Director: Tim Miller
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin
2 (out of 5) Globes
If you’re burnt-out on the never-ceasing glut of assembly line superhero movies, you’re in luck. There’s a hard-R entry with gleeful ultraviolence, a potty mouth and even some naughty bits, all designed to activate the feral teenager boy that may still lurk in us all, whether we ever were one or not. It’s called “Kick-Ass.” But it came out in 2010, and in that time roughly 10,000 Marvel movies have crammed into the collective consciousness, with more en route into infinity. We may forget it (and its far lesser sequel) ever happened.
“Deadpool” doesn’t seem to remember it, which is why it thinks it’s special for doing basically the same thing. A Marvel movie for those who think they’re sick of Marvel movies but aren’t really, it’s as epically pleased with itself as Ryan Reynolds’ lead performance. It proudly flaunts its depravities — bad words, head shots, a gleefully amoral protagonist, a line about ’bating to Bernadette Peters — like a cat sitting next to milk it keeps spilling. Where “Ant-Man” only gently nudged weary conventions, “Deadpool” goes full throttle into attack mode, with a character who breaks the fourth wall to mock Marvel movies directly, even taking potshots at the listless “Green Lantern” movie that once starred Reynolds himself.
On one hand that’s a good thing. Reynolds wasn’t particularly animated in that failed franchise starter. Still, he’s nothing but engaged in “Deadpool.” And therein lies what makes it unique and often unbearable. When he started out as a sitcom star and comedy movie staple, Reynolds could be unbearably manic, every eyebrow arch and head tilt delivered with robotic efficiency, his self-love squeezing all life from the jokes.