Deadpool: Foul-mouthed. Gore-fest. Arguably the funniest superhero movie ever
Remember how badly they screwed up Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine? With Ryan Reynolds, who was pretty much a whir of blades throughout? With his mouth sewn shut (oh, the blasphemy)?
And do you recall the other time he starred in his own superhero film - 2011's Green Lantern? That didn't work out too well either.
But this time, he's finally back as Deadpool to entertain us in all his unique, abusive, foul-mouthed glory.
Reynolds looks far more comfortable playing Deadpool than he ever did Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. After all, one his best on-screen personas ever was Van Wilder, who was a smart-ass, college party god.
Just like Van Wilder, Deadpool - ne Wade Wilson - isn't trying to be anyone's hero.
It's the perfect role for him.Goodbye tired superhero cliches
It's hard to imagine anyone not really liking this film, especially in the face of Reynolds' performance.
For established fans he embodies the role of Deadpool completely - and that's because true to the comics, Deadpool is also a serial roaster of other Marvel-based mutant universe franchise films.
That pretty much makes this film fall into the category of meta fan service, with his constant quips about Wolverine (with his Australian accent) and a lousy Green Lantern.
It's this of self-referencing is one of the hallmarks of Deadpool, the fourth wall breaker who's aware that he's in a comic and speaks to the readers - starting with the opening credits themselves, which replace the names of the cast and crew with stuff like 'A British Villain', 'A Hot Chick' and 'The Asshats'.
Throughout, Deadpool is aware of film tropes in general, asking a female criminal he's fighting whether it's more feminist to hit her or not hit her, because he's not sure. He wonders aloud whether he only ever sees two of the X-Men because "the studio couldn't afford another".
He even asks whether Professor X is currently Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy because the timelines are "goddamn" confusing.
And it kinda reminds you of the early days when the official Marvel Cinematic Universe was just being born (remember the first Iron man?), before you started going through the motions and became bored with the tropes because, well, they were now tropes.
And suddenly, less than two minutes after the movie begins, you remember that this used to be fun and exciting. and that sex can sometimes be on top of Thanksgiving dinner and rubbing mashed potato over your lover's face (that isn't made up, that's actually a scene in the film).
Deadpool is that massively different to anything else Marvel has produced in recent memory.
Oh, and he (of the severe cosmetic disfigurements) isn't afraid of spilling blood. Be it someone else's, or his own.
Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the guys behind Zombieland (another film that broke ground in a tired genre), offer a simple revenge story so full of snark and wisecracking assholery to make Deadpool's character instantly loveable.
Newbie director Tim Miller knows how to make this all work too and does a masterful job at making sure the backstory doesn't get in the way of the violence and the comedy.
Because really, that's what we came for.
Yep, Deadpool is a superhero movie. It's an action movie. But first and foremost, Deadpool is a comedy.
And because of that, the character could so easily have hit one note. But instead we get Wade Wilson, the man who can't die, who cries and pines, but also screeches "What the shit!" a lot.
Here's a brief history of Deadpool: ex-special forces Wade Wilson falls in wild, wild love with a stripper with a heart of gold - Vanessa (Firefly's Morena Baccarin) - only to find he has terminal cancer.
Then a shady military-industrial plot point (well, Evil Ajax played by Ed Skrein) cures him (his job is to make super slaves), in the process giving him amazing regenerative powers and horrible disfigurement.
Now he puts on a red and black suit and kills people. A lot of people.
By the time you're all caught up with the backstory, it's nearly time for the big showdown.
Which is comparatively small compared to other Marvel blockbusters - it involves just five mutants, namely Deadpool's sidekicks, the CGI Hulk-like Colossus, a deadpan Negasonic Teenage Warhead; Ajax and sidekick Angel - played to ball-crushing badassery by former MMA fighter Gina Carano.
TJ Miller also shows his chops as a comedian playing Deadpool's best friend Weasel, mocking the villains' monochrome outfits and telling them "Enjoy your midnight showing of Blade 2!".
And, bonus, this is a film where all the female characters rock.
From Vanessa to Negasonic Teenage Warhead to Angel, none take the crap handed to them sitting down. Neither do they curl up into balls waiting to be saved.The verdict
It's gratuitously violent. It's puerile, crass, meta and it goes to the ends of the earth to earn that R rating.
In short, it's everything Deadpool should be.
RATING: 4 out of 5