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On the one hand, Deadpool is about as traditional a superhero movie as you can get: it’s the origin story of remorseless killing machine Deadpool, AKA Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), just your regular average gun-for-hire who, after being diagnosed with cancer, underwent an experimental “treatment” (more like torture) at the hands of Ajax (Ed Skrein) that unleashed his mutant powers (he basically can’t be killed) but turned him into a hideous freak. Unable to return to his girlfriend (Morena Baccarin) because of said freakishness, he swears revenge, even as the X-Men (well, a CGI Colossus and his teen sidekick) try to get him to become a true hero.

What makes this worthwhile isn’t the action; it’s relatively small scale, low-budget stuff, though the initial fight sequence is enjoyably insane. It’s the constant comedy that lifts this up, managing to be relentlessly smartarse and teen-level crude without ever really becoming annoying thanks in very large part to Reynolds sure-fire delivery of every cheap gag and snappy meta-textual reference. It’s his film and he carries it across the line in style, and while your tolerance for this kind of thing may vary – overexposure will kill this franchise dead faster than most – for his first outing Deadpool hits the sweet spot dead on.