“Deadpool” begins in chaos and wisecracks.
It begins, actually, inside a slow-motion car crash, with glass and bodies and weapons flying every which way while, in peculiar counterpoint to the mayhem, the gloppy pop ballad “Angel in the Morning” oozes off the soundtrack.
Before the thought, “Whaaat the heck is going on here?” can fully form in your consciousness, you notice the credits appearing on screen: “Directed by an overpaid tool.” “Produced by ass...”
A way different kind of Marvel superhero movie is going on here, is what.
Maximally cheeky. Perversely potty-mouthed. Riotously funny. Insanely violent. Uneven as all get out. And fun, fun, fun.
Deadpool is perhaps the most out-there, off-the-wall hero in the Marvel Universe.
He can’t be killed, thanks to a horrendously painful medical procedure — Let’s call it torture, shall we? — that allows him to regenerate body parts and survive shootings, burnings and skewerings past counting. In one scene, he carries on a conversation with a knife stuck clean through his head.
And he simply won’t shut up. Smarty-pants remarks, many marbled with pop-culture in-jokes, pour forth from his mask-covered mouth in a Niagara Falls of R-rated verbiage.
Think of the picture as the superheroic redemption of Ryan Reynolds, shaking free forever of the taint of 2011’s “Green Lantern.” Reynolds dons Deadpool’s signature red spandex suit — “Oh, hello there! I bet you’re wondering, why the red suit? Well, that’s so bad guys can’t see me bleed.” — arms up with the character’s twin swords and many, many firearms and noisily kills his way through acres of bad guys, snarking all the way.
Sample line: “You’re probably thinking, ‘This is a superhero movie, but that guy in the suit just turned that other guy into a kebab.’ Surprise! This is a different kind of superhero story.”
Oh, yes. He breaks the so-called fourth wall, talking directly to the audience. Deadpool knows he’s a character in a movie and delights in it.
The picture is a little too in on its own jokiness, and it really goes overboard with a queasy early torture scene. It’s kind of like one of those monster mousse cake desserts you find at franchise restaurants, a slab the size of an Alp loaded with layers of chocolate and whipped cream. You know it’s too, too much. You know it’s bad for you. You know you shouldn’t enjoy it so much. Except you can’t help yourself. It’s a tasty, guilty treat.
☆☆☆☆ out of 5
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano.
Director: Tim Miller.
Running time: 1:47.
Rated: R, for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.