Deadpool review – crude superhero laughs


Ryan Reynold’s smart-talking antihero makes a profanely amusing addition to the X-Men universe

“A fourth wall break inside a fourth wall break? That’s like… 16 walls.” This relentlessly self-referential antihero romp comes on like a slightly smug corporate riposte to Matthew Vaughn’s altogether more anarchic Kick-Ass, flipping the bird at its own heritage (the opening titles tell us that it’s produced by “Ass-hats” and directed by “an overpaid tool”) and cracking wise about how confusing these comic-strip timelines have become, and the cheapskate nature of the ever-expanding X-Men universe. Ryan Reynolds is the potty-mouthed avenger whose life is ruined when enforced mutation robs him of his Hugo Boss chops, leaving him looking “like Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah”. Limb-lopping sweary ultra-violence ensues, offering a fairly consistent stream of dirty cheap laughs as Deadpool gets rear-ended by bullets and butt-plugs alike, while those around him lose their hearts and heads – but mostly their heads. Inevitably the final act descends into the usual punchy/smashy orgy of collapsing buildings that is a dreary franchise requirement. But for the most part it’s crudely disreputable fare, buoyed up by ironic bubblegum tunes (a Guantanamo-style torture montage to the strains of Mr Sandman is a nice touch) and driven by Viz-style “shit biscuit” profanity.

Powered by article was written by Mark Kermode, Observer film critic, for The Observer on Sunday 14th February 2016 08.00 Europe/London

Deadpool trailer © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010