After months of anticipation, coupled with a highly imaginative marketing campaign, Deadpool has finally hit theaters. Reviews from critics and fans alike have poured in for the fourth-wall breaking "merc with a mouth" — and the consensus is it's lived up to the hype.
Deadpool had a "certified fresh" 83% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes on Friday, while 95% of the audience has liked it as well. Here are some of the highlights from critics' reviews — and don't worry, we wouldn't dare spoil it for you.
The AV Club's A.A. Dowd writes the film stayed true to its comic book source material, where Deadpool constantly acknowledges his own existence in the cinematic universe, and among other superheros. "Popular demand made a headlining hero out of the one-time villain, but only during peak superhero saturation could one expect him to star in his own feature film. (Deadpool's explanation: He fellated Wolverine.)," Dowd wrote.
Similarly, Vox's Alex Abad-Santos said the film is devoted to the characters inherent, inappropriate origins. However, it's not just comic book lovers that will enjoy Deadpool — the humor works for the uninitiated as well. "The film is an inside joke aimed to please devout comics nuts, the people who've followed the sardonic, self-aware mercenary with a penchant for cock jokes through the pages of various Marvel comic books," Abad-Santos wrote. "But you don't need to be an expert on the source material to keep up, because there's no pretense with Deadpool, no deeper concern than having ultraviolent fun."
Most importantly, critics agree that Reynolds nails the titular role of Deadpool, which makes sense, given he's campaigned for the role ever since the anti-hero was in development by Marvel. "The movie exists entirely as a star vehicle for Reynolds, and perhaps its canniest stroke is the way it both conceals and demolishes his physical beauty — a small price to pay when an actor's tongue is this gloriously sharp," Justin Chang wrote for Variety.
Conversely, there were some criticisms for Deadpool as well — notably, the vulgarity of the character and the consequences of its R-rated, violent tendencies. "It's a disturbing film, in that all the things we might normally attribute to ineptitude — the fractured narrative, the confusing visuals, the repugnant lead character — seem intentional, possibly the harbinger of a new aesthetic," Mick LaSalle wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle. "Maybe it doesn't matter that we're not made to dislike the characters we see getting killed, so long as some violent death is depicted onscreen, which is maybe all audiences want — and all they ever secretly wanted."
However, similar criticisms, to some extent, seem to miss the point of the character. He's in the same Marvel cinematic universe, but Deadpool isn't intended to act like the traditional hero. He's not trying to be a superhero as much as he's being forced into becoming one, to save his love interest Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).
Ultimately, if you know what to expect coming into Deadpool, the consensus is you're going to have a great time — and the fact that a sequel is already in the works is a sign that it worked. If you're expecting a standard superhero film, this isn't for you. Deadpool is a crass, selfish, profanity-laced asshole, but he's our fan-petitioned movie asshole.