Are you sick of superhero movies? People love to discuss how there have been too many lately. But think about this — in 1950, there were 134 Western/cowboy movies made. So sure, there have been plenty of comic book related movies. But I don’t think we’ve reached saturation point yet.
Deadpool started as a ripoff of DC’s Deathstroke the Terminator, but he quickly grew into his own character, a self-aware, speaking right to the viewer bit of anarchy in the Marvel Universe. Starting his life as Wade Wilson, he gave himself over to Department H, the same group that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton, in the hopes of curing his cancer. Yes, I wrote all of the paragraph from memory. I can go deep on the X-Men.
Even more complicated is Cable, the hero/villain of this film. Man, it takes a paragraph to explain him. He’s the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, who is a clone of Jean Grey. He was given a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse and raised in the future by a psychic projection of his parents before coming back to our time as a much older, much more hardened mercenary who gathered the New Mutants as X-Force to stop the end of the world that his clone Stryfe would bring about. You don’t need to know any of that to enjoy this movie. I know all of it. I also didn’t get laid until I was 23. Such is comic books.
That said — Deadpool screws up and his life is ruined, so he becomes obsessed with ending his life. Then, he meets the teenage mutant Firefist (based on New Mutant Rusty Collins, played by Julian Dennison from Hunt for the Wilderpeople) who needs a friend. Of course, Deadpool screws that up. Then, he joins the X-Men and screws that up. Then, he forms X-Force. And screws that up. Basically, most of the movie is Deadpool being a colossal failure until he learns how he can finally die and be happy. Or not. I’m not gonna spoil it for you.
I’m also not going to spoil the big bad guy reveal either. But along the way, you get appearances by Negasonic Teenage Warhead (a Grant Morrison character named for a Monster Magnet song), Wolverine’s ninja friend Yukio reimagined as an anime girl come to life, Colossus, Black Tom Cassidy, Domino, Shatterstar, the Vanisher and many, many more.
Cable is played by Josh Brolin, who really brings the crusty, always angry spirit of the character to life. I was overjoyed with his casting here, particularly since I didn’t see Pierce Bronson or David Harbour as working in the role.
This is a film that fights to be poignant and achieves it by the end of the film. It’s also an incredibly silly film that wipes out characters as soon as it introduces them. And it’s also packed with references to Yentl. Yes, Yentl.
Basically, if you hate superheroes, you will hate this film. You can make that decision for yourself. If you love them, you will love this. And if you spent most of your teen years drawing pictures of Machine Man, Deathlok and Ulysses Bloodstone, then you’re me and you were incredibly happy at the end of this movie.