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Deadpool (2016)
Tonight's Feature Presentation


Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand

Written By: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick Directed By: Tim Miller

The Shot

Deadpool is the comedic comic book action movie that adults have been waiting for.  It’s a whole lot of irreverent fun with great action and even greater laughs from start to finish.  Put the kids to bed early and get a load of Deadpool!

The Highball

What Kind Of Cheese Is It?


Because chimichanga.

Pairs Well With...


You’re pretty sure I mean the drink that causes a bar fight in the movie. (Amaretto and Irish Cream topped with Whipped Cream; do it right and don’t use your hands!)  Yeah; you’re pretty sure I mean the drink.

“Just promise me you'll do right by me, so I can do right by someone else.  And don't make the suit green.  Or animated!”

It is said that for every actor, there is one perfect role.  For Ryan Reynolds, that role is Deadpool.

The fact that I say that may puzzle some people who may in turn remember me calling Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal of Deadpool the single worst thing about X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  The thing is, that Deadpool wasn’t the real Deadpool; he was a cheap, half-assed, watered-down, PG-rated knockoff, and Ryan Reynolds played him as exactly the stupid, soulless imitation that the writers and the director of that movie demanded.  So I still mean what I said back then.  But…

In the real world, Ryan Reynolds loves the character of Deadpool as he is in the comic books: an irreverent, foul-mouthed, ultra-violent, R-rated, totally raunchy sendup of the generic superhero archetype.  And so in the background, even as he was busy earning a living being a pretty boy and not exactly wowing people by his ability to stand toe-to-toe with Denzel Washington, Reynolds lobbied to get a real Deadpool movie made.  Flash forward several years, tack on a marketing ploy of carefully planted “leaked test footage,” and voila!  Deadpool arrives!  And thanks to the fact that no more than two X-Men movies can possibly have occurred in the same timeline (which this script makes a point to poke fun at), it even gets to ignore the existence of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and start over with a fresh origin story!

Okay, so it’s not the same story that appears in the comic books, but that’s fine, because everything else about Deadpool is spot-on, starting with the funniest opening credits sequence I have ever seen.  The credits immediately put all fears to rest: the people behind this movie get it.  Reynolds gets it (he pokes an enormous amount of fun at himself), the director gets it, and the writers (aka The Real Heroes) get it.  In this movie, only one thing is revered, and that is the trust of the audience.  Everyone and everything else is nothing more than a prime target for fun.

Very raunchy, very violent fun.  Take that “R” rating seriously, folks, and leave the kids at home.  Or if it’s home video time now, make sure they’re in bed or at a friend’s house or something.  Deadpool is not for them.  This is a comic book movie that’s strictly for adults, and that’s perfectly okay.  It is, in fact, awesome.

I’d tell you all of the ways in which it’s awesome, but that would ruin the fun of discovery, and I really want you to enjoy the experience of watching Deadpool for the first time, preferably in a theatre surrounded by a savvy crowd that’s ready to laugh right along with you.  (This isn’t to say that it won’t stand up to repeat viewings – I think it will do that very well and be worth owning on disc when the time comes – but the unexpected joys gifted by much of this material the first time around are well worth having.)  Because first and foremost, if you’re doing it right, you’re treating Deadpool as a comedy.  The character himself certainly is, and he demonstrates it every time he breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience, which he does a lot, which is in turn one of the many ways that Deadpool pays proper respect to the character’s comic book self, who also breaks the fourth wall whenever he feels like it.  (Call it The Meta Effect if you like; I’m sure he’d appreciate that.)  I left the theatre on opening night feeling like I’d just done a thousand sit ups from all the laughing I’d done, so on that score, I call “mission accomplished.”

Of course, we also expect to find action in our comic book hero flicks – especially the antihero ones – and again, Deadpool delivers the goods.  The fights are well shot and well choreographed, and the pulse is made to pound exactly when one imagines that it should.    And while there are comedic elements tossed in to most of the action sequences, fear not; the comedy only serves to enhance the action rather than taking away from it.  (And speaking of action, when’s the last time you saw a superhero flick that had actual sex and nudity in it?  Consider that drought broken, folks!)

As for the story, it’s exactly what it needs to be: a series of well-imagined sequences strung together by an extremely simple thread of plot.  There’s nothing more grandiose or complex going on here than a guy going for revenge and trying to save his lady, and that’s fine.  Indeed, it’s probably for the best, because the last thing this flick needs is for some snooty red wine of a plot to barge in and spoil the shots-and-beers party.  So don’t fret that the villain in Deadpool is hardly James Bond movie caliber; just be glad that he’s British and enjoy the ride.

And then when you’re done, make sure you stay past the credits, because Mr. Deadpool wants to make fun of that comic book movie staple, too.

Bottom line, Deadpool is raunchy, awesome fun.  I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie in years.  Tack on great action and a cast that’s also in on the joke, and you’ve got one of the most entertaining comic book flicks ever made.

(Provided that you’re an adult, of course.  For the kids, there’s always Ant-Man.)

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- Reviewed by Ziggy Berkeley, February, 2016

You can email Ziggy at ziggy@cinemaontherocks.com. You can also find us on Facebook.


- copyright 2000-2016, Ziggy Berkeley and Cinema on the Rocks, all rights reserved.

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