PEOPLE review: Meet the new super (anti-)hero

By Alynda Wheat
Updated February 10, 2016 09:35 AM
Credit: David Dolsen

Batman? Conflicted. Superman? Square. Black Widow? Ridiculously unaware that she and her squad are controlled by a media conglomerate. But not Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds)! If you aren’t already a fan of his snarky comic, then meet the foul-mouthed, morally suspect superhero who knows we’re watching–and likes it.

Let’s be clear from jump that Deadpool is not for kids. The violence is unflinching and bloody; the rapid-fire jokes come loaded with f-bombs; and the raunchy sex scenes will inspire conversations you probably don’t intend to have that day. So now that you’ve resolved to get a babysitter, let’s get to what you’re in for.

The film is a romance of sorts. When urban mercenary Deadpool, a.k.a. Wade Wilson, meets prostitute Vanessa (Gotham‘s Morena Baccarin), it’s love at first transaction, the pair barely coming up for air. Then, for reasons that shall remain spoiler-free, Wade decides to undergo an experiment under the careful eye of Ajax (Ed Skrein), who promises Wilson that he’ll be a new man. Unfortunately for Wilson, he soon is.

After everything goes horribly wrong, Wade emerges as Deadpool, disfigured and unhappy about it, but with gnarly healing powers. That’s terrible for Wade, but great for us, because Deadpool is a deeply funny, relatable mutant hero. Reynolds clearly relishes this role, and he should since it’s his passion project, having taken years to bring it to the big screen. He more than proves that he doesn’t need that pretty mug to carry a film.

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Baccarin matches Reynolds quip for quip, and with every bit as much charisma. But she’s just part of the lively ensemble that includes T.J. Miller as Deadpool’s buddy Weasel, Leslie Uggams as the hero’s roommate, Blind Al, and Gina Carano as Ajax’s henchwoman Angel Dust.

But ultimately, the film is Reynolds’ big-boy toy, as he mocks his previous superhero outing as Green Lantern and tosses comic-book movie conventions aside. It’s a fun outing that begins with the opening credits and doesn’t end until the cute little Easter egg at the end. Go, check out Deadpool. Just don’t be shocked if he checks you out too.