top of page
  • Writer's pictureBryce Chismire

Deadpool - Adults Only

When you think of Marvel superheroes, which one springs to mind? X-Men? Spider-Man? Captain America? Black Panther? Guardians of the Galaxy? That’s just a handful I can think of when it comes to these characters, especially ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe was established.


Yet, one superhero I found intriguing is Deadpool, the rambunctious loose cannon of a superhero whose unfortunate turn of events twisted him into a hideous figure and led him to lunge for the kill in a red suit. But his sense of humor and riotous methods of upholding superhero ethics ran rampant with him at every turn.


And then, in 2016, Ryan Reynolds gave this antihero and his origin story the big screen treatment. And man, did he do right by his character and give him his big break!

In this movie, Deadpool, AKA Wade Wilson, was a mercenary who hunted down the foulest scum to wander throughout his city, specifically in the form of a gold card with the target’s name on it given to him for cash rewards. Though, to be honest, hunting down criminals for money? What Wade did for a job sounds more like that of a bounty hunter than a mercenary. Anyway, after turning in one of his gold cards, he ran into a young prostitute named Vanessa, whom he met and fell in love with.


Unfortunately, Wade and Vanessa found out that he was subject to a high-level terminal cancer. Fearing for his own life and, because of it, Vanessa’s livelihood, Wade decided to venture off in secret to a nearby factory whose representative told him earlier that it could’ve helped cure his cancer. But after he made it there as a patient, the head of the institution, Ajax, revealed that he cured his patients by turning them into mutants, depriving them of their humanity, and selling them off as ‘super-slaves’ to various merchants. Soon, Wade was subject to such horrific experimentations next and transmogrified into a mutant himself, causing him to break free and wreck the entire institution in a fit of rage.


How did he look after his ill-suited run-in? Like a scorched human-like creature with holes and scars all over his body and no hair. Outraged by this horrific turn of events, Wade tracked down everybody who had the remotest connections to Ajax since he was the one who turned him so outwardly inhuman. As he hunted down one goon after the next on his search for Ajax, he started donning a red suit to mask his wounds and became the famous, gun-toting, ninja-like, fourth wall-breaking, and foul-mouthed Deadpool.


Ryan Reynolds, a hardcore fan of Deadpool, went out of his way to try to translate the comic character onto the big screen with as much faithfulness to him and his story as possible. And judging from the movie’s box-office reports and subsequent legacy, it paid off big time.


When it came out in February 2016, it became one of the top-ranking non-MCU superhero films at a time when the MCU was everywhere. As if that was unheard of enough, an adult, R-rated superhero film was even less heard of. This means it came with the usual superhero tactics, except with more content suitable for adults than just those for comic book fans. At the time, it even became the highest-grossing R-rated film ever, eclipsing, so to speak, The Passion of the Christ. Only Deadpool 2, Oppenheimer, and especially Joker would’ve broken that record later.


For the past 15 years, give or take, Marvel did just fine at first with its X-Men and Spider-Man movies. But when the Marvel Cinematic Universe came rolling along, countless other superheroes introduced under the Marvel banner flourished with grade-A films under their name, upscaling them into household names, the likes of which were identified not just through X-Men and Spider-Man but also Batman, Superman, and arguably Wonder Woman. But thinking back to some of the best superhero movies out there, whether they be Christopher Reeve’s Superman, Tim Burton’s Batman, Christopher Nolan’s Batman, the X-Men films, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, or a good chunk of the MCU that came out, they all felt like conventional superhero movies compared to what Deadpool unleashed here.


Even the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, whose sense of humor, goofiness, and liveliness seemed the most comparable to Deadpool, tried hard – and succeeded, don’t get me wrong – to run wild with its humor while still delivering it within the confines of no further than a hard PG-13 rating.

First, let’s pay attention to what it is about Deadpool’s film that made such a splash everywhere.


While the story qualifies as an origin story, Wade’s journey to becoming the Merc with a Mouth paved the way to some impressively genuine, heartfelt moments and side-splitting circumstances, not to mention some not-unexpected moments of violence and gore. As I said, the protagonist didn’t seem like the type you’d call a good guy. As Wade thought about himself…


I’m just a bad guy who gets paid to fuck up worse guys.


However, once his cancer kicked into high gear, it put Wade in a position where he had to assess how it would’ve affected not only him but also Vanessa and his relationship with her. So, his measures to have his cancer cured were a seemingly valiant attempt to not scare Vanessa or leave her alone when he loved her that much. However, his horrific mutation at the hands of Ajax sent him into a voluntary killing spree, tracking down thug after thug to track down Ajax for disfiguring him.


Never mind that after becoming a mutant, Wade could now have healed quickly, not just from his terminal cancer but from any wound inflicted on him. And trust me, we’re talking about wounds as extreme as dismemberments. Regardless, they still subjected him to unimaginable torture and made him look far more hideous than ever before. He was also upset because he believed it would’ve been impossible for Vanessa to want to hang out with a guy who became too grotesque to look at.


Meanwhile, during Deadpool’s killing spree, he caught the attention of X-Man Colossus and his trainee - and yes, this is her name - Negasonic Teenage Warhead, as they tried to talk some sense into Wade about his actions and recommend that he join them as a new X-Man. Of course, since Wade was too far into his vendetta against Ajax, he laughed off Colossus’ requests like it was a joke.


But then, what would’ve happened if Vanessa herself ended up falling victim to the same forces that Deadpool tried to annihilate for his own supposedly visual demise? That’s what prompted him to consider fighting for what was right and validating his position as a superhero, whether he wanted to be super, or a hero, or not, but never without complacency.


That makes the story seem as off the wall as Deadpool and his personality are.


Speaking of whom, let’s look at the characters.

Starting with Wade Wilson, he was undeniably riotous, not just because he’s a laugh riot, but because of how generally unwholesome he felt throughout his journey in this movie. Because Wade Wilson had a living as a mercenary, that’d tell me he was not the saintliest of all heroes. While his antics did set him on a journey to prove himself as a capable superhero who can fend off evil, he was either in it for the money or trying to put himself at ease. So, most of the time, outside of Vanessa, his goals seemed rather selfish. But while his sailor mouth and unorthodox methods of putting evildoers in their place set him apart from the traditional superheroes from either Marvel or DC, what sets him apart from most other bad guys is that he was mainly goodhearted and knew when to act upon something out of conscience. So, there’s a sense that he knew who had to be defended or, fittingly enough, avenged.


As Deadpool, however, Wade’s personality made him come alive. And that’s what gave this movie its own personality that was separate from most other superhero films: its sense of humor. Despite following the basic rules of comic book movies, albeit with a higher four-letter count and body count than in most other superhero films at the time, its liveliness, humor, and Deadpool’s fourth wall-breaking tendencies throughout the picture added to the film’s comedic canvas. Deadpool’s winks at specific other characters, whether to other famous Marvel characters or just any other characters in pop culture, added to his wiseass tendencies as he made sly talk with others or to the bad guys he fought. It helps that this ties into Wade Wilson’s character, too. He was a generally energetic, unsuspecting, unpredictable, sometimes immature guy who might not have known what or who was worth fighting for until his misadventures caused him to think hard about his circumstances and conditions in life.


In addition, his tendencies and the movie’s subsequent playing around with superhero storytelling conventions added to the film’s unpredictably wacky atmosphere. Just watch its opening credits and tell me it doesn’t clue you into what you’re about to see throughout the picture.


Watching this from beginning to end, I admire how this movie was distinctive enough from most other superhero movies to be its own thing while still allowing enough superhero ethics to shine through to make this count as a legitimate superhero flick.

The other characters may not have left as substantial a mark in the film as Wade Wilson did, either as himself or Deadpool, but they still threw in a little extra flavoring to spice up this already hot and sizzly superhero film.


For starters, his flame, Vanessa, seemed like a generic character. She first waltzed into the picture as a random prostitute, only for her continuous dates with Wade to establish her more as a respectable fiancée Wade would’ve been right to protect. I like how she started from being seen as some prostitute to expressing slight intrigue as a love interest, as if, in time, she became established as her own person outside of prostitution. She may not have done much in the movie, most likely since Wade was the focus and trying to keep his problems from Vanessa. Still, her general disposition was such where I grew fond enough of her to feel as concerned as Wade was if something terrible happened to her.


Piotr ’Colossus’ Rasputin, an elite X-Man, came across more as the level-headed, grounded half to Deadpool’s wilder, more reckless half. Throughout the film, he always attempted to reason with Wade in his Deadpool persona and demonstrate the value of becoming an X-Man since he, too, became a mutant. But because Colossus was acting on his own terms and regulations, as did Wade, even if they concerned a lesser form of ethics and obligations, that caused them both to debate rather than negotiate over what they consider the right or wrong thing to do, especially as far as Deadpool’s wellbeing was concerned.


His trainee, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, was an oddly named yet spunky character with a sense of sass to her. Whenever she confronted unanticipated powers and enemies, she demonstrated how she wasn’t called ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead’ for nothing. Her general demeanor and typically teenage way of looking at other things and people may have made her a different smart-aleck from Deadpool, but the idea that she was a literal ticking time bomb on certain occasions made her an unsuspecting knockout.

Dopinder, the taxi driver who happened to be acquainted with Deadpool, was a meek, if also humorous, character. His happenstances concerning Deadpool put him in a position where his continuous run-ins with him gradually turned him into a de-facto chauffeur for Deadpool, like he became his go-to guy for transportation by chance. He may not have been as up to the task on certain things as Deadpool usually would’ve been, but under the right circumstances, he could’ve unleashed surprising aspects that even Deadpool would not have seen coming.


The bartender, Weasel, seemed like a hilariously pitiful loser with a demanding job of tending to a generally unorthodox bar, which was ironically named Sister Margaret’s, and paying his fellow mercenaries, including Wade, the cash they earned for a job well done. But his gradual association with Wade made him a respectable (-ish) ally to lend him a helping hand when he was out fighting crime or dealing with his problems.


The villain, Ajax, seemed like a generally intimidating but highly knowledgeable head-honcho with some unscrupulous methods of taking helpless humans and turning them into mutants to sell off for profit. In a way, it makes him come across as equivalent to a trafficker. That alone would tell you what kind of creep he was once Wade got up close and personal with him. Yet, besides all his intimidating factors throughout the film, he also wanted to be called ‘Ajax’ because he felt embarrassed by his real name, Francis, which Deadpool toyed with and exploited throughout the movie.


Finally, the acting was generally heady, contributing to the film’s charm and superheroic instincts.


Stefan Kapičić, as Colossus, sounded like a monster-made man, but it may be because he was a mutant made entirely of stainless steel. However, vocal steeliness aside, his demeanor highlighted how much of a respected X-Men member he established himself as being. His English may have sounded stilted on some occasions, but his righteous intuition and need to reason with someone as otherwise unreasonable as Deadpool established him as the true X-Man that he is.


Morena Baccarin’s performance as Vanessa was a prime example of what can be established when starring as the main hero’s love interest. Baccarin’s usual disposition, alluring moves, and considerate normalcy made me feel like I was slowly starting to get to know the real Vanessa underneath her prostitute image, like she was a keeper as far as girlfriends go. For someone who first started in the movie as a prostitute, she helped her character shine through with the appropriate amount of (metaphorical) exposure.


TJ Miller gave Weasel his insecure and hopeless yet upbeat demeanor. Sometimes, when he upheld his role as the bartender or the head of mercenaries, he portrayed Weasel with a confident vibe, like he knew what he was doing and how to have a good time, even if his general characteristics suggested otherwise. Plus, his voice carried that slight teenage-like aggression that sounded adult but wasn’t. Somehow, it seemed fitting.


With his soft and generally innocent demeanor, Karan Soni helped his character, Dopinder, feel like a bystander who was roped into situations he was not prepared for. But his more serious convictions suggested he might not have been as ill-prepared for them as it seemed. For all his modesty as a taxi driver, his growing friendship with Deadpool and other unexpected little details about him made him nudge through in his modesty as a supporting character.

Usually, I wouldn’t have remembered very much about Blind Al, Wade’s housemate. She barely contributed to the movie outside of living with Wade and lamenting her cocaine withdrawal. But I remember her mainly thanks to Leslie Uggams’ performance. Outside of just moving about as any blind person would’ve, she made Blind Al leave a distinct impression with her snarkiness and rationale whenever she put up with her lack of sight, Wade’s obnoxious remarks, or his complaints about their predicaments.


Before Gina Carano made her breakthrough working alongside Pedro Pascal as Cara Dune in The Mandalorian, she proved her acting chops as Ajax’s henchwoman, Angel Dust. There’s something serendipitous about watching Carano work alongside Ryan Reynolds when he, too, became famous in his face-covering costume. Of course, don’t let that fool you. Outside of this classy remark by Wade about Angel Dust…


You’re going to leave me all alone here with less-angry Rosie O’Donnell?


…Carano’s acting, with her tough disposition, is what I remember her by. Besides, her character, Angel Dust, turned out to have been all brawn and strong enough to hold down even Colossus. When it came to Negasonic Teenage Warhead, however, this made the fight feel a touch more exciting.


To be frank, whenever I think back to the actor playing Ajax, Ed Skrein, I used to remember his character more by Deadpool’s constant mockery of his accent and real name. But watching him again, I forgot just how slithery he felt and even what a sophisticated vibe he expressed in his performance. His underhanded, cold expressions overshadowed his seemingly modest and generic appearance by showing how capable he was of extreme strength and that he’d overseen far more painful and dastardly operations than meets the eye. I can feel his sadistic pleasures in making mutants and slaves out of his experiments and selling them off to those who desired their powers. Add to that all the torture he put Wade through and all the false promises he left him with, and it makes him look like a discomforting bad guy against whom Wade would probably have been right to enact his vengeance.


And finally, Ryan Reynolds. Need I say more?

As a superhero movie, Deadpool went all out in unleashing wisecracks and actions that seem rather extreme for a superhero movie. But it all felt balanced out thanks to Ryan Reynolds’ comedic timing and deliveries.


He’s the one who helped send Deadpool to the movies. He’s the one who brought the character so vividly to life. He’s the one who managed to give Wade Wilson and his Deadpool alter ego such a striking, distinctive personality. And when he performed his duties as either a mercenary or after he was transformed into a mutant, Reynolds still delivered Wade Wilson’s snarkiness and humor as if nothing had happened to him, adding to a delightful mixture of idiosyncrasies. But I think it’s when he played Deadpool that I thought he was at his most outrageous. His fourth wall-breaking to the audience, quips, reactions, and responses to general evil-doing and idiocy, he delivered them all with such comedic finesse that it helped enliven this character and make him the iconic foul-mouthed superhero he was to become.


Intriguingly, the first time Deadpool appeared in the comics in 1992, he appeared as just a random character in various X-Men comics, seemingly as a side character. But after he got his first one-off series, The Circle Chase, he displayed more of a wisecracking, vendetta-oriented character who sometimes barely cared whether his actions hurt those he loved. And with this interpretation, Ryan Reynolds did right by Deadpool, especially after his disastrous first appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I’ve never seen that film, but from what little I’ve seen of Deadpool there, I can tell that he looked nothing like what Deadpool was in the comics. Even this iteration of Deadpool constantly made fun of how he turned out in that film. So, this movie understood the source material more and brought the character into the spotlight as he was supposed to have been.


Of course, even though this is a superhero movie, there are not as many visual effects applied throughout the picture as I would’ve expected. Part of that may be because of Deadpool’s outfit, which is just spandex costumes and whose effects remained practical outside of the expressive blank white eyes. However, when the visual effects were applied to the characters when appropriate, they demonstrated some pure talent, hard work, and imagination in the visuals. The visuals were off to a good start when I noticed the mutants in Ajax’s laboratory. Many of these mutants had varying body shapes, demonstrating what kind of mutants these former humans became and what could happen to Wade now that he was stuck in the same position as them.

However, Wade Wilson’s transformative state and Colossus are the key visual factors that worked to the movie’s advantage. With Wade Wilson, the pores and holes scattered across his head and body were so solid that they left me believing that Wade really had gone through something as horrifyingly disfiguring as what Ajax had unleashed upon him. You can understand why Wade would have been a potentially feared figure because of this. Even Wade and Weasel commented on what Wade thought of how he looked, and there are plenty to choose from. Among them were that Wade looked…


Like a testicle with teeth.


Like Freddy Kreuger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah.


Like an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado.


As humorous and light-hearted as they were, they still didn’t hide how Wade Wilson looked like he had gone through literal Hell and back.


The visual effects applied to Colossus speak for themselves. I know that the likeness of the actor is still there, but when you have to turn him into an eight-foot-tall man made out of stainless steel, you have to put in a little extra effort to make it seem like he’s real, living, breathing, and of course, made of stainless steel and thus cannot be penetrated by any means. Or rather, by any light means. Even Deadpool tried to beat him down with his fists and feet, but every single time, they only ended up being smooshed in the process. It’s as hilarious and pitiful as it sounds, but that tells you just how mighty Colossus is and looks. In short, the effects may not have been as rampant as in the other Marvel films, but they felt just right wherever and whenever they were applied.


Another thing about this movie that I admire is the soundtrack, and that’s a big surprise considering that, when I think of superhero movies with the best soundtracks, the Guardians of the Galaxy movies fit the bill, too. Some of the songs compiled in the film fit Deadpool’s general themes, attitude, and essence nicely. Salt-N-Pepa’s Shoop has that slight gangster rhythm that jibes nicely with Deadpool’s collective and upbeat demeanor. Juice Newton’s Angel of the Morning played in the film’s opening credits, and while it’s a neat song to listen to on its own, hearing it being played over the most ridiculous-looking and reading of opening credits makes them even more hilarious to watch. Deadpool Rap, which played during Deadpool’s montage of hunting down Ajax’s thugs, highlights Deadpool’s urgency and witty progression as he slowly rose into being the famed Merc with a Mouth.


Okay, so some of the songs here may not feel as memorable as those in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but they still made for a nice collection of songs to listen to, and they all adequately contributed to Deadpool’s more implicit urges.


All in all, Ryan Reynold’s efforts helped take an otherwise obscure character like Deadpool and bring him to life as vividly, humorously, and action-packed as possible. On top of that, this superhero movie helped break the mold and prove that superhero movies can establish far more than their usual antics, mannerisms, and traditional storytelling would suggest, as The Dark Knight did eight years earlier. The humor is spontaneous and dead on, the acting, especially by Ryan Reynolds, is excellent, the storytelling is as offbeat as the character himself, and the visual effects on the characters make the most of their otherwise subdued presence. The result signaled the start of an iconic Marvel character’s regime into superhero films as shown by the two sequels that came about in his wake – one that’s out and one that’s forthcoming as of this writing – not to mention a PG-13 rated version of Deadpool 2 that may not fare as well as the original cut does.


Maximum effort, as Deadpool says, is what I’ve seen all throughout this picture.


My Rating

A strong A-

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page