The process of Deadpool coming to the big screen in this form was an encouraging one for comic book enthusiasts. Some test footage leaked and the hardcore fans went crazy for it - which gave Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller the ammo they needed to get their cinematic vision of the acerbic 'Merc with the Mouth' made.
Fans will not be disappointed. Deadpool is indubitably an exercise in boundary-pushing; pretty much every line spewed from the mouth of Reynolds is a quip or an insult and while the violence isn't just bloody and plentiful, it's often slowed down so you can revel in the carnage. In other words, yeah - this is a lot of fun.
We first meet Deadpool when he's on the way to seek revenge on the man who ruined his life, Francis (Ed Skrein - looking like Nicholas Hoult on steroids). We learn through niftily-placed flashbacks that 'Pool' is really former Special Forces Operative Wade Wilson. He was muscle for hire and always had a big mouth - then he met and fell in love with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). With the perfect combination of lust and raillery, they live in blissful fornication until Wade is given the news that he has terminal cancer.
Step in: a shady man in black, who tells him he can cure his disease - but at a cost. What comes out the other side of their bargain is Deadpool: a mutant with a propensity for both killing and constantly sounding off like a hyper comedian in the midst of a roast.
It goes without saying that this is not a film for everyone. Really, Deadpool is the anti-comic book film, tailored to those who felt that the likes of X-Men and The Avengers could have been edgier. He constantly breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, there are a barrage of winks and nods to other films and characters in the universe, and it's also totally game to rip the piss out of itself. For this reviewer this is only a good thing; for others, it may prove a little much at times.
This is the X-Men world filtered through Kick-Ass. It's a film that lives or dies by the ability of its leading man to deliver on the essence of this character, and Reynolds delivers in spades. He was born to play this role and it's tough to picture anyone else doing so, such is the levity of his work.