Deadpool

February 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Monica Baccarin, T.J. Miller
Directed by: Tim Miller (debut)
Written by: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”)

As the world teeters dangerously on the edge of superhero movie fatigue, with overstuffed and undercooked adventures like the latest “Avengers” movie offering little more than a two-hour placeholder for whatever comes next, in walks “Deadpool,” a hyper-violent, hilarious raunch-fest filled with things no one would have imagined would be on hand in a movie starring a Marvel Comics character. All of the worst dirty words, along with graphic beheadings, full-frontal nudity, and pegging (look it up, but not at work) join forces with a spot-on wisecracking performance from Ryan Reynolds to create a refreshingly sharp and adult-focused comic book movie for those fans who have grown tired of the bloodless save-the-world battles and/or those sorely disappointed by the lack of the main character’s dick in their superhero blockbusters.

Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson (again…Reynolds played a severely-altered/neutered version of the character in 2009’s awful “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), a sarcastic mercenary who looks out for the little guy. When he’s not intimidating dumpy pizza boys into giving up stalking the hot girls, he’s hanging out at a bar for fellow soldiers of fortune run by Weasel (T.J. Miller). That’s where Wilson meets Vanessa (Monica Baccarin), the call girl of every nerd’s dream. The two vigorously explore their sexuality while falling in love along the way, culminating in a proposal substituting a Ring Pop for a diamond. After popping the question, though, Wilson passes out. The reason? Aggressive, terminal cancer.

To save his life, Wilson accepts the offer of a shady guy in a suit he deems a child molester (Jed Rees) to join a program that will mutate his cells and destroy his cancer. Under the cruel guidance of Ed Skrein’s Ajax (Francis to his friends), Wilson is tortured by Francis until his DNA mutates, destroying his good looks but giving him the ability to heal himself rapidly. Wilson escapes and vows revenge on Francis, taking on the name Deadpool, putting on a costume, and killing everyone who gets in his way.

Blissfully self-satisfied and self-aware, “Deadpool” is the ballsiest superhero movie to date, unafraid of its protagonist’s fourth-wall breaking ways and penchant for extreme sex and violence—all while being firmly connected to Fox’s reinvigorated “X-Men” movie franchise, to boot. An appearance by the X-Mansion, mentions of James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as Professor X, and a guest star turn by metallic Russian mutant Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapicic) played as the ultimate square who keeps trying to get Deadpool to join the X-Men lends a wonderful depth to Reynold’s meta references. He knows he’s in a movie, and that Fox allowed him to know he’s part of their lucrative, kid-friendly (sort of) mutant superhero franchise while retaining all the sarcasm and nastiness that’s made the character a comic con hit, well, that’s pretty fucking incredible. “Deadpool” raises the bar for superhero movies loyal to their source material, then promptly shoves that same bar up its own ass for jollies.

 

She’s Out of My League

March 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller
Directed by: Jim Field Smith (debut)
Written by: Sean Anders (“Sex Drive”) and John Morris (“Sex Drive”)

While it might remind you of the reality show “Beauty and the Geek,” there is a lot more heart and plenty of hilarious moments in “She’s Out of My League” that propels it past mindless TV fare and similar types of recent comedies like “I Love You, Beth Cooper.” It actually feels more like 1987’s “Can’t Buy Me Love” with rougher edges.

In “League,” Jay Baruchel (“Tropic Thunder”) plays Kirk, a nerdy airport security officer who gets the shock of his life when Molly (Alice Eve), a gorgeous blonde bombshell genuinely takes an interest in him. His buddies – Stainer (T.J. Miller), Jack (Mike Vogel), and Devon (Nate Torrence) – can’t believe a girl like Molly (described here as a “hard 10”) would lower her physical standards and give Kirk (a 5 or 6 depending on who you ask) a chance.

Kirk is a nice enough guy, but aside from his average looks he’s not very aspiring or self-confident. Molly, on the other hand, doesn’t just flaunt her outer beauty. She’s an all-around girl who likes sports, has a law degree, and owns her own event-planning business. It’s a dream come true for Kirk from the start until his mind starts playing games with him. He is begins to wonder how long something this good can actually last. More importantly, how can he live up to this fantasy when everyone around him is dumbfounded by his new relationship?

While there is enough frat-boy humor to keep the R-rating fresh, “League” packs more than just lowbrow antics you’d normally get from a juvenile comedy like this. Sean Anders and John Morris, who penned 2008’s surprisingly funny “Sex Drive,” might not be the next Judd Apatow just yet, but there’s a lot to be admired in a story that refuses to take the easy route and run over all the obvious clichés time and time again.

Instead, the comedy hits a couple of potholes and moves on smoothly. With a lead character that you can root for in Kirk, it’s easy to be charmed by “League” no matter how unrealistic the geek in all of us knows it really is.