*** out of ****
The Deadpool movie is deranged, depraved and disgustingly violent, but it's smart and incredibly funny as it subverts the comic book genre. Sure, it's a gory slap of sarcasm, but it's never mean-spirited. Another major reason the film works so well is that while the character is a smart ass, he is sympathetic, thanks to a committed performance by Ryan Reynolds.
A typical revenge plot anchors the film, as thug-for-hire Wade Wilson (Reynolds) seeks out the men who ruined his life. See, Wade had a wonderful girlfriend (Morena Baccarin) who is as crazy as he is, and they were planning to get married. Everything seemed perfect, but then Wade found out he has cancer. However, a mysterious outfit claims they can not only cure his cancer but also make him super human, but it is a ruse to use him as a guinea pig. After many torturous experiments, Wade gains the ability to heal at an accelerated rate, but he is left physically disfigured. Because of his now hideous looks, Wade feels his girl would never want him back, plus he stays away from her to protect her from the villains who left him for dead.
This is all just a spring board for a giddy, ultra-violent comic book movie that is part Looney Tunes and part South Park. The main character consistently breaks the fourth wall and talks to us in the audience, referencing everything from the Spin Doctors to Rosie O'Donnell. He also explains that the film's budget couldn't cover appearances by many characters from The X-Men, which this is an offshoot. A big laugh for me is while mercilessly murdering henchmen he recognizes one of them as an old friend. There are even several digs at Reynolds' ill-fated Green Lantern movie.
Unfortunately, the energy begins to lag in the second half as the filmmakers move the story to its climax. If only it had sustained that nutty vigor to the end. Still, this is often very funny.
Reynolds actually played a variation of the character of Deadpool before – in the godawful 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Since that failed attempt, the actor has been passionate about about bringing this irreverent Marvel Comic character back to the big screen and doing it right. He has.