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Hello MoFo’s! Once again it is time for another installment of At the Theater with The Gunslinger 45. I saw this movie on Friday but due to occupational responsibilities, this review is a little late. I have been looking forward to this movie for a while. As a guy who has more than his fair share of geeky knowledge, my favorite character in all comics is Deadpool. Don’t know who he is? Let me explain him the best I can. To describe Deadpool I think of him as a combo of 4 different heroes.

The first two are Punisher and Wolverine.

Deadpool is like Wolverine because both were projects by the Weapon X program, both have incredible healing factors, and both have a pension for stabby cutty kinds of weapons. Wolverine has his adamantium claws; and Deadpool slices and dices with his trademarked Katanas. Deadpool is also a lot like the Punisher since he an antihero, has no problem killing people, is a former military man, has tons of guns, knows how to use them, and is definitely a much more “greyer” kind of hero morality wise.

Next up he is kind of like Spider-Man.

Deadpool is very acrobatic is his combat. He jumps around a lot, does incredible feats of agility, and like Spider-Man; is very quick with the quips. Hence why he is called “the Merc with a Mouth.”

Finally, he is has just a little pinch of someone NOT in the Marvel Comic Book Universe…

That’s right, Freakazoid! A cartoon produced by Steven Spielberg. Freakazoid was a cartoon superhero who was cognizant of the fact that he was a character on a TV show. He broke the fourth wall for comedic effect and he was out of his mind. Deadpool is a character much in the same vein. Only Deadpool is not family friendly.

So naturally I wanted to see this movie. Not to say that this was always the case (when the green light was given I heard it would be PG-13). But then I heard it got the hard R rating, and I was excited again. This made my anticipation heighten even more considering the history this film had. This was a movie long overdue and in production hell for a while. The film had been an idea since 2004 when the rights were owned by New Line Cinema. And even then Ryan Reynolds was still the first choice to play the Merc with a Mouth. Fast forward to 2009: I was sitting in the theater to a little movie called X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was the origin story of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine who was a big hit at the box office with the X-Men movies. And in a supporting role was Ryan Reynolds as the ex-Special Forces Canadian mercenary code named Deadpool. Spoilers, it was a piece of s**t. But I came out of the movie thinking one thing: Ryan Reynolds was great in the first 10 minutes of the movie. Sure they ****ed up the character in the last 15 minutes or so, but we won’t talk about that here. And after that movie came out the idea of a Deadpool movie took up steam on the internet. Ryan Reynolds seemed to the only legitimate choice to play Wade Wilson. Ryan wanted to make the movie, and rumors had Zombieland director Rubin Fleischer ready to direct. But the green light was never given. Mostly because Deadpool is a very rated R character. He is a mercenary, an assassin and a notorious potty mouth. Which means piles of bodies and violence. And since the really big and successful comic book movies that grossed in the hundreds of millions of dollars were all PG-13, that was never going to happen with Deadpool. Not to mention Deadpool is a tricky character to do in a movie. He KNOWS he is a fictional character. He frequently breaks the fourth wall and he does have a very unique sense of humor. Which is part of what his so popular in the comic books. So even if someone did this faithfully, there was a good chance that it could be mishandled or be a swing and a miss with the general audience. But thanks to the good will comic book movies have had with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Men franchises, the expectation of the inclusion of humor with The Avengers, and the fact that a movie featuring a talking raccoon was a big hit; someone decided to give this film the okay. Well that and certain “test footage” being leaked and going viral on YouTube. Footage that would eventually be a big part of the opening action scene. So was this a good movie?


Want to know more? Well then grab your katana’s, load your door knobs, and hide your Hit-Monkey’s as we set our sights on Deadpool.

Deadpool opens with an action scene that builds upon the test footage that you have probably seen in the trailer. Good news: there is more action and gags withheld from that scene for the film. This scene sets up the flashback of a young pre KFC faced Wade Wilson. He is a merc who takes on jobs which may or may not involve doing unkind things to worse people. He meets a hooker named Vanessa (played by the VERY beautiful and talented Morena Baccarin). What follows is a tale perfect for Valentine’s Day. Merc meets girl, merc and girl fall in love, and merc and girl have weird holiday themed sex to show the passing of time (which may or may not involve something very uncomfortable on National Women’s Day). But their happiness does not last as Wade gets diagnosed with terminal cancers. That’s right. Cancers. Plural. Vanessa wants Wade to fight on, but Wade does not want Vanessa to suffer while she watches him die. So he leaves. Dick move Wade. Wade however is given a second chance at life when he is offered a chance at a cure and a life as a super hero. While initially refusing, Wade eventually accepts the offer. Problem is the organization doing the testing is not as benevolent as they first appeared and Wade is tortured and abused at the hands of Ajax. Ajax is trying to activate any mutant genes that might be latent in Wade’s body (in the comics they were trying to replicate and produce more Wolverines). And the key do doing so is adrenaline and stressful situations. Long story short, Wade gets his healing factor that makes it virtually impossible to kill him, he goes a little nuts because of the torture, and he looks like a Hot Pocket after being in the microwave for too long. Wade takes on the identity of Deadpool to track down Ajax (or Francis as he likes to call him). The goal is to initially get Ajax to fix his ugly mug, but then turns into a rescue mission when Ajax gets his hands on Wade’s woman.

I LOVED this movie! The production team here managed to take my favorite comic book character and bring him to life on the big screen. First off, the casting. I have been saying this for years; Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. Reynolds joins the likes of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Kevin Conroy as Batman, and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in that they now embody what the character has become on screen. They were perfect casts. Reynolds has become so intertwined with the role that no one else could play him on the big screen. Say want you want about Green Lantern (we all have) and that Reynolds was miscast for the role (he was). But Reynolds is NOT a bad actor. He does however need the right part. He needs to be a Van Wilder, a Monty from Waiting, or something that allows his to be a wiseass. And when he has the opportunity to do that, he is actually pretty damn charming. Hell we know this from the first 10 minutes of that crappy X-Men Origins movie. But in addition, Deadpool needs to be “The Merc with a Mouth.” Meaning that Wade NEVER shuts up! Much to the displeasure of his enemies (and his allies). Causing an either love him or hate him response. And Ryan Reynolds is pretty much that to a T. You can’t train that kind of effect. In addition he perfectly nailed the 4th wall breaking meta humor that has become Deadpool’s trademark in the comics. Reynolds speaks directly to the audience, makes jokes about the James MacAvoy / Patrick Stewart Professor X stuff and the fact that he knows he is in a movie. He even has a nice little MCU style end teaser at the very end of the credits (in a very Ferris Bueller manner). But there are also a LOT of little moments here and there that you will notice if you are a fan, but might miss if you were not an avid reader of the Deadpool comics or have a mountain of his trade paperbacks in a green footlocker (like I do). Like nuances like Wade’s Bea Arthur t-shirt (Wade is a big Golden Girls fan and loves Bea), his references to chimichangas, or his little scene with the pizza boy which is a call back to something he did do in the comics. Top it off there are two scenes in the movie that really got the spirit of the character. The first one was when Wade tries to fight the X-Man Colossus, and the final moment is at the end of the movie following a speech given by Colossus. I won’t spoil the scenes, you will just to watch them play out. But it is those two scenes where I found myself sitting in my seat saying to myself "Holy ****, these guys get the character and they pulled it off." Also, keeps your eyes peeled for the Stan Lee cameo.

So that is the humor, what about the action? Is the movie violent? Yes, the movie is indeed violent. While initially announced that it was intended to be PG-13 (by Rob Liefeld no less), the movie earned a hard R rating. This actually bucks the trends of most Marvel superhero movies. With the exception of the Blade franchise and Punisher: War Zone, all the other Marvel comic adaptations have been PG-13. Mostly for the reason of keep the rating low, so butts get in seats and people make money. Then again, after looking at the box office numbers for this movie’s opening weekend, this movie has changed the rules up a bit. There is blood, guts, nudity, VERY crude language and humor, and Ryan Reynold’s bare ass. And for action fans, there are fight scenes a plenty. Since Deadpool is known in the comics and a very high jumping and acrobatic character, the makers of the flick felt they needed to do so as well. Deadpool throws in plenty of fight scenes from the kick ass opening fight to the final showdown. If you saw in the trailer, you got a taste of the scenes to come in the movie.

As I can tell, I loved it. But will you like it? Naturally if you are a fan of the character like I am and you are familiar with his comic books; you will like and or love this movie. As I have stated this flick pretty much brings Deadpool to life. If you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies or are a fan of the X-Men movie franchise then odds are you will like this movie. If you are just a fan of action movies or a fan of very blue humor, you will like this movie. But there are points of this flick that will repel certain movie goers. If you are one of those “there are too many comic book movies” kind of people, odds say you will not like the movie. While this film is still very different from say the likes of Iron Man, this is a movie heavily targeting the fan base of people who like those movies. I say if you are curious you can rent it. If the sight of Ryan Reynolds causes you to enter a furious rage resulting in you needing to punch small children and animals I say give this movie a pass altogether. If you are turned off by potty mouths, crude humor, and or meta humor I say stay away. Also stay away if you just hate fun. If you do not fall into this any of these categories I say the movie is worth your time. If you are very centered of plot being the most importent thing to you when watching a movie, I say stay away as well. The plot is not exactly newand original. But the main draw for this movie is the character of Deadpool and the humor; not so much the plot and story.

As one of the resident fanboys of the site, I was at an advantage to like this movie. I was a tad concerned that it might be a disappointment, but thankfully that was not the case. Now it did not make me reach the fanboy peaks of say The Avengers or Mad Max: Fury Road, but it did come pretty damn close. The movie was everything it needed to be and was a fantastic execution of the character. If you are a fan of the character, see the movie. If you are curious about the movie, see it. If you don’t like foul language, crude humor, and violence you best stay away. Well played boys. Well played.