Deadpool Review & Toy Fair Too!

I was anxious to see the Deadpool film. I saw it on Thursday, but earlier than a midnight show. So all the marketing about the movie opening on Friday was a lie. The hype, however, was real! It’s so fantastic (fortunately it wasn’t fant4stic) that it kept the world from ending on Valentine’s Day (bummer) I am gobsmacked by how masterfully it was executed given Fox’s last crack at Deadpool. It truly felt like a movie made for fans by fans. I’ll wager this will be the best X-movie of the year, if not the best comic book movie of the year period. And now I shall SPOIL it for you with nerdy nitpicks! So scroll down past the tilde to read some musings on Toy Fair if you’ve not seen it yet. Those will totally make this giant-sized blog worth it if you’ve already read umpteen Deadpool reviews!

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Morena Baccarin (who’s been racking up comic book roles just like Ryan Reynolds) plays Vanessa with aplomb. Vanessa is better known in the comics as Copycat. She’s a blue-skinned shapeshifter who can also duplicate powers by touch, so that’s a really on the nose codename for Rogue-Mystique. She also has one of the weirdest debuts of all when it’s revealled that the character introduced as Domino was really her all along. I was expecting her to get mutant powers at the end (although different ones than her comic counterpart for variety) ala Iron Man 3, but she remains a flatscan. Movie Vanessa & Deadpool have a surprisingly sturdy relationship as opposed to their disastrous one in the source material. Deadpool’s tumultuous love-life is a cornerstone of his character’s self-loathing, but it would be a bummer if Vanessa was fridged or even absent for the sequel.

Colossus gets more development here than in four X-Men movies. His battle with Deadpool is highlight. Deadpool’s & the X-Men’s stances on him joining are inverted here. The fact that they got a Slavic voice actor for Colossus made me so happy. His costume is only slightly less drab than his previous movie outfits, but I’ll accept it as a trade of for them getting Deadpool’s character & costume right this time. Seeing Deadpool’s suit in action gets me even sadder that Harley Quinn won’t also be wearing an iconic red & black costume in Suicide Squad.

Normally I object to movie characters having virtually nothing in common with the comics characters they’re ostensibly adapted from, but I’ll make an exception for Negasonic Teenage Warhead since she only had a few lines before being promptly slain. She’s the Ego to Deadpool’s Id & Colossus’s Superego. She’s an extra layer of metacommentary for already being completely jaded by Deadpool’s antics. Deadpool‘s style owes a lot to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Wanted, & Shoot ‘Em Up. It would’ve felt even fresher if Fox had greenlit the script six years earlier (inverse to how Mystery Men would’ve been better received as a parody if it had been released after the superhero movie boom).

Weasel & Blind Al were amusing side characters, although Deadpool treats them much better here. Angel Dust’s femullet was on fleek. Mark my words, it’ll be the next half-shorn scalp. The most surprising part was the cameo by Bob, agent of HYDRA (not to be confused with Bill, agent of AIM)! I thought he’d be off limits since Marvel Studios has the HYDRA rights, but they snuck him in. He doesn’t wear the HYDRA uniform, but then neither do any of the MCU’s HYDRA agents. Marrow gets an even briefer cameo, this time not replaced by a dude.

Conspicuous by his absence is Wolverine. In the comics, Deadpool is empowered by the second generation Weapon X Program when they graft Wolverine’s healing factor into his cancer-ridden body. Wolverine & Deadpool become frenemies over this connection. In the movie, some nameless agency gives Deadpool powers by injecting him with something blue that activates his X-gene once he’s sufficiently tortured. (It’s apparently just as ridiculously easy to make somebody a mutant as it is to depower one in the movieverse.) So the movie version is more of a latent mutant than an artificial mutate. It’s just weird that neither Wolverine nor the Weapon X Program appear since Fox has the unencumbered movie rights to them. Surely a First Class-style cameo would’ve been a better use of Hughbert Jackalman’s time than Pan. Did they just want to distance it as much as possible from X-Men Origins: Wolverine? 

Ajax Francis (whose inability to feel pain shouldn’t be an asset) planned to fit Deadpool with a control collar to sell as a slave. The mention of control collars made me think of Genosha, whose economy is based entirely on mutate slaves. (It was a metaphor for apartheid South Africa.) Mutant being exploited as commodities in an international arms race is a nifty aspect of the comics the movies haven’t delved into. Perhaps Genosha will be explored in one of the numerous X-movies in development.

My biggest disappointment is that Deadpool’s subtitles weren’t yellow! Also, the cat scene glimpsed in the TV spots was missing. The plot was pretty standard, but it makes up for that in spades with personality & humor. Happily Deadpool remains Canadian & is probably also buddies with Megamunch:

2011_0830Winnipeg-Regina-MN0290

Regina rhymes with fun!

Fox slashed $7,000,000.00 out of its budget (oh, so that’s what happened to Wolverine’s payday) , but much of the leaked script by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (aptly identified as “the real heroes here“) made it in. Tim Miller pulled off the absurdity swimmingly. Next to grimdark Batman, the solemn X-Men franchise was most in need of a raucous palate cleanser. (If WB  knows what’s good for it, it’ll fast-track an Ambush Bug movie.) Congratulations on finally being Deadpool in a movie that doesn’t suck, Ryan Reynolds! Thank you all very much for redeeming Deadpool on the silver screen!

For  once I was glad not to be at Toy Fair so I could stay toasty.

The Marvel Legends X-Men line is a huge missed opportunity as it’s entirely remakes. They won’t tell us whether Sauron is the BAF until SDCC. My hunch that Hasbro would make a Marvel NOW! Deadpool has been confirmed! Nico Minoru from the Dr. Strange line looks nifty. Sadly, it’s unlikely to include Rintrah.

DC Collectibles is finally making a Wonder Woman with a functional lasso to bind enemies! I don’t know why she wasn’t wearing her traditional bracelets in the story this toy is based on (somebody enlighten me), but I’ll probably need to get it on principle. They’ll also be doing 6″ movie toys, so I can skip Mattel’s offerings. I’m not keen on the $45 MSRP though. For that price, maybe I should  splurge for the MAFEX version?

I’m concerned at the dearth of DC TV toys shown. Where’s Speedy & Nyssa?

I’m probably the only person excited for a Barbara Kean toy, but a more maniacal grin would look even better.

NECA’s Spiked Tail is my favorite of the Kenner Predator updates.

Fie on Funko for not making more Legacy figures for Game of Thrones & the rest of Serenity’s crew!

Here’s a reminder for anyone on NetGalley to request The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. It should be available through the first week of March, but why not stake your claim now? I cobbled together its new marketing blurb from the reviews it’s already received on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  & Goodreads:

Do you like absurdist humor? How about rampaging mythical creatures? Are you a fan of finding a shark, jumping it and then setting said shark on fire or perhaps blowing it up with dynamite? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you will enjoy this dolorous adventure.There’s a fantastic unpredictability to this Pythonesque book! It’s a surreal ride worth taking with plenty of fun literary references and memorable characters! It’s a great debut from this author, who has a solid grasp of crafting mounting suspense, peril, adventure, and lots and lots of witty, barbarous jokes. This is one of the most original pieces of fiction I’ve come across in some time, and a genuinely hysterical romp, well worth any reader’s time.

Doesn’t that sound all professional & enticing?

 

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