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Monday, February 22, 2016

Bad Hero

The long-awaited ‘Deadpool’ finally arrived in theaters to tickle our collective funny bones after over a decade in development. Considering that it grossed well over $200 million domestically and nearly hit $500 million internationally in just a little over a week, it's hard to believe that New Line Cinema put the troubled project on "turnaround" back in 2005 and leaving it to be picked up by 20th Century Fox, since they own the X-Men franchise.  We can hardly blame New Line for its ambivalence; R-rated comic book movies, be it ‘Kick‑Ass,’ ‘The Watchmen,’ ‘The Punisher’ or Judge ‘Dredd,’ either nosedived at the box office or earned no more than a cult following. Defying convention and all expectations, ‘Deadpool’ shattered this paradigm into a gazillion little bloody pieces and proved that R-rated superhero movies can match or even best their family-friendly big budget PG-13 counterparts.  A game changer?  We shall see.
 
As its snarky protagonist points out in 16th wall-breaking fashion, ‘Deadpool’ isn’t your typical tame been-there-done-that Disneyfied Marvel Universe Superhero Movie, though it oddly had a cartoon unicorn shooting rainbows somewhere in it.  It’s a darkly funny revenge action love story that isn’t afraid to make fun of itself.  From its opening credits, we’re told that its director (first-time helmer Tim Miller) is an “overpaid tool” and that the film features clichéd characters like “a moody teenager” (Brianna Hildebrand as the Sinead O’Connor-esque “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”) and the obligatory “British Villain” (Ed Skrein of ‘The Transporter: Refueled’).  It doesn’t matter that ‘Deadpool’ turned out to be little more than a slacker and ex-special forces jerk who takes particular pleasure in bullying others verbally (whether they deserved it or not) and physically (mostly those who deserved it unless it’s collateral damage), because Ryan Reynolds’ highly inappropriate and irreverent sexual innuendos, double entendres, snappy one-liners and overall lack of good upbringing had us at “hello,” even if he was turned into the leprotic Elephant Man by some d bag named Francis.
 
Effectively combining the wisecracking humor and levity of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman with the take-no-prisoners badass-itude of The Punisher, ‘Deadpool’ is hands-down (to the crotch) one of the best comic book adaptations of the last 10 (maybe even 20) years because it’s bold, unapologetically offensive and isn’t afraid to take risks when it comes to poking the inner cheeks of good taste and proper behavior.  The result (and proof) is in the pudding and no less than spectacular.  Edgy, entertaining and fun for the entire family (don't be a prude), ‘Deadpool’ is that peRfectly pitched R-rated “superhero” movie we’ve all been waiting for.
 
Grade: A+ 
 
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