Will Thor director get Deadpool right?

The 2009 portrayal of antihero Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was met with widespread criticism — will the film reboot in his own movie do him justice?

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Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds promises that this time, the foul-mouthed antihero will be portrayed in “the most authentic version possible”. (Photos: Twentieth Century Fox)

 

Actor Ryan Reynolds has acknowledged it: The Deadpool character we saw in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
was a dud.

The actor who also headlined Green Lantern (2011), which did poorly at the box office, admitted to Entertainment Weekly that the X-Men film “didn’t quite get Deadpool right”. In that movie, Deadpool sported a sealed mouth, the name “Weapon XI” and — gasp — no signature red costume and mask.

Second chances don’t come often in Hollywood but the superhero movie wave presented a golden opportunity to Reynolds, who now promises “the most authentic version possible” of the comic world’s favourite foul-mouthed antihero.

BAD BOY ON THE BLOCK

Before Deadpool, there lived former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson. Subjected to an experiment to cure his cancer, he is left with accelerated healing powers, disfigured skin, an unstable mind and a twisted sense of humour.

Armed with new abilities and a new identity, Wilson hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. Originally meant to be a supervillain, Deadpool evolved into a super-antihero. But — contrary to the impression cast by tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s-themed movie posters — he isn’t the easiest guy to love.

Deadpool’s Marvel Comics titles are relentlessly violent, obscene, sardonic and self-referential. Even Reynolds himself attested that this Deadpool movie is “dark and twisted and rated-R and nasty”.

 

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Beneath Deadpool is special forces operative Wade Wilson (left, played by Reynolds), who falls in love with  Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).

 

DEADLY HUMOUR

If Reynolds’ new incarnation of Deadpool is indeed true to the comics, audiences should have no problem warming up to the bad boy’s wry wisecracking. The character has a penchant for delivering crude, tasteless jokes and self-deprecation.

Deadpool is also known to constantly break the fourth wall by talking directly to the reader (or viewer); for example,
by referring to the “little yellow boxes” (text bubbles) in his own comic frames.

If you’re sceptical about how far the movie can push the limit of acceptable humour, especially under the thumb of strict local censorship, you should know that producer Simon Kinberg has likened the movie’s “wild anarchic humour” to that of Borat (2006).

He said, “It’s graphic. Nothing is taboo. You either commit to a truly outrageous, boundary-pushing kind of movie or
you don’t.”

 

POOL-ING OUT ALL THE STOPS

What’s certainly boundary-pushing about this movie is that it was shot over a mere two months last year, and cost about a quarter of other superhero spectaculars, reported various news sources. This might lead to concerns about the quality of the product, particularly in terms of action sequences and special effects.

However, the Deadpool trailer gives us a taste (or more) of what all the hype is about. When it was first screened at the San Diego Comic-Con International last year, it was met with a standing ovation and requests for an encore re-screening.

Reynolds succinctly put it when he said, “Who doesn’t love a morally-flexible, red-suited freak show?” Hmm, I’m not
too sure about that but it certainly stokes my curiosity.

 
By Pamela Chow

 

Deadpool [M18]

Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein & TJ Miller
Genre: Action, Adventure
Run length: 106 min
Release: 11 Feb