Friday, June 22, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'Deadpool' is subversive, profane and so perfectly self-aware

Don't bother complaining about what's wrong with the super-antihero movie Deadpool or comic book flicks in general. This movie will do it for you, so subversive and profane that admiring its aggro-honesty is easy.

This juvenile Marvel delinquent could join the X-Men, if he weren't such a triple-X power tool, mutated to ultra-agility and rapid self-healing. The moldy pepperoni complexion is an unfortunate side effect. Deadpool is the strong, wish-he'd-be-silent type with a brash, fourth wall-breaking line for any kinetic or kinky occasion.

The role is a perfect fit for an actor requiring as much: Ryan Reynolds, doing middle-aged Van Wilder in spandex with samurai swords. Reynolds' previous, pathetic superhero dabbling in Green Lantern turns to his advantage here, directly referenced several times. He's the center of Deadpool's consuming self-awareness, a movie trait that's always a take-it or leave-it proposition.

I'll take it one time, at least. Deadpool feels like an origins movie for a great sidekick, a raunchy Robin to someone's Batman adding comic relief by kicking butt and calling names. Director Tim Miller's feature debut is gleefully graphic, with body parts regularly splattered or exposed, hoping cringe laughter is contagious. Another one for the Kick-Ass crowd.

Deadpool used to be Wade Wilson, former special ops and career smart aleck stricken with cancer just when life is worth living with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Wade is recruited for a secret cure that's really a torture-intensive plan to build mutant soldiers through infusions, beatings and oxygen-boardings.

After escaping horribly scarred, Wade searches for dear, deserted Vanessa and Ajax (Ed Skrein), the torture expert whose real name is Francis, and Wade/Deadpool won't let him forget it. Anyone else Miller tosses in — Gina Carano's supervixen, two X-Men from the end of Marvel's bench, wisecracking T.J. Miller and Leslie Uggams — are disposable action figures or cheaper laughs.

Otherwise, Deadpool excels at calling attention to itself as a lowbrow alternative to an already pandering genre. It's evident from Miller's brilliant opening credits, proclaiming the movie stars "god's perfect idiot" and "some hot chick" among more offensive cliches. Meanwhile, the camera slowly spins out and around freeze-framed mayhem, its debris including a Green Lantern joke to clue us where this movie's head is.

Deadpool's flawed insolence is appealing, like a mangy pup crawling into your lap. Inside jokes about plot mechanics and who owns the X-Men franchise lose steam around the time CGI battles begin. But any movie nervy enough to criticize Liam Neeson's parenting skills after three Taken movies and gruesomely steal from Monty Python is all right in my book.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Comments

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, June 23

TODAYArena FootballAlbany at Baltimore7:30 p.m.CBSSNAutosF1: French Grand Prix10 a.m.ESPN2Monster Energy Cup: Toyota/Save Mart 350 qualifying2:30 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Kohler Grand Prix qualifying6:30 p.m.NBCSNTrucks: Eaton 2008:30 p.m.FS1BaseballRangers a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
No easy ride for three Hillsborough commissioners up for election

No easy ride for three Hillsborough commissioners up for election

TAMPA – All three Hillsborough County commissioners seeking to stay in office will face election battles  this year.The contest for District 4 will be between incumbent Republican Stacy White and Democrat Andrew Davis, who runs an onl...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Murman files to run for Clerk of the Court in 2020

Murman files to run for Clerk of the Court in 2020

TAMPA – Two weeks after her surprise withdrawal from the race for a Hillsborough County Commission seat, Republican Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman dropped another political bombshell Friday by filing to run for Clerk of the Circuit Cou...
Updated: 9 hours ago
See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

When Alicia Wolding joined Datz as the new executive pastry chef last year her hair was rainbow — pretty much the whole ROY G BIV spectrum in cascading tresses. More recently, it’s bright purple, somewhere between iris and lilac. This is the color yo...
Updated: 11 hours ago
5 recent shows to catch up on over the summer

5 recent shows to catch up on over the summer

emember all those TV shows you’ve heard about but never watched, saving them for that proverbial someday? Summer is the best time to finally watch them — curtains drawn, A/C cranked down to 70. Quick, before fall gets here, and critics start insistin...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sunday

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sunday

Our editors' picks for June 24, 2018.
Published: 06/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday

Our editors' picks for June 23, 2018.
Published: 06/22/18
St. Petersburg couple drive a minivan, volunteer at church and were CIA spies

St. Petersburg couple drive a minivan, volunteer at church and were CIA spies

What's it like to start a family when you're working for the CIA? Jihi and Andrew Bustamante know.
Published: 06/22/18
Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

It’ll still be June when Boy George arrives in Florida this week to kick off a summer U.S. tour with Culture Club. But the LGBTQ icon says it won’t feel quite like a Pride parade. "I also bake cakes for straight people," he laughed. "Tha...
Published: 06/22/18
ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ST. PETERSBURGShyly, 8-year-old Annabelle Brassfield climbed atop a stool in front of a blank easel, grabbed a brush she named Scarlet and prepared to paint her scars. After three open heart surgeries for a severe congenital heart defect, she’s left ...
Published: 06/22/18