It's almost a farce in itself, getting settled in to watch "Deadpool" as trailers for upcoming superhero flicks like "Batman v Superman" and "Captain America: Civil War" play, when we feel like we've seen those particular movies a dozen times already.
Rest assured, Deadpool is the freshest Marvel entry since "Guardians of the Galaxy," combining the best elements of successful superhero films, with the creative freedom of an R rating and a passion to bring the spirit of Deadpool to the screen.
The result is a thoroughly entertaining film that, while it grasps its title character’s unique nature by the horns, doesn’t go overboard with it.
That, in particular, is a pleasant surprise and one of Deadpool’s biggest strengths. While the film was hyped for taking a popular superhero adaptation to uncharted territory in terms of debauchery and raunchiness, Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller realize that they shouldn’t sacrifice substance for the sake of shock value.
After all, to a degree rarely seen in the superhero genre, the character of Deadpool is just as much a part of the spectacle as the action is, perhaps even more so.
Make no mistake, the film is definitively a hard R, with enough blood, sex and profanity to make Captain America blush. But in making "Deadpool" as unapologetically faithful to its audience as it is to the source material, the film also has a heart that raises it a notch or two above what most were probably expecting of it.
Ryan Reynolds is truly is born for the part of the merc with a mouth, bringing not only Deadpool’s twisted sense of humor and relentlessness to the screen (his motto being “Maximum Effort”), but also infusing him with a level of sympathy that gives unexpected weight and stakes to the action and story.
Deadpool is also structured in a way that is very appealing, essentially an origin story told via flashbacks. It helps a lot with pacing, and gives the film a certain energy and flow that persists even through its few slower sequences early on.
The story is decidedly small-scale compared to other superhero films but, because it’s also in essence a very personal story of revenge and, yes, love, that feels ok. Deadpool himself certainly is larger than life, and that is more than enough, especially with the knowledge that the script for a sequel is already being worked on.
Aside from the gritty action, the humor is also top-notch. The script is well written enough to accommodate both sides of Deadpool’s personality, but his fourth-wall breaking, Wolverine-bashing, mercilessly-chastising side is what audiences pay to see, and Reynolds delivers every line with a perfect blend of sarcasm and wit.
There’s also some pretty funny moments with the introductions of the X-Men's Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and T.J. Miller effectively goes toe-to-toe with Wade Wilson as his pal Weasel.
It’s as much a testament to the focused direction as it is the passion imbued in the final product by its cast and crew that Deadpool manages to deliver so successfully on everything it was hyped to be. In the process, it also surprises its audience by reminding us that its creators had every intention of giving us a film that has as much heart and story as it has style.
If only younger fans could use that as an excuse for their parents to take them.
David Lynch is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.