Deadpool: Good addition to Marvel, far from perfect

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.11.22 PMVerdict: “Deadpool” isn’t extraordinarily funny, but it does get a few jokes right and comes across as an honest, “you get what you paid for” movie.

Grade: B-


Is “Deadpool” dead on the money? No. It is, however, one of Marvel’s most honest films. It is so honest, in fact, that the opening credits tell you everything a big hero film is. And, like it or not, “Deadpool” follows shamelessly all the cliches you just finished laughing about.

“Deadpool” is the story of Wade, a man who, after discovering he has a terminal cancer, accepts to enter an underground “treatment,” which will cure him, but also give him special powers. Things go wrong, and now Wade wants two things: kill the “doctor” who deformed his face and body and recover his girl.

All these plot elements are made fun of in the opening credits, which list, instead of actual names, “the hot chick,” ”a CGI character,” “the British villain” and other cliches. When the movie fails to debunk any of these cliches, a certain disappointment washes over you. Did we just laugh at ourselves, asking filmmakers to give us the exact same plot lines as in 2015, 2014, 2013, and so on? Or do we take it as a clever and honest sequence from Marvel?

Ryan Reynolds isn’t spectacular as Deadpool, but gets the job done. Even he is a victim of the film’s sense of self awareness, when he mentions his own name on screen as an actor getting roles more because of looks than actual acting.

While there may be some truth there, Reynolds is far from being a bad actor. Switching from humor to drama as he does in “Deadpool” isn’t easy. His conversation with the cab driver when he begins to tell us his history, is funny mainly because of the quick pace Reynolds imposes. It is not being dragged by needless drama at a moment we don’t even know him yet.

“Deadpool” doesn’t have the most original story, but it tries to bring us into it by using constant shifts between past and present. While these shifts aren’t anything new either, they at least show us a Marvel that’s trying to do things differently. It’s easy to guess the ending of the story, but the shifts somehow create a distraction, a guessing game of where we will go next. It’s also refreshing to see that this Marvel film relies much less in the spectacle of destruction and much more in developing the hero (or antihero) and his personality. It helps to keep the film fresh in the Marvel universe.

Even the love story here is a bit different. Literally cutting to the chase, it’s made up of a lot of sex. As the characters fall in love in the middle of all the sex, are we supposed to criticize them? Or are we just so adapted to the “conventional” Hollywood romance, that we are unable to accept any other form of love? While those answers may vary from person to person, and, even, from how many times you see the film, it may be better to ask if these scenes add anything to the story that partly justify the R rating.

“Deadpool” is, overall, a good addition to the cinematic universe from Marvel. While it isn’t great enough to instantly convert non-Marvel fans, it is by far the film from the studios that is the most conscious about its position in the fiction world. For not taking itself seriously, “Deadpool” is an enjoyable and fun experience for both those who enjoy all the hero tropes and also for those who aren’t fans of the genre.

A sequel is already in the works, and I see no problem in it continuing Deadpool’s role for a break in between the more serious Marvel films.