Movies: Dark humor, fourth wall breaks make 'Deadpool' a must-see

Deadpool is a relatively recent addition to the Marvel Universe, but has nonetheless captured the hearts of fans everywhere with his off the cuff commentary, fourth-wall-breaking shenanigans and dark sense of humor. The film “Deadpool,” hitting theaters worldwide on Feb. 12, is being met with much anticipation by both Marvel nerds and the star himself, Ryan Reynolds.

Deadpool’s original comic premise was simple: A mercenary is injected with experimental mutagen that gives him an accelerated healing factor, meaning that he is nigh indestructible.  However, the regenerative properties of his brain cells also drives him insane, along with scarring his face so badly that, to quote the trailer, he looks like ‘an avocado that had sex with an older avocado.”

The comic series follows his misadventures as an immortal mercenary in the Marvel Universe, but the film has taken some liberties with the origin of the hero, adding a romantic subplot, as he is motivated to try an experimental treatment for his cancer, that causes him to develop his signature healing factor and his twisted mind. Meanwhile, the main plot will revolve around Deadpool exacting revenge on the man who wrecked his life and kidnapped his girlfriend.

The wacky hero first appeared on film in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” as Wade Wilson, ‘The Mercenary With a Mouth.” However, the particular way he was portrayed was badly received by fans, as Fox Studios “Inexplicably sewed my [expletive] mouth shut,” as Reynolds reported in the preview trailer for the 2016 film.

The marketing strategy for “Deadpool” has been, well, quirky, to say the least. Trailers have included touting the film as a romantic comedy and billboards for the film sported emojiis ‘spelling out’ the hero’s name. In fact, the most recent series has included PSAs for both breast and testicular cancer, narrated by Reynolds himself.

The initial film ideas were in place since Deadpool’s first appearance, lingering in ‘development hell’ for over 10 years. Yet, in July 2014, test footage for the film depicting an extremely violent car chase and fight with the titular character was leaked on the internet. Due to the massive positive response from the fanbase, Fox Studios announced a release date and finalized script by September that year.

A trailer was officially released at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, with a standing ovation and requests for a reply given by the jubilant audience.

Reynolds has been heavily involved with production, script writing and even directing the film. The actors cites that the character will be “more authentic” than the “X-Men” version, and truer to the original comic depiction in both look and attitude.

The film will be sharing the same cinematic universe as Fox’s “X-Men” Series, with X-Men members Colossus (played by Stefan Kapičić ) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Played by Brianna Hildebrand) both appearing to aid Deadpool in his revenge-fueled quest.

“Deadpool” will also be rated R, meaning that there are no holdbacks on violence, language or lude scenes, true to the source material. Requests for a PG-13 version have been made by irate parents of under-age filmgoers, but have so far been denied.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing my favorite blood-stained mercenary kick some villain butt this weekend. That’s the best Valentine’s Day anyone could hope for.


Marlese Lessing is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu.