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'Deadpool' is less irreverent than self-congratulatory

The superhero film stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, also known as Deadpool, who is a fighter incapable of dying. It's weirdly funny at best but exhaustingly weird most of the time.

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'Deadpool' stars Ryan Reynolds.

Joe Lederer/Twentieth Century Fox Corporation/AP

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“Deadpool” isn’t exactly dead in the water, but it’s strictly for Marvel Comics fans who like their characters sloshing in R-rated territory. Weirdly funny at best, it’s just exhaustingly weird most of the time.

Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a mercenary who is bioengineered by big bad guy Ajax (Ed Skrein) into a fighter incapable of dying. Whenever he is shot or maimed or de-limbed, Deadpool, costumed in red-and-black spandex to resemble a cut-rate Spider-Man, simply heals himself. He doesn’t like to call himself a superhero, but what else would you call him? Super-anti-hero, I guess.

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Reynolds brings a lewd flippancy to the role, and director Tim Miller and his writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, have some fun at Marvel’s expense. But this fun is a essentially a rebranding of the brand; it seems less irreverent than self-congratulatory. Grade: C+ (Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.)


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