‘Deadpool’ breaks the 4th wall in a wonderful way

Morena Baccarin and Ryan Reynolds in ‘Deadpool’

“I wanted to make room for antiheroes” – William Gibson, author of “Neuromancer”

The titular character in Deadpool is super but not by birth.  Anyone familiar with his origins in the Marvel comic book universe knows he is not a hero in the true meaning of the term.  He is an anti-hero who lives by his own unique standards of right and wrong.

The movie open with “Deadpool” (Ryan Reynolds, playing the character he first portrayed in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

“Wade Wilson” before the events that made him into Deadpool.  Wilson is a former Special Forces soldier who is now working as a mercenary.  He meets “Vanessa” (Morena Baccarin) who works as an escort and they fall in love.  He proposes marriage, she accepts and then they learn he is going to die of cancer that has spread throughout his body.  Since he can’t bear the thought of Vanessa watching him die a quick but very painful death, he just up and leaves.

Ryan Reynolds, Gina Carano and Ed Skrein in ‘Deadpool’

He finds himself being offered a chance at a cure by the “Recruiter” (Jed Rees) and figuring he has nothing to lose, he goes for it.  “Ajax” (Ed Skrein) injects something into Wade and only then does he discover that the way to make this cure work is to bring him within an inch of dying over and over until the effects of what they’ve injected him with begins working.

The good news is that he is cured and his body will heal from any injury at an astonishing rate, making him effectively immortal.  The bad news is that the process has rendered him so ugly that even a pork chop hung around his neck wouldn’t entice a hungry dog to play with him.  He manages to escape from the clutches of Ajax and “Angel Dust” (Gina Carano).  Since he believes Ajax has a way to restore his normal appearance he plans to track him down and force him to hand it over.  Only then will he be able to reclaim the love of his life.

Brianna Hildebrand, Ryan Reynolds and “Colossus” (voice by Stefan Kapičić) in ‘Deadpool’

Once he captures Ajax, two members of the X-Men, “Colossus” (Stefan Kapičić did the voice) and “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” (Brianna Hildebrand) arrive to stop Deadpool and in the confusion, Ajax makes his escape.  Once Ajax and Angel Dust learn about Vanessa, she is in danger and Deadpool must rescue her, aided by the X-Men.

What makes Deadpool such an interesting character in both comic book form and on the big screen is that he doesn’t just briefly breach the fourth wall.  He does it regularly, although the filmmakers showed good sense by finding a balance between those breaches and “regular” movies.  Marvel founder Stan Lee makes his obligatory cameo appearance.

While other actors might have been able to play Deadpool, none of them could have done it as well as Ryan Reynolds does.  There are echoes of his work in 2005’s Waiting in his delivery of the sarcastic words of the antihero he is playing a decade later.  See it more than once as you will certainly miss a few things the first time around.

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