When it comes to bringing beloved Marvel comics anti-hero Deadpool to the big screen, a lot can go wrong. Hopes are high that his upcoming solo debut will finally do justice to the Merc with a Mouth, and the marketing blitz for the movie shows that Fox, the studio behind it, has some pretty high hopes for it as well.
There has been a seemingly endless parade of TV spots for Deadpool, including the new one above, as well as some an assortment of trailers and marketing stunts. All that exposure has certainly made fans aware that the movie exists, but the big question remains: is it any good?
Early fan reaction to the film was overwhelmingly positive, which is certainly a good sign, but now the professionals are weighing in as well. The verdict? They like it, too. Read some of the highlights below, and click on the links to see the full reviews.
THR – Todd McCarthy
It takes a little while to get in gear — or perhaps just to adjust to what’s going on here — but once it does, Deadpool drops trou to reveal itself as a really raunchy, very dirty and pretty funny goof on the entire superhero ethos, as well as the first Marvel film to irreverently trash the brand.
Variety – Justin Chang
If it all sounds terribly arch and juvenile, it is. It’s also startlingly effective: Somehow, through sheer timing, gusto and verve (and an assist from Julian Clarke’s deft editing), Reynolds gives all this self-referential potty talk a delirious comic momentum.
The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw
It’s the funniest Ryan Reynolds film since Van Wilder: Party Liaison… Deadpool is dripping in irony, zinging and stinging with pop-culture gags.
The Wrap – Alonso Duralde
Deadpool is one of those movies that’s all the more successful for how easily it could have gone so very wrong. It’s suffused with an arch, self-aware wit – its titular hero violates the fourth wall more than Groucho Marx, Bugs Bunny and Ambush Bug put together – yet it takes its romance and revenge storylines just seriously enough to keep us engaged.
We Got This Covered – Matt Donato
Deadpool is funky, fresh, and ferocious, which is the shot in the ass that superhero movies need right now. Self-aware doesn’t even begin to describe the levels of saccharine satire that skewers today’s barrage of spandex-wearing good guys, and it’s all done while achieving more entertaining levels of comic book fun than most of the film’s competitors.
HitFix – Drew McWeeny
Right up until the moment the film began, I was afraid It was going to be so juvenile and filthy that I would end up annoyed by it. Instead, from the very beginning of the opening credits, it is clear that director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have crafted something deeply silly that isn’t remotely interested in playing by the conventional rules of what we’ve come to think of as “the superhero genre.”
From the Balcony – Bill Clark
As a much needed correction for a genre in desperate need of a jolt, Deadpool succeeds. It makes good on its promise of being off-kilter, off-color, and, well, out there. Miller and his team make this insane concoction work, right down to the roast of the stereotypical superhero jump from a great height. High art it is not, but there’s a method to the madness that commands respect.
Film School Rejects – Rob Hunter
Deadpool is a smart-ass take-down of superhero films while still being its own superhero film, and while the action is solid the film is unapologetic in its deference to laughs. Everything and everyone is fair game, and no target is too lowbrow. He may not be your father’s superhero, but he’s also not your son’s or daughter’s. He’s yours. And he’s ready to be loved. (Although he’ll probably settle for a reach-around.)
A film as admittedly raunchy and over-the-top as Deadpool is not always going to be a critical darling, but in this case it seems like critics are liking what they see. What could have been a dumb, lowbrow comedy is winning reviewers over with just enough smarts and self-awareness to appeal to their brains just as the movie is also making an appeal to their funny bones. In short, it would appear that the filmmakers have successfully translated what makes the Deadpool comics so great into a movie that does those comics justice.
Will the tidal wave of positivity continue as more reviews pour in? That remains to be seen, but early signs point to yes. Screen Rant will be releasing our review of the movie when it hits theaters on February 12th – not to mention discussing the movie in the very first episode of our brand new podcast – so check back then for our take.
Deadpool opens in theaters on February 12, 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016;Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X–Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.