Superhero movies continue to evolve and as they evolve they begin to break the conventions of the genre. Tim Miller’s Deadpool has already cemented itself as a startlingly impressive foray into the Marvel universe. Stylish and gritty, with a crisp humour that will have you crying with laughter, the director has adapted the comic book for an adult audience – and one which might have never thought Marvel could be so appealing. With a sensational cast and a textured script that acknowledges possible cliches as much as it plays with them, Deadpool is a success story among an array of superhero movies that have the capacity to disappoint as much as they impress.
In Deadpool we are situated with Wade Wilson. An involuntary hero in the making, Wade takes us on a journey of love, illness and a mutation that makes him a member of the beloved X-Men. Old Wade isn’t keen on the do-good hero image that comes with being a bad-ass vigilante and so he embarks on killing his foes in the most violent way possible. The brilliance in the narrative is in the twisted authorship of the films creative team who took on the task of adapting this well-liked story; from Miller’s suave directing and slick pacing to Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s script, which balances the hilarious with the moving damn near perfectly. With not one drawn-out action sequence, questionable effect or missed joke, there’s plenty to applaud and not much to fault.
ryan reynolds and brianna hidlebrand in deadpool
The ensemble is a dream, too. Ed Skrein, whose career in film is on the rise, adopts the role of villain Ajax just right, appropriately menacing without the corny asides of many antagonists of the genre, while Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams and more all dutifully support. The star in this gleaming unit is, of course, Ryan Reynolds. As Wade Reynolds portrays sexiness and vulnerability, traits that will attract a female audience, as Deadpool the actor transforms himself into a leading man to fall for completely; he’s obscene enough for the male audience to side with but the lines of believable masculinity are never blurred (a questionable theme in any male-driven film) and by the end you’re kind of wishing he was your pal – the type you never take home to mum.
Deadpool is a smart, sharp and entirely witty comic-book adaptation that will convert the naysayers as much as it will please the fans. Without the casting of Ryan Reynolds – an actor whose talents have been questioned more than once – this wicked superhero flick wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it really, truly is. With its intelligent use of the fourth-wall and an offensive script that will make you laugh as much as it makes you think, Deadpool is an exemplary Marvel movie – the rest should surely follow.
2012 saw the return of Spider Man, a character so well-known in both literature and film that this new franchise held the heavy task of renewing the series as both original and still riveting enough to keep those watching come back time and again. This years (simply titled) The Amazing Spider Man 2 is the fifth filmic version of Mr Spidey, and the adventures, or perhaps more appropriately mishaps he gets into. Starring the kooky, quirky, and wonderfully awkward Andrew Garfield as the protagonist of the title, Peter Parker, Emma Stone as his girlfriend Gwen Stacy and the loveable Sally Field as Peter’s Aunt May. In this new feature we follow Spidey after his high-school graduation, as he begins a life of full-time crime-fighting against Oscorp created enemies. Expect antagonists galore (of course), and lots of over-the-top CGI to feast your eyes on.
Dane DeHaan starts in this second film and boy does he had a touch of cool to it. Playing villain Harry Osborn DeHaan channels ignorance and youth realistically, presenting Harry as someone not only struck by grief, but as someone dealing with anger and also terror, at the disease that will kill him. Unfortunately (and this is no fault of DeHaan’s) when he transforms into the Green Goblin his character becomes slightly doltish, and its impossible to find him terrifying, or even ominous, which feels as though was the intention. Director Marc Webb has changed the formula of this new franchise enough from the previous (with more comedic moments and less grit) but the cliches of this genre cant seem to be escaped.
promotional poster for the amazing spider man 2
There are two or three wonderful stand-out moments of awe-inspiring CGI (if you viewed in the cinema you would of had the full effect of this as it was shot in 3D), and of course those moments are between Spider Man and Jamie Foxx’s Electro. Foxx, in one of his first roles as a malefactor, does well here. His transformation is astounding, going from a geeky scientist to a genuinely horrific antagonist. With all the great acting, and brilliant cinematography of New York, what lets this film down is the formulaic and easily guessable narrative. It follows the standard three section formula and just feels all too familiar. At the box office it took a whopping $709 million (sounds a lot right? But is actually the least grossing film of the whole franchise) – are audiences tiring of Spidey and his antics?
If you can take this film for what it is meant to be – a bit of fun, with some emotion thrown in – then you’ll love it. But, if you are looking for a film with a deeper meaning and a touch of darkness (which Christopher Nolan managed with his re-boot of the Batman films) you won’t get it. The Amazing Spider Man 2 is out on DVD now.