Can ‘Deadpool’ meet its high expectations?


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The suave Wade Wilson/Deadpool lounges by a fire on a bearskin rug.

Alec Badalian, Film/Staff Writer

20th Century Fox is clutching on to as many Marvel properties as it can before Disney manages to get its hands on them as they did with Spider-Man earlier this year, acquiring the film rights from Sony. Fox’s lineup features the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and with that, they’re striving to create their own Marvel Cinematic Universe the way Disney has with its massively popular Avengers franchise. With Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot this summer and their latest installment of the X-Men franchise slated for next summer, another lesser-known film is set to be released in between the two aforementioned ones by the name of Deadpool.

Slicing its way into theaters on Feb. 12 2016, Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds who reprises his role as the “merc with a mouth” after his disastrous portrayal in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Thankfully, however, Reynolds has confirmed that this incarnation of Deadpool will have no connection to the Deadpool featured in that film. As of now, no real plot has been revealed, but it would be safe to assume that it would be a sort of origin story for Wade Wilson, a Special Forces operative turned mercenary who, following rogue experimentation, obtains accelerated healing abilities, which leads him to embrace his newfound alter ego, Deadpool.

The way in which the film was greenlit by Fox is quite interesting on its own. In January 2012, a three-minute test reel was presented to studio execs in an effort to begin production, but no word was ever heard as to how they responded. Then in August 2014, the footage was released to the public and the fan reactions were overwhelmingly positive and demanding of a feature film, which finally led to the film’s inevitable production.

The abysmal depiction of "Deadpool" in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
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The abysmal depiction of “Deadpool” in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Due to the explicit language and violence in the test reel, it will not be available here, but can easily be found on YouTube. Its crass, graphic approach is extremely fitting to the Deadpool lore and quite a subversive choice, both in terms of a major comic book adaptation and the studio’s financial benefits. Its R-rating is immensely satisfying, as it shows that Fox is not only confident with the material, but faithful as well, as they won’t be watering it down in an attempt to score a tame PG-13 to increase audience appeal.

Though there’s still the chance that the film can be a misfire, fans still remain hopeful that Fox has learned from their mistakes with their initial crack at Deadpool and that this manifestation will be proper and fulfilling. The fact that Wade Wilson will be in his signature red and black suit alone rather than just be a bland mutant as he was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine already makes this new Deadpool far superior to the previous one. Now that they’ve got the look down, hopefully Fox can give fans the intense action and crude humor Deadpool is famous for.