November 13, 2017
Deadpool (2016)
Grade: 56/100

Director: Tim Miller
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin

What it's about. An uncommonly rude entry in the long-running transformation of Marvel from a comic publisher into a movie substudio. Our hero, relatively speaking, is Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), a mutant mercenary who wears a spandex suit to conceal his homely mug from the unappreciative public. Deadpool can beat you up faster than James Bourne, while trash-talking and demonstrating his powers of self-healing.

Flashbacks reveal that Deadpool used to be Wade, an ordinary man diagnosed with terminal cancer. To stay alive and retain his hottie lover Morena Baccarin, Deadpool enlists in a medical procedure that gives him X-Man powers but leaves him with a grotesque appearance. He blames Ajax (Ed Skrein), the sadistic scientist behind his metamorphosis. Deadpool vows to find and kill Ajax, and he is alternatively opposed or aided in this effort by two other mutants, Russian-accented Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and human fireball Brianna Hildebrand.

How others will see it. The R-rated Deadpool was a huge box office success, ultimately grossing nearly 800M worldwide. At, it has a ginormous 677K user votes, and the user ratings are extremely high across all demographics. Even women over 45 bestow a lofty 7.9 out of 10.

The imdb user reviews are packed with praise for the movie's violence, humor, and romance. A small minority of viewers are offended by the (anti)hero's language, shagging, violence, and/or unethical behavior, which includes approval by Deadpool of his Indian cabdriver Karan Soni's kidnapping of a romantic rival.

How I felt about it. Deadpool is not Captain America. He's not a hero, even though he behaves much like one, hunting down bad guys and taking them out. He's different in that he cares about how Wolverine is hung, he won't pay the cabbie what he owes him, he has a curious obsession with has-been George Michael, and he reneges on his deal with Colossus to become a good guy. Also, he has a pottie mouth.

Thus, while Captain America is the dependable superhero that we might aspire to be, Deadpool is the superhero we would rather hang out with, if only because his bon mots are better. Just don't expect him to pay the bar tab.

Also, don't expect anything outside of escapist entertainment. Everything follows in a predictable, crowd-pleasing pattern, down to the snarky villain getting his, and a ride into the sunset with his hottie hooker girlfriend. We can't even secure a "beauty is only skin deep" moral, as tiresome as that might admittedly be, since Deadpool is such a jerk.

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