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Laramie Movie Scope: Deadpool

A very funny self-referential action film

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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February 17, 2016 -- I finally got to see this much-hyped movie, which is breaking lots of R-rated movie box office records. While it really isn't an adult film, it is a lot of fun to watch because of its freewheeling self-aware, self-mocking, go-for-broke nature.

In the Marvel Universe of movies, this one has one of the smallest budgets, with no big name stars, but the filmmakers use humor to turn this into a positive. These self-mocking jokes start with the opening credits and don't end until after the closing credits. The main character, Deadpool (AKA Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds of “Green Lantern”) makes a constant stream of references to the movie's budgetary shortcomings. Deadpool even makes a joke about Ryan Reynolds' own lack of acting ability and box office appeal.

This movie also has more movie inside jokes and pop cultural references packed into it than any other movie I've ever seen. This film is a running joke about Hollywood superhero movies. Deadpool himself is not a superhero, but rather a kind of super assassin who has been genetically altered so that he can quickly heal from any wound. The character first appears in the poorly-received film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009). This film, and other less than successful Ryan Reynolds films, are also mocked several times during this “Deadpool” film.

Wade Wilson turns into Deadpool after learning he has terminal cancer. He takes an experimental treatment from an organization intent on creating an army of super soldier mercenaries which it plans to enslave and use for its own evil purposes. Deadpool escapes from this organization and vows to find the people who tortured him (and disfigured him) repeatedly during treatment. That would be two super soldiers Ajax (AKA Francis Freeman, played by Ed Skrein) and Angel Dust (Gina Carano of “Fast & Furious 6”).

There is also a love story between Wade Wilson and Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin of “Spy”). Vanessa is an escort who Wilson hires, falls in love with and asks her to marry him, in probably the oddest proposal scene ever. He tells Vanessa that they are good together because “Your crazy matches my crazy, big time.” Of course, she turns into a damsel in distress, and makes jokes about being in that situation.

There is also plenty of action in this movie, but it has a lot more humor than most superhero movies, and most comedies for that matter. Comedies nowadays tend to be the worst movies made in Hollywood. This year is getting off to a good start with two good comedies. This one, and “Hail, Caesar!” are both very funny. This film rates a B.

I should explain the remark I made earlier about this not being an adult movie. That is because the emotional development of most of the characters seems to be at about the teenage level. You could argue that Deadpool and Vanessa do have an adult relationship, but really, the only reason this movie has an R-rating is because of the obscenities and the dirty jokes. I do hope the big success of this film means that more R-rated films, and more adult films get made. The childish MPAA rating system amounts to censorship, and for all the wrong reasons.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2016 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)