For years, hardcore Deadpool fans have been yearning for an R-rated live-action movie that does justice to the character. You asked for it, and now you got it — but while this film certainly gives the Merc with a Mouth plenty of opportunities to address the audience and make meta references, that unfortunately doesn't mean that the movie around it is great.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds
) is a former Special Ops soldier with a snarky attitude who now spends his days "sticking up for the little guy," which, in this case, means scaring teenage stalkers away from young girls in exchange for cash. Soon he meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin
), a prostitute he falls in love with after the two banter how messed-up their childhoods were. But when Wilson is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, he accepts a stranger's offer to undergo special treatment that will cure him and give him super powers. That "treatment" turns out to be torture by a guy named Ajax (Ed Skrein
) and his assistant Angel Dust (Gina Carano
) as they attempt to catalyze any mutant genes lying dormant within Wilson's body, eventually succeeding and turning him into an immortal being who looks like a burn victim. But instead of becoming the supervillain-for-hire they hoped, Wilson dons a body suit, adopts the Deadpool moniker, and devotes his life to hunting down Ajax to get revenge. Along the way, he's aided by his sarcastic bartender friend Weasel (T.J. Mille
r), and two X-Men — Colossus (Stefan Kapicic
) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand
) — who attempt to recruit him onto Professor Xavier's team.
This film is packed with those kinds of jokes that aren't really jokes. I'm probably going to alienate a lot of you by saying this, but you know the kinds of people who shriek with laughter and practically jump out of their seats when they see the Stan Lee cameo in Marvel movies? Those people are going to love this film, because it's constantly elbowing the audience, raising its eyebrows, and asking, "You recognize this, right?" Example: at one point, Colossus tells Deadpool he's going to take him to meet Professor Xavier. Deadpool responds: "McAvoy or Stewart?" Cue the audience losing its sh*t. Look, I understand that the appeal of the character is that he's edgy and swears a lot and drops meta references all the time, but at a certain point, this becomes just like The Big Bang Theory. Simply referencing something doesn't automatically mean you're actually making a joke about it.