Monday 8 February 2016

Deadpool ... Facing his fears

WHEN watching the trailer for Deadpool, I expected it to be about a wise-cracking and crass superhero
 with a penchant for showing off his taut body in a red spandex outfit. My expectation was proven true when I watched it. I just never expected it to be filled with dollops of crude humour.
  The film actually has a soft spot, even though it's littered with profanities and action scenes that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger go green with envy.

  On the surface, it's about a superhero whose face is so scarred that people in the streets avoid walking near him. Deep down, however, it's about whether his girlfriend can look him in the eye and accept him for who he is.
  Ryan Reynolds doesn't have a good track record playing superheroes. His Green Lantern (2011) quickly faded into oblivion. He, however, takes a different tack with Deadpool, using his motormouth, instead of his dashing handsomeness, to portray his character's quirks and insecurities.
   His personality had better shine through, because he has taken the risk to deface himself, that is, this superhero has a burnt-out face that could trigger an avalanche of heartburn incidents.
  His jokes may be hits and misses, but most of them hit the target. A case in point is when Wade Wilson (Reynolds), an ex-Special Forces soldier with 41 confirmed skills but who has a heart of gold, chats up dark-haired prostitute Vanessa (Morena Baccarin of TV's Homeland); this takes place in a bar frequented by hitmen.
   Their witty repartee sees them tumbling into bed and it's such as shame that Malaysian censors snipped
Wade (Ryan Reynolds) and Vanessa (Morena Baccarin)
go at it with full force.
 off their lovemaking scenes.
   Everything seems to be going hunky-dory but Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He takes the news with such panache that viewers may glaze over his pain.
   A suit offers him a lifesaving treatment, but doesn't tell him about the side effects caused by the torturous methods of Ajax/Francis (Ed Skrein), who is riled up by Wade's incessant taunts of him. Ajax is ably helped by Angel Dust (MMA fighter Gina Carano).
  Wade is cured of cancer and becomes immortal, but his face is so disfigured that his attempt to meet Vanessa is thwarted by his fear of rejection.
   Ajax says he can fix Wade's face, so Wade turns into Deadpool to kill time and ferret out the weasly Ajax. The rest of the film is about Wade's pursuit of Ajax and whether he can face up to Vanessa, who believes he's dead.
Even  a superhero needs sidekicks.
  Viewers will ask themselves -- "That's it?" -- at the end of the film because Ajax, who doesn't feel pain,  is a lame villain by 2016 standards. Heck, Angel Dust packs a more powerful punch. She goes up against Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Sinead O'Connor lookalike Brianna Hildebrand).
  But it's to Reynolds credit that viewers care for Wade.
   Deadpool is an unusual superhero film. The protagonist is the antithesis of X-Men heroes. He's not much to look at and not everyone will appreciate his sense of humour and incessant talking.
  You either hate him or like him.
3 out of 5 stars


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