Deadpool ★★★½

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The sad thing about Deadpool is how forgettable it is. Ryan Reynolds, returning to a character he portrayed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2008, has undergone a rebrand. A flash origin tale combined with in-yer-face exploding-heads and expletives fill the screen in this superhero flick. Wade Wilson (Reynolds) has had a rough upbringing. He’s surprised and overjoyed to find the love of his life in like-minded Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). They’re deeply happy until Wade is diagnosed with cancer. Approached by a mysterious man, he accepts an offer to cure his illness – with a side-helping of mutant powers. The side-effects are disastrous but his swift healing body does offer a few perks. Donning red-and-black and armed with pistols and samurai swords, Wade is reborn as Deadpool, intent on killing the British baddie (Ed Skrein) who’s responsible for his current state. Deadpool is snarky, sarcastic and defiantly self-aware. With a smash of the fourth wall, we’re acutely aware that this is a movie in the vein of Kick-Ass and Guardians of the Galaxy, where pop-references and cocky narration replace depth and innovation. Jumping between flashback and forward, Deadpool is difficult to pin down. It mocks and ridicules comic characters but lacks enough bite to truly shine. Instead, it’s a comfortably mounted action film with a cliché villain, weak supporting players and an achingly dull plot. Reynolds is the winning ticket. He’s raucously funny and refreshing to watch, but he’s dropped in a film that can barely raise a shrug for a compliment.

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