This year is set to be a big year for superhero films, with the debut of the DCU and Marvel's Phase 3; from two iconic big-screen battles - Batman v Superman and Civil War to a new X-Men film and more. Kicking off the slate, however, is a smaller, more atypical comic-book adaption, the arrival of the very long-awaited, highly anticipated Deadpool and here's my review of it.

Deadpool has been one of my all-time favourite superheroes for quite some time now and, as a result, this was one of my most anticipated films of 2016. The marketing campaign for the project has been one of the best I've ever seen and, based on the trailers and everything, this was promising to be a very faithful and great comic-book adaption. I went in with high expectations, perhaps a little too high even. However, I was not disappointed. Deadpool was everything I hoped it would be. It's everything the fans want it to be. This genuinely is the Merc with a Mouth we've been waiting to see for years on the big-screen; the character done right. After having seen the film and mulled it over a bit (there's often some premature hype after I see a film like this), I can genuinely and securely say that this is one of the best Marvel films ever. It's one of the best, most accurate and most faithful comic book adaptions I've ever seen - and, as a mega superhero fan, that's saying something.

Right from the ingenious and hilarious opening credits, the tone is quickly captured and we know what's in-store for us. We open mid-action sequence, with the infamous highway scene that leaked a couple of years ago in the test footage and got this film greenlit in the first place, as our eponymous "hero" Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) lays waste to some bad guys. What follows is an hour and a half of gory, blood-soaked violence and rude, swear-y humour and R-rated goodness as our fourth-wall breaking Deadpool tells us about just how he got his powers, intercutting flashbacks of his origin story with current sequences of him in action as he uses said powers. After being diagnosed with cancer, Wade Wilson is subjected to a set of rogue experiments, in the hope that it may save his life and reunite him with his love Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But things go askew. Gaining new abilities and accelerated healing powers, he decides to set out after the man that ruined his life by putting him through these experiments, Ajax (Ed Skrein) .

For years now, fans have clamoured to see the iconic Merc with a Mouth on the big-screen and, after the infamous, beyond atrocious representation of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (a film that, in itself, was not very good), there was even more reason to receive a solo outing and give the beloved swear-y, violent, fourth-wall breaking comic-book "hero" another shot and do him justice. However, for some reason, studios just didn't see the appeal in a Deadpool film. Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller worked for over a decade trying to make it happen, even getting as far as getting some money from Fox to produce some test footage. But that was about it. That is until the test footage "leaked" last year and received tons of support and excitement, forcing Fox to green light the project and give Deadpool the go-ahead. Now, the film has finally released in all its glory and it was worth the wait and all the effort because, as our hero in the red would say, it's fucking amazing.
This long-awaited Deadpool solo endeavour is everything you want it to be. This is as accurate and as faithful a portrayal of the beloved character from the comic-books as we're going to get. This is the witty, relentless motor mouth ripped straight out of the comics and slapped onto the big-screen and the 15 certificate/R rating works perfectly for this adaption. The film really embraces, treating us to a bloody, ultra-violent, rude, crude, dirty, swear-y and hilarious picture that doesn't hold back and is so deserved of that R rating. Where a lot of films are restricted by their lower, more family-friendly certificates but can still make it work (films like The Avengers or Ant-Man), Deadpool would never have worked as a 12 (or PG-13) and, whilst it's a risky move, it makes it all the more entertaining as it delivers on the promise of keeping the character true to his violent, swear-y comic book origins. As far as everything this film was trying to do and trying to be, it was pretty much perfect.

For starters, this movie is utterly hilarious. Not only is this one of the funniest superhero films ever, it's genuinely just one of the funniest films we've seen in some time. The script for this film is ingenious and very commendable, with pretty much every line and every joke hitting and working. It's a very current film too and has lots of pop culture references and jokes that are very relevant today. It's a very self-referential, self-aware and meta film too and takes stabs at the studio, at other superhero adaptions but also at some of Ryan Reynolds' other films - most memorably his last portrayal as Deadpool, as well as his portrayal as another hero, Green Lantern. The film is fully aware that it's a superhero film and embraces this whole-heartedly. Lots of comic-book movies are too serious nowadays whereas Deadpool just has tons of fun. This is such a fun movie and it's gut-bustingly hilarious. However, the comedy never gets too much to the point that it ever becomes satirical or too silly and first-time director Tim Miller balances this comedy with some incredible action and some more serious, dark moments of actual premise. The script is so well-written that this juggling of the tones is seamless and impactful, nonetheless, because of how invested we are in this story and these characters.

Ryan Reynolds is perfect as our eponymous hero. This is an actor that is passionate about this character and is a fan of this character and it's hard to imagine any other actor playing Wade Wilson because Reynolds is so perfectly cast. He was born for this role and brings so much passion and charisma and effort to the role, really getting in the mind-set and skin of Deadpool. And he has some great support too, with everyone excelling in their roles. However, as much as this is Reynolds' passion-projecg and his baby, this is also director Tim Miller's baby - who makes his directorial debut with this project. Although, watching this, it's hard to imagine this is only Miller's first project because it's directed so well. This a slick and stylish project with some superb direction. And the action sequences are executed with such finesse, directed so brilliantly; the action is shot so beautifully and crisply (as is this whole film, every shot looks so defined and gorgeous) and it's violent and bloody and there's guts and gore aplenty but it feels so epic too.

Everything about this film works. This is as faithful and as perfect a Deadpool adaption as you're going to get. The comedy is spot-on and every joke is hilarious; the action is epic and violent; this is an exceptionally well-made and well-directed and well-acted film. There's also a love story in here, in fact it's probably one of the biggest aspects of this picture, driving the premise. However, it never feels forced. The relationship between Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin's Vanessa feels so genuine and love story is believable and works as well as it does because of how well written these characters are and because of how well their characters work with one another - both Wade and Vanessa had rough childhoods and both of them have blurred morals. Ed Skrein's antagonist Ajax isn't the most memorable Marvel villain ever but his arc works for the story and he works for what the film is. X-Men characters Colossus (Stefan Kapicic lends his voice to the CG mutant exceptionally well) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) also bring a lot to the proceedings and, surprisingly, actually have fairly large supporting roles.
My only flaws with the film is that it occasionally intercuts flashbacks with action (through hilarious, classic Wade Wilson fourth-wall breaks), to tell his origin story whilst still keeping the hero and action going right from the start but, sometimes, some of the exposition feels unnecessary and we just want the film to get back to the good stuff. Also, despite being self-aware and mocking the comic-book movie formula of approach and the familiar narrative, Deadpool doesn't exactly bring anything unique to the table in trying to buck the trend so, instead, falls into that trope and that structure of narrative. Whilst it's full aware of this and has pokes fun at it, you can't help but feel as though such a refreshing superhero film could have tried an atypical approach. They're only small nitpicks but they're still faults, nonetheless. However, they can't take away from just how great this film is because, in all fairness, it achieves everything it set out to achieve and is an incredibly fun and thoroughly entertaining superhero movie that has rocketed to being one of my favourite superhero flicks ever. It's a refreshing, fun and special movie and you know it's good when you don't want it to end. I can't say that's the case with most films I watch, even for the ones I LOVE and praise a lot more than this. This is a phenomenal film and such a damn good time at the cinemas.

Rude, violent, gut-bustingly hilarious and just absolutely tons of fun, Deadpool is everything you hoped it would be - R-rated, comic-book greatness.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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