Deadpool movie poster

An anti-superhero movie (or maybe a super-antihero movie) that might have worked if it had the courage of its lack of convictions. That is to say, it starts out, story-wise, with a messed up mercenary named Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), except he mostly just jokes about being messed up, and he’s not really that mercenary. (He donates his earnings to charity!) Wade has the good fortune to meet a gal whose brand of crazy “matches” his — a maniac pixie dream girl! — only to discover that he’s dying of cancer. Cue the experimental lab that both cures him and makes him superhuman, but has an ugly side effect: it makes him ugly. So of course, he sets out on a murderous rampage in pursuit of the man who can make him handsome again, because otherwise, his true love and soul mate won’t want him any more. When you play that stupid, you need to commit — say, by having the hot chick (as she is identified in the chuckleworthy opening credits) actually be that shallow. Not that any of this matters overmuch, because the story is less important here than the star, and even the star is less important than the barrage of one-liners and violent visual gags. There are lots; about half of them work. The half that don't will either not matter or leave you exhausted, depending. Directed by Tim Miller. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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