Studio: 20th Century Fox (1hr. 48 min.)
Plot: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein, Brianna Hildebrand, Gina Carano, Michael Benyaer
Bottom Line: ***
By Laurence Washington
Ryan Reynolds has redeemed himself in the superhero universe after that gad-awful embarrassment “Green Lantern”(’11) several years ago.
Enter “Deadpool,” a naughty parody that lampoons the current crop of Marvel superhero flicks. Loaded with insider jokes, bathroom humor and pop-culture references, “Deadpool” invites the audience to come along for a satirical ride through comic book geekdom.
Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, a former Special Forces operative, who utilizes his military skills as a leg breaker, until he’s diagnosed with cancer. A mysterious man, who suspiciously resembles Mr. Smith from the “Matrix” (’99), offers Wilson a “free” surefire cancer cure.
Wilson undergoes the radical treatment that excites dormant mutant cells to attack the cancer. Unbeknownst to Wilson, he’s volunteered for an unsanctioned procedure that leaves him so scared and disfigured, that he hides away from society and his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).
Armed with guns, knifes and swords, Wilson accompanied by a couple of X-Men, seeks vengeance (between wisecracks and putdowns) against Ajax (Ed Skrein), the evil scientist who disfigured him. He dons a red costume (to hide blood stains when he’s shot or stabbed) and adopts the name Deadpool, borrowed from a gambling death game he used to play with his mercenary buddies.
Oh, forgot to mention that Ajax’s experiment tuned Wilson into an invincible mutant who takes a licking, and keeps on ticking. Shoot him full of holes, cut off an arm or leg – no worries. Everything grows back.
“Deadpool” breaks all the rules of conventional filmmaking, such as breaching the fourth wall to address the audience – which can be jarring to traditional filmgoers. But taken on its own terms, “Deadpool” is a fresh and hilarious distraction from the current run-of-the-mill superhero fare.
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This article was printed in the April 3, 2016 - April 16, 2016 edition.