As many prepare for the battle between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man in “Captain America: Civil War,” out in May, for now we're taking a detour in the Marvel universe as we’re introduced to one of its most complex characters, Deadpool.
Led by Ryan Reynolds as the character, the new movie adaptation of the comic book, in theaters February 12, is the first look at a Marvel character from an R-rated perspective. Filled with graphic violence and a lot of bad language, 20th Century Fox's effort brings a harder-edged feel to the superhero genre than what we're familiar with from the Disney releases (“The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” etc.).
But there’s more to why “Deadpool” is one of the most unique superhero movies ever made.
We’ve come up with five big reasons you should see it:
1. Ryan Reynolds making fun of himself
The Deadpool character is a former Special Forces operative who, after an experiment, possesses accelerated healing powers. True, that doesn’t sound much different from any other superhero origin story, but it’s the psychotic persona of Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool) that sets him apart. To harness that on the big screen, Hollywood has called on Mr. Sarcasm himself, Ryan Reynolds.
But “Deadpool” goes a step further than having Reynolds throw a fun line or two. To really portray the character correctly, it had to be brutal. And Reynolds obliged. He plays on his box-office bomb as Green Lantern in 2011, once being People’s Sexiest Man Alive, even taking jabs at his own acting talents.
It’s fun to see Reynolds can take a joke (or five).
2. Lots of pop-culture references
Don’t fret if you’re not up on your “Deadpool” comics knowledge. The movie is made for both the super-fan and the novice. One of the pleasures is taking in the references to pop culture that are filled throughout. From a Salt-N-Pepa song to Deadpool throwing out lines about Negasonic Teenage Warhead looking like Sinéad O’Connor (and then there’s the scene after the end credits; don’t worry, we won’t give it away), it’s a fun ride for the '80s-and-'90s-nostalgic audience.
One of the biggest threads through the movie is Deadpool’s love for the band Wham!, specifically the group's hit “Careless Whisper.”
3. Breaking the fourth wall
Most superhero movies are focused entirely on the action, but Deadpool is fully aware there’s an audience looking at him, and he can’t help but chat it up. This leads to some enormously entertaining moments, like explaining how he met his roommate, Blind Al, or giving us his backstory while being pummeled by Colossus. And as anyone familiar with Ryan Reynolds' style of comedy knows, he is very comfortable doing that.
4. Adult language (lots of it)
Most of us are used to watching Marvel movies with zero foul language, so watching one in which the F-word is blurted out in the first three minutes is a clear indication that this isn’t a Disney Marvel movie.
Some of the fun of “Deadpool” is that it goes against the behavior and morals that we’ve come to know from a superhero. Even most villains won't cross a line. But Deadpool’s lack of conscious makes for a rawer story, and yes, colorful language.
5. Amazing opening credits
The credits that open “Deadpool” are the most original I’ve ever seen. They completely disband from anything conventional or traditional in the movie business. Instead of listing the names of the stars, producers, and director, the sequence puts up sarcastic one-liners like “produced by a—hats” and “directed by an overpaid tool.” You have to give points to Fox for going along with it.