For Valentine's let me count the ways I love Deadpool aka 101 Reasons why I really enjoyed Deadpool – Deadpool FILM REVIEW

Friday, February 12, 2016 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

amazon prime the man in the high castle With Valentine's Day coming up I thought I would put together some thoughts on what is obviously the only romantic tale worth watching with your other half (and that will bring you closer together over some popcorn) - Deadpool.

Deadpool True Love Never Dies Poster
Deadpool Valentines True Love Never Dies Poster (ZOOM
     How do you frame something Deadpool? If you could the makers of the new Deadpool film haven't done a very good job because Deadpool is supposed to be un-frame-able in fact he breaks the frame and the fourth wall. It's kind of like his thing. But what I can try do is give you a framework for thinking upon Ryan Reynolds' latest film a big screen adaptation of Marvel's Deadpool. It's a love story, a horror story, a different kind of super hero story and it's damn funny too.

     So what's the film about? Well, you know what's its about - you've seen the multitude of clips and trailers and any other super hero films in the last decade - and right from the jaw dropping establishing shots in the stunning title sequence of the film the film-makers let you know, that they know, that you know and they are going to have a lot fun with it - including references to: "starring God's perfect idiot", "a Moody Teenager", "Comedic side relief", "hot love interest" and "a British Villain" whilst also sneaking references to Green Lantern and the creators of the Deadpool comic character Fabian Nicieza or FZ and Rob Liefeld aka RL.

Deadpool Feel The Love Poster
Deadpool Feel The Love Poster (ZOOM)  

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humour, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

     The Establishing Shot: DEADPOOL CHRISTMAS DAY TRAILER - 10 FEB 2016               

Let me start by laying out the reasons why I loved Deadpool:

1. He has an excellent taste in music.
     which also explains Deadpool's working title of Wham! He clearly has an ear for these things. As does Tom Holkenborg or Junkie XL's who sound tracked Deadpool, continuing his increasing involvement in bringing some of the most evocative aural ambience for films like The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, 300: Rise of an Empire, The Amazing Spider-Man and Mad Max: Fury Road to mention a few.

     What really stood out for me were the action scenes where the style of music changes and tempo slows or speeds to match the action and movements on screen. There is a nod to the 80s on the music that is carried through the film all the way to the post credits scene.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool relaxes before leaping into battle
DEADPOOL Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool relaxes before leaping into battle.Photo Credit: David DolsenTM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs. TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. (ZOOM

     This technique really works well and added to whole experience of the film. Keep an ear out for Maximum Effort - Track 2 on the Deadpool Soundtrack which kicks in as Deadpool explodes into action at the start of the first action scene - don't worry Deadpool will tip you off when to listen with his catch phrase – "Maximum Effort".

     Sound: Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL - Maximum Effort (Deadpool OST)              

     Sadly I shouldn't really be blown away by the kind of stuff because this kind of attention to detail should be the standard for these type of films but isn't. So I'm super stoked that Tom Holkenborg or Junkie XL has come along to shake things up.

     But wait let's take a step back and return to the beginning... with..

Deadpool does Burt Reynolds
DEADPOOL Deadpool does Burt Reynolds (ZOOM)
2. Deadpool's marketing
     If you are a regular reader you'll know I'm not a fan of marketing hype as I feel it kills plot surprises and messes with your expectations. But c'mon they have really pushed the boat out and deserve your ticket money for the level of entertainment, effort and fun they put in - to get the word out in promoting Deadpool.

     Video: Deadpool | A Message From Deadpool HD | 2015              

     I take my hat off to Ryan Reynolds' commitment to this film. If I'm too be honest I did feel that there were some surprises ruined but inversely it was great to see these moments up on the big screen.

Deadpool vandalises Superman VS Batman Poster
Deadpool vandalises Superman VS Batman Poster [unofficial] (ZOOM)  

2. The portrayal of Deadpool's powers
     Look I don't like Deadpool. I never have. That is just the way it is and the comic universe would be very small indeed if only one character made everyone happy but there is a whole universe multiple universes populated by many characters to choose from.

Deadpool (2015)

A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.

Tim Miller

Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Ryan Reynolds, Karan Soni, Ed Skrein, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin

20th Century Fox UK Twitter
Deadpool UK Facebook

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    Despite his eye catching tactical outfit (clearly stolen from Spider-Man) and kit - he seemed to be such a derivative character comprised of not only the powers but the traits of other characters. Wait! that's exactly what he is supposed to be I hear you say. But add to that he always seemed to be billed as “Marvel's wackiest” or “craziest” or “quirkiest” or “most unconventional” character a promise that never really lives up to its potential.

     He always seemed to me to be an attempt at injecting a 70s style of wackiness, the type seen in MAD Magazine, Cracked or the offbeat works of Sergio Aragonés into the Marvel Universe, and sure if you think about - why not, isn't that kind of the point of fantasy?  But as marvellous as all the previous works are in their own universes brought into the Marvel Comics universe he stuck out like a sore thumb for me, failed comic relief. Too be fair I never found Robin or Spider-Man's wise cracking particularly witty either.

     Why anyone would want to take the gamble of bringing him to screen is beyond me as he has a big suit to be worn if one would attempt to pull it off successfully. Much like attempting to bring the Avengers or the Fantastic Four to the screen in their own uniquely engaging way and with enough intelligence to maintain audience interest – by the way just so that there is no confusion I loved the latest Fantastic Four. It was my favourite comic book adaptation of last year - up until the climax where it lost it a bit for me. But until then boy what a film. I mention this so you know where I'm coming from here and hope that the Fantastic Four return.

     Just to touch on the derivative part I mention above – well the whole premise of Deadpool is that - he is completely derivative. He was introduces as a day player antagonist, a highly skilled mercenary assassin out to kill an existing protagonist much like The Punisher's misled introduction into Spider-Man's world before becoming the anti-hero hero we know today. Deadpool is known as the "Merc with a Mouth" because of his wisecracking like a certain web slinger and anyone looking at his costume would immediate see a similarity to Spidey.

His powers seem to be a melange of powers from other characters including immortality and a healing ability lifted from Wolverine. But the most tell tale indication is that of his name - Wade Wilson - this was a big allusion to DC's Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke aka Terminator, who you have, by now guessed is a highly trained mercenary assassin introduced into comics by being hired to kill an existing protagonist or rather team of protagonists, the difference here is Slade remained true to his origin as a bad ass. You can catch up with Slade Wilson's tragic tale as he features in DC's Arrow TV show.

The similarities go way past just the name - his profession, his military training, background and skill set are a match as well. But in the comics Slade Wilson is at times a genuinely menacing and capable character – that you wish would play for the good guys whilst Deadpool's juvenile verbal barrage makes you wish he would stop trying so hard and just be Dead.... see what I did there? In this regard his name Deadpool makes complete sense as was his origin portrayed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as he is a pool of others powers and abilities.

     Subsequently Deadpool creators Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld have confirmed Deathstroke's influence on Deadpool's creation but for years it was left to speculation.

     In the film Deadpool's origin story is yet again different but this time its a lot closer to the main origin we know from the comics, although it is oddly ring fenced from the remaining Marvel Universe specifically the Weapon X programme (for now at least). In fact his new origin has an exciting little twist that has more in common with Superman's Doomsday protagonist than his previous cinematic origin.

     Anyway I loved how his powers and origin are portrayed in this film, I think more time could have been spent in the scenes delving into his transformation and time in the "facility" as this is in actual fact his origin story. I loved how Ryan Reynolds inhabits the character and moves. Particularly in the action scenes where his pared down super mutant powers really shine. So I actually loved this aspect of the film more than the comics which I can't recall happening ever before.

     The Establishing Shot: DEADPOOL TRAILER 1 - 10 FEBRUARY 2016               

3. The action set pieces
     As I say the portrayal of Deadpool's movements and abilities are spot on. This could make or break the film for me. One of the many reasons I hold the latest series of X-Men films in such high esteem is the physicality of the characters and how their movements adhere to gravity, sadly this is not carried over to the Wolverine films even The Avengers goes some of the way in getting this right and this seems to be something Fox and director Tim Miller have brought over into Deadpool.

DEADPOOL Ryan Reynolds is Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL
DEADPOOL Ryan Reynolds is Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL.Photo Credit: Joe LedererTM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs. TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved (ZOOM)  
     Between the the very focussed camera work, tight editing and choreography there is very little to fault. Of course Ryan Reynolds is effortlessly funny and cool in the role of Deadpool making a lot easier to buy into the ridiculousness of it all.

     Even though they are the central core of the film the action set pieces are actually quite small with fewer characters or players than one would expect from a comic adaptation. Possibly this was done to keep the budget down and if things move forward into a sequel, scratch that when things move forward into the sequel there is some room for growth with bigger action scenes also limiting the number of players allows you to focus on the main characters.

     But watching the film and it's pared down minimalistic approach did force me out of the film to ponder why the corrupt organisation responsible for Deadpool's woes was capable of brilliant  ground breaking scientific technology but seemed to be run by a very small group and two thirds of that group were out of control psychopaths who could not be trusted with sharp cutlery never mind being indispensable components of a lucrative but highly illegal and secretive organisation. If these characters had enough braincells between them by now they would have replaced their expensive private security team with a much stronger enslaved mutated army that could be easily controlled and presumably work for far less remuneration than their current security?

     Video: Tim Miller - Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Titles              

     But this by no means, means that the action is down played quite the contrary it allows director Tim Miller to really put everything in to these action scenes particularly the outstanding opening scene action which is a beautifully shot and effects augmented high octane piece narratively spread across the first half of the film. It's so well structured it belies the experience of a director whose total resume consists of two short films, creative involvement in special effects for various games and the memorable title sequence for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The production of Deadpool with it's 1000s of moving parts must have been a challenge for director Tim Miller but straight out of the gate he hits it for a six (knocks it out of the park). I can't wait to see what he does next. The final action piece is also pretty damn spectacular which brings me to....

     Video: Halo 4 "Scanned" Launch Trailer (by David Fincher and Tim Miller)              

Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead & Ryan Reynold's as Deadpool
Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead & Ryan Reynold's as Deadpool DEADPOOLTM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Not for sale or duplication. (ZOOM)  

4. Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead


     OK! I have real issues with the way X-Men's Colossus has been portrayed in previous films, it's almost like he's been relegated to a support role and his kindness mistaken for weakness. Colossus is one of my favourite comic characters - he is a formidable Russian bull of a man and that's before he transform into steel.

     He's a living dichotomy (that needs his own film) steel on the outside but has a heart of gold and is tender on the inside. The embodiment of a gentleman and like all the best all-powerful super heroes he reins it in and will only as a very last resort break out his redoubtable fists. I really don't understand why he keeps getting his ass handed to him. The guy just hasn't been getting the respect he deserves.

     Deadpool the film redresses this and he is somewhat given his dignity back, well as much dignity as anyone can have when tangling with Deadpool and those those scenes are absolutely hilarious. I have to say that from across the film, the scenes where Colossus voiced by Stefan Kapicic, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Deadpool are together are my favourite and dare I say it they even slightly upstage Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool no easy feat given their smaller screen time and Reynolds' charisma.

     I loved seeing one of my favourite characters on screen the way he should be and I gained new love for Negasonic Teenage Warhead who's character is giving more than the comics gave her. The dynamics between her, Colossus and Deadpool are very much at the core of Deadpool fitting into the existing comic universe we see on screen. With Colossus representing the past and Negasonic Teenage Warhead the future.


     The face off between Negasonic and Gina Carano's Angel Dust is off the charts. Sadly this also filled me with sadness as seeing Gina Carano in a kick ass role reminded me how much I wanted to see her as Wonder Woman or at least a fierce Amazonian warrior in the upcoming adaptations.

5. Stan Lee's cameo in Deadpool.
     Yes Stan the man Lee cameos and this is as far as I am concerned - the one you have been waiting for. It's his wacky best.

You can't buy happiness
but you can rent it for 3 mins. 

     Nuff said.

6. Getting a glimpse at what an Accident Man film could look like
     A bit of an obscure reference - but central to Deadpool's business and key relationships is a pub run by Deadpool's one and only friend Weasel (T.J. Miller) that is frequented by, well soldiers of fortune. It's an interesting concept lifted directly from Pat Mills' excellent satirical Accident Man comics, which documents the exploits of Mike Fallon, a highly trained anti hero hitman who specialises in making his hits look like accidents.

     Being British Fallon frequents a pub called The Oasis, which as it turns out is also the communal meeting space and base of operations for a variety of lunatics all of which are guns for hire. They even have an annual competition amongst themselves the Golden Coffins for the best Hitman of the year which is slightly adapted to become an integral part of Captain Deadpool's creation.

     This was really cool to see even if it is just to see what a big screen adaptation of Accident Man could be.

Morena Baccarin as Vanessa & Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in Deadpool
Morena Baccarin as Vanessa & Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in Deadpool (ZOOM)  
7.  The cast
     Ryan Reynolds is a force of nature. I have been bowled over by his quick-fire wit since he was just one of the guys in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. He is immensely talented and I have been rooting for him to have that elusive major hit that pushes him over the edge into big(gger) time stardom and makes him a legit household name. Which he has seems to achieved anyway but (and this could just be me) it seems as if he hasn't really hit his stride yet.

     I think part of the problem is how the public perceives him - he just makes everything he does look too easy. His light, easy going nature seems to negate all the work and talent that goes into doing what he does. Maybe it's true that we want to see our stars suffer before we accept them. Maybe I'm over thinking it but Reynolds should do some serious roles where people see him crying a lot and can build empathy for him. Look it didn't hurt Leo's career.

     I'm stoked that he got to make Deadpool (again why anyone would want to is beyond me) but he has been trying to get it off the ground for the last 15 years. I couldn't possibly imagine anyone else in the role of Deadpool or who would do as much right by the character. Reynolds' is in perfect form and pitch perfect tone for the entirety of the film. I mentioned before I like Deadpool the film character more than the comic character and much of that comes down to Reynolds' charm and ability of oneness to to be a chaotic calmness in the face of a storm. Hope that makes sense it does to me. I wasn't particularly into the romantic aspects of the relationship between Reynold's Wade Wilson and Morena Baccarin's Vanessa both great performances but it's a real challenge to present a relationship given the chaotic nature of Wade Wilson's character and that's before he goes full blown Deadpool. It kind of fell flat for me even though clearly a lot of effort had been put in to portray the relationship in a new way in line with Deadpool's offbeat-ness. In fact T.J. Miller's Weasel and Wades relationship had more chemistry and their parry and block verbal duelling felt like two friends hanging out on Saturday night. This dynamic extends to Leslie Uggams' Blind Al Deadpool's one and only friend.

     As I mentioned before Stefan Kapicic as the voice of the CG Colossus and Brianna Hildebrand's Negasonic Teenage Warhead are superb. And I'm rooting for Gina Carano to go from strength to strength and she brings it with her to her role as Angel Dust. Ed Skrein's brings some genuine menace to Ajax in the earlier scenes but this never goes anywhere as he isn't given much to work with.

DEADPOOL Angel Dust (Gina Carano) roughs up barkeep Weasel (T.J. Miller), in DEADPOOL
DEADPOOL Angel Dust (Gina Carano) roughs up barkeep Weasel (T.J. Miller), in DEADPOOL.Photo Credit: Joe LedererTM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs. TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. (ZOOM)  

101. Tone & a very adult comic adaptation.
     I'm always banging on about this so I really do need to give the adult approach to Deadpool some love. Fox's most recent X-Men series is arguably the most compelling big screen comic adaptations out. Not only are they superb comic based films - they are great films. Much of this is to do with them firmly anchored in an adult world (as was Josh Trank's great adaptation of The Fantastic Four). Deadpool goes beyond that into very very adult territory and definitely doesn't pander to the younger audience segment which doesn't mean that most of the humour is juvenile in nature, hilariously so.

     As I said before Ryan Reynolds' was born to play Deadpool or possibly he was so influenced by the comic that he has built an entire persona around it in the hopes of one day playing Deadpool. And much of the film's magic comes down to Reynolds' quick fire and irreverent humour aimed at anyone and everything across the comics world, popular culture and even other super hero films.

     They really get the tone of Deadpool right he even spends a chunk of time chatting to the cabbie Dopinder (Karan Soni) allthough in the comics this is because Deadpool although he's insanely humorous he is tragically lonely - an outcast and outlaw of his own making. The film takes the best elements of the comics and make them better.

     If Deadpool is a huge success we'll hopefully get more comic adaptations aimed at the adult market and even more adult material brought to the big screen. As nice as it is to see films that can entertain everybody at the same time. I'm a mostly grown adult and would like the films I see to reflect this or at least have an awareness of this.

     Having seen the film and been thoroughly entertained howling most of the way through it when not gaping at the action scenes I couldn't imagine Deadpool any other way now and can't wait to see Cable and Deadpool together.

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, T.J. Miller and Ed Skrein


And that my friends was that

Thank you and goodnight
- From the desk of Craig Grobler


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Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.

When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, mentally storyboards the greatest film ever made & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime. 

A list of his 133 favourite films can be found hereIf you would still like to contact Craig please use any of the buttons below: 

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