“An irreverent and gleeful romp”

by Dan Kern

I had the pleasure of a very nice conversation with Academy Award winner, and pioneer in Facial Motion Capture technology, Mr. Greg LaSalle, who is credited as the “MOVA Artist for Colossus.” He gave very positive and enlightening insight in response to some of my tougher questions. But for now, you’ll have to make do with the review until the embargo is lifted on the 12th of February. That’s when you can get into the juicy stuff! Watch this space.

There were a few things I knew going into the film: 1. This was the first feature film for Director Tim Miller (who we will be seeing again very soon. He did a great job), and 2. That this was something of a passion project for the star, Ryan Reynolds, who is also a producer on the film. I was rooting for Reynolds going in, and I was very nervous for him, as I imagine most viewers will be, because his star turn in Green Lantern was so poorly received.

Not to worry, True Believers. Reynolds is spot-on as the Merc with the Mouth, and the film takes brazen shots at the Green Lantern film, the previous incarnation of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and at anyone else who happens to get caught in the crossfire.

Directed by
Tim Miller
Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller
Release Date
12 February 2016
Dan’s Grade: B

The film is gratuitous and juvenile, and the audience that I saw the movie with loved it. I’ve read the character, but he’s not a personal favorite, so I was able to stay pretty objective. What I saw was fanboys eating up every frame, and people who had no experience with the character at all saying that they really enjoyed the movie, and that Reynolds did a great job. If you have any interest in seeing this film, you should go. It does not disappoint.

There are funny jokes and really complicated action sequences everywhere in this film that are ultraviolent. Lots of laughs and “Wow” moments. What really makes the film work, though, is that the cast is very funny. Morena Baccarin (Gotham, Firefly) is very sexy and funny as Reynold’s love interest. Ed Skrein is a rare villain. His look is almost too normal, but he is very evil, and a tough foil to the anti-hero. T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) is very funny, and perhaps should have had more screen time. Leslie Uggams’ turn was memorable, but the jokes at her character’s expense were probably some of the only ones which didn’t land as well as they could have. I really hope we get to see more of Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teen Warhead in the mainstream X-Men films. She’s great, and her character is very funny. I would like to see Gina Carano again in a movie. She was only okay as an evil henchman, but she was fantastic in her climactic fight scene with the 100% CGI Colossus. It was some of the most awe inspiring filmmaking that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how she managed to do all of that fighting with an opponent who wasn’t there.

That’s right. The entirely CGI Colossus can do everything a flesh and blood actor can do and then some. I never once had the Jar-Jar Binks feeling that the graphics didn’t belong in the film. His big fight scene with Gina Carano feels like a real fight scene between two action actors, and Colossus walks talks and emotes as much or more than Reynolds because Reynolds’ face is often obscured by Deadpool’s full mask.

Deadpool is very true to the comic book version of not just the characters, but also of the tone and look of the Liefeld comics. Let’s hope that writers, directors and studios all take note that the final product is always better when the adaptation is made with a passion for the source work. Deadpool is a real success in this regard, and in its other goal: It is an irreverent and gleeful romp at the movies.

(Screened Los Angeles, February 8)