take on DP!

  • Stalkeye

    That’s the payoff!!

  • Toruk_Makto

    “the suits have no idea why”

    They really, really don’t. They just quoted one anonymous suit from a competing studio who said: ‘“They did everything wrong and it turned out right.”

    I was never a huge Deadpool reader back when I was into comics but I knew the character was pretty damn popular.

    – So you have a popular character that’s been around for 26 yrs

    – You have a charismatic movie star who is championing and marketing the production of the film for at least a decade.

    – You create an entertaining movie that is startling accurate to the source material.

    Uh Oh…why is this popular?!?! I have no idea!!

  • Bop

    Don’t watch Gotham. Don’t have the patience for it.

    Firefly was underrated and Baccarin was definitely one of my favorite characters there, just like Fillion who is severely underrated.

  • Bop

    Reynolds did an awesome job, but I knew he would. Laughed my ass off with Colossus. Personally the origin could have been much shorter. no Taskmaster is a minus, but I found out that when filming started for Deadpool the rights for Taskmaster had already been given back to Marvel. Missed opportunity for a Taskmaster franchise, Fox. Bloody morons.

    Definitely looking forward to a Deadpool sequel.

  • Stalkeye

    Look at it this way, the Taskmaster might make his way in the next Cap or Avengers film. I heard the female version was in the MAX comics.