Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is in a taxi, chatting with the cabby Dopinder (Karan Son) about a couple of things: women, and the guy who ruined Wade’s face. He gets out on a bridge, sits on the railing, and talks to the audience. He jumps off the bridge into the bad guys’ car and beats the crap out of them, dropping wise-cracks and one-liners the whole time. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and seven-foot steel Colossus (voice by Stefan Kpicic and body by Andre Tricoteux) show up to help him at the shoot-out in the resulting traffic jam, and once again he refuses to join the X-Men and become a hero. Realizing he has only twelve bullets, Wade counts out every shot, misses a couple, then kills three guys with one shot.
In a flashback, which he sets up for the audience, we learn that back when he had a face he was a Special Forces operative turned mercenary (the merc with the mouth). In a bar, he meets and falls head-over-heels for a gorgeous prostitute named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). They are made for each other because they are both crazy and over-sexed, and they are going to marry, but he learns he has late-stage cancer in his whole body. He volunteers for a cancer-cure in an oxygen tank, that will give him accelerated healing powers, making him basically immortal. This is a rogue experiment performed by Ajax (Ed Skrein), who is himself indestructible, and Angel Dust (Gina Carano), who possesses great strength. The procedure is sadistic and horrible and ruins his face and body. He uses the oxygen to explode the tank but survives to escape.
He approaches Vanessa but is afraid to reveal himself to her in his condition, so she believes he is dead. He is taken care of in hiding by a blind woman named Al (Leslie Uggams) in a small but wonderful role. He sets out to revenge himself on Ajax, cutting a swath through the underworld. When Ajax learns that he is alive, he seeks him out, shaking down his bartender. He learns about Vanessa and kidnaps her. Deadpool goes to the X-Men mansion to enlist the help of Colossus and Negasonic for the Marvel-style final showdown on an aircraft carrier, which they destroy. The end is a battle to the death between two men who cannot die and is extraordinarily brutal.
What should I say about this movie? Sesame Street it’s not. The language is X-rated and the love-scenes nearly so. The fight scenes are spectacular, as you might expect, but seem particularly bloody. Deadpool commits a lot of murders, but more than Wolverine? I don’t think so. The bad guys are sadistic and cruel, but they usually are. What makes the movie is the humour. It’s hard to take mayhem seriously with all the quips and fourth-wall asides (Lest you think this lacks class, Shakespeare did the same, often.) But it somehow avoids stooping to camp because Ryan Reynolds is genuinely funny. The jokes are silly but intelligent—like Monty Python—and they are all about taking the mickey out of Marvel, with love. Haven’t we done the same?