Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool (R – 108 minutes)

In 1989, The Punisher was released.  Based on a fairly obscure (at the time) Marvel comics character and starring Dolph Lundgren with his hair dyed black, Louis Gossett Jr., and Jeroen Krabbe as the villain, the movie was …well … forgettable (the 2009 Thomas Jane version was better) - who knows how the Jon Bernthal version will be on the Daredevil show..that dude is intense enough already, and now they're letting him play the Punisher?

In 1998 Blade was released, an R-rated movie based on a Marvel comics character.  The movie was great, Wesley Snipes was born to play Blade, but the sequel by Guillermo del Toro was even better. Please give us a new one…please!

So, yes, there have been rated R movies based on Marvel characters released previously.  However, the Punisher is always more of an action/vengeance story, and Blade was a vampire movie – bordering on horror.  There has never really been an R-rated ‘superhero’ movie…even though Wolverine probably needs one to really show what Wolverine is all about.  The Disney-owned Marvel Film company owns some of the Marvel Characters, some are owned by Fox, and SpiderMan has been with Sony.  That’s why the current Marvel Cinematic universe is dealing with ‘inhumans’ rather than ‘mutants’.  Fox owns the word mutant. Yes, it’s that crazy.  In any case, Fox owns Mutants, X-Men, and Deadpool.  In 2009, Wolverine got his first spin-off movie, tracing the events that led up to his run-in with the X-Men in their first movie in 2000.  Yes, I know the timelines are confusing.  In that Wolverine movie, Wade Wilson was introduced.  He was a loudmouth mercenary who was entered into the Weapon X program, and became a version of Deadpool that was unrecognizable from the comics character. 

Ryan Reynolds did get to play him, and was equally as disappointed in the depiction of the character as all the fans were.  He basically then started fighting for a Deadpool standalone movie, and has finally won that fight. 

In terms of Marvel characters, most of the ones you are most familiar with from the movies are old characters, dating back to the 60s, and in Captain America’s case, the 40s.  In those terms, Deadpool is practically a baby, created in 1991.  Initially, he was created as a villain, but has since become an anti-hero, who occasionally does good things, but always for his own reasons. Wade Wilson is a disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary, with the superpower of accelerated healing.  He’s always been known as the “merc with a mouth” because of his very (very) talkative persona, and tendency to break the “fourth wall” and talk directly to the audience.  His completely off-the-wall persona quickly gained him a rabid fan base, and in a 2004 comic – he actually refers to his own appearance as “Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei”. 

In 2014, test footage of Deadpool, voiced by Reynolds, was leaked, and the fans loved it – and immediately clamoured for a movie, resulting in getting the full-length project greenlit much faster.  Reynolds has almost denied leaking the footage himself, stating that he’s 70% sure it wasn’t him.  Fast-forward to now and we finally have a full-length rated-R Deadpool movie.

The movie begins with a very tongue-in-cheek credits sequence (“Starring a hot chick – a british villain”, etc.) over the car crash sequence you’ve seen in the trailers.  Deadpool then walks us through his backstory through a series of flashbacks.  Basically – he’s a mercenary for hire who meets the love of his life, Vanessa, then gets aggressive cancer. In a desperate move to save himself, he makes the mistake of signing up with a shady organization run by ‘Ajax’ with assistance from the super-strong Angel Dust. They promise to cure him, but they weren’t completely up front with him, and instead of curing people, they’re forcing them to mutate.  Wilson gets cured, but ends up severely disfigured.  He’s convinced he can’t go back to his love with his new face, so he makes himself a fancy red outfit and starts tracking down Ajax to try to get his face fixed.  Along the way, he gets help from his pal Weasel, his blind roommate Al, and occasionally from X-men Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. 

It’s a really simple story when you break it down – he just wants his face fixed, and unlike other superhero movies – the earth is never in peril, and no villain is looking to kill/take over anything.  The spectacular part of the movie is in the near-flawless execution.  The action sequences are fantastic, the movie is fast-paced, and makes me really excited for whatever first time director Tim Miller is going to do next.  Which I surely hope is just more Deadpool.  The cast is just fabulous, and really help with elevating the material.

  • This is clearly the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play, it’s clear how much he loves this character and how happy he is to be in the movie.  The complete sarcastic, comic nature of Deadpool is really entertaining – and honestly, is something you’ve seen Reynolds do before, just not in this context.  The fourth-wall breaking is done just enough to be hilarious, but not get over-used or tired.  I can’t wait to see him continue to do this over and over again.

  • Ed Skrein plays aforementioned British villain Ajax.  This might be the first thing I’ve seen that uses him correctly. He was in the Transporter re-fueled, and just felt not-quite-right in that role.  Here he gets to be charming and vile at almost the same time and really is the perfect too-straight-laced-counterpart to Deadpool’s nonsense.

  • Colossus is all CGI, but the voice acting is done by Stefan Kapicic, and he’s really wonderfully square.  He continues to pester Deadpool to be more of a hero, and to step-up and possibly join the X-Men. 

  • Brianna Hildebrand plays Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and she’s absolutely perfect as Wade’s description of a teenage girl, giving “either sullen silence or saying something mean.”  Her power in the movie is different than her power in the comics, but honestly, the movie power seems to fit her name better. 

  • T. J. Miller plays Weasel and he’s just as hilarious as you expect T. J. Miller to be, but on a more low-key level than you might be expecting. He doesn’t have as much to do as he could, and while most of his lines seem to be improv, I could have used just a little more. Also – what’s up with his hair? There’s no need to do that to T.J.’s hair.

  • Morena Baccarin plays ex-prostitute (or perhaps current prostitute?) Vanessa.  She and Wade hit it off almost immediately, realizing they are both screwed up and loving each other anyway. She’s a pretty fun character who, even when captured, manages to not be too much of a damsel in distress.

  • MMA Star Gina Carano plays Angel Dust, and honestly, looks like the super-strength has always been there.  She seems way more at ease in this movie than she has in previous movies.  I’m happy that Colossus saved her at the end, so she’ll probably get to be back in the next one.  Her fight scene with him was just fantastic, by the way.  Incidentally, if you haven’t seen Haywire – Netflix that now.

Like I said, the cast seems to be super happy to be in this, and it shows – the movie is so much fun, so entertaining, and really enjoyable.  I will mention – there were kids in my showing – this movie is a hard R.  I mean it – I get that it’s a Marvel comic character, and if you’re not paying attention, maybe you think it’s okay for kids, but there’s a high level of gore, violence, and cursing, and even if you think that’s okay for your kid (sorry your kid’s so messed up), the high level of sex and nudity probably is not.  Unless you don’t have an issue explaining to your 6 year old how Deadpool’s lady is enjoying him with a strap-on.

9 out of 10 – almost flawless.  Removing 1 point for T.J.’s hair, and for no Wolverine cameo, but hoping that will be in the sequel.

Bonus SDCC 2015 panel:

And this bit of fantastic:

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