Feb 11, 2016

At this time of weak-cinema year, a sardonic actioner is welcome. Laughs do follow.


Image courtesy of IMDb.

Grade:  B

Director: Tim Miller

Screenplay: Rhett Reese (Zombieland), Paul Wernick (G.I. Joe—Retaliation)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds (Woman in Gold), Karan Soni (Goosebumps)

Rating: R

Runtime: 108 min.

by John DeSando

“You're probably thinking ‘This is a superhero movie, but that guy in the suit just turned that other guy into a f----ng kebab.’ Surprise, this is a different kind of superhero story.” Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds’ titular Deadpool is not like any other superhero; in fact he’s an antihero. He murders men and women and murders language as well. Yet, his unceasing banter is sometimes witty and full of cultural allusions, especially to X Men, who would like him to join them.

But he’s not ready yet, for he needs to track down the baddie, Ajax (Ed Skrein), who gave him a horrible face as a result of an experiment that cured his cancer and gave him supernatural powers. In the course of the pursuit, Wade (Deadpool’s civilian name) meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a dark-haired beauty who makes his life worth living.

Most of the film is of course the usual CGI comic-book roughhousing but peppered with so much irony and sarcasm that it’s worthwhile just trying to catch half the tossed-off lines. Reynolds is a master of the one liners, many of which can be found in the IMDb sidebar “quotes.” For example:

 “WAIT! You may be wondering why the red suit. Well, that's so bad guys don't see me bleed.” Or “I didn't ask to be super, and I'm no hero. But when you find out your worst enemy is after your best girl, the time has come to be a f----ng superhero.” Deadpool

Anyway, it’s the kind of dialogue best suited to adolescent boys, but this arrested adult critic finds the dialogue entertaining and the movie a refreshingly sardonic take on an inviolate genre. Enjoy this out of the summer-hero fest at a time of year when we all can welcome the relief from otherwise mediocre and boring fare.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at