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Take the frank, profane humour of Judd Apatow and mix with the explosive and gory violence of Matthew Vaughn. Add the superhero trappings of costumes, digital effects, and tragic origin story. Mix with knowing humour and regular breaks of the fourth wall. Simmer for 108 minutes and you’ll have something approaching Deadpool, Tim Miller’s rendering of Ryan Reynolds’ labour of love to bring one of the least conventional costumed adventurers to the big screen. Deadpool pulls off the remarkable feat of both following the superhero formula while also sending it up, in a way that is satirical but never mean-spirited. The profane humour and explicit violence are sometimes shocking but far from gratuitous as they perfectly express the film’s conceit of de-sanitising superheroes. In Deadpool, people are hurt and killed in gruesome manner, a vast amount of property is destroyed, and a powerful individual with an axe to grind acts in complete flagrance of the law. Furthermore, Wade Wilson/Deadpool’s (Reynolds) motivations are rather less noble than your average X-Man, and the film contrasts him with two actual X-Men, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead [no, really!] (Brianna Hildebrand). The contrast between Colossus’ goody-goofy rhetoric and Deadpool’s glibness perfectly encapsulates the film’s send-up of its genre, while Miller’s directorial style is fluid and paces the action, humour and satire just right. Deadpool is gleefully distinct from a conventional superhero film, and its development of the genre demonstrates there is plenty of stretch left in the spandex.


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