Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/Canada, 2016. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, Kinberg Genre, Donners’ Company, TSG Entertainment. Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, based on a character created by Fabian Nicieza, Rob Liefeld. Cinematography by Ken Seng. Produced by Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds, Lauren Shuler Donner. Music by Junkie XL. Production Design by Sean Haworth. Costume Design by Angus Strathie. Film Editing by Julian Clarke. Golden Globe Awards 2016.
Ryan Reynolds has a great life as a thug for hire, romancing a plucky hooker (Morena Baccarin) and enjoying the underworld night life until the bad news comes while visiting his doctor: he has terminal cancer in multiple organs. A desperate attempt to lengthen his life puts him in the laboratory of a sadistic experiment that not only cures him but makes him a self-regenerating, invincible machine. Conflict with a brutal lab technician whose bad side he gets on quickly also results in his cure turning him into a hideously scarred and unsightly fellow, making disguise necessary for the next chapter of his life. Time passes and now he is out to find his torturer and get him to make him pretty again so he can win back the girl, dogged by a couple of members of the house of X-men who want him to walk the right path and not the life of vengeance he has planned. Gory violence, crass language and a bit of the sexuals makes this inappropriate viewing for the kids, while an insouciant attitude towards the self-importance of superhero movies (mainly expressed through having the main character constantly break the fourth wall) tries to convince us that the tired set-ups being presented are something fresh and new. It’s the same adolescent male fantasy that the genre is perpetually celebrating (invincible body and a prostitute for a pet, how original), bogged down by scenes of violence chopped up so quickly that even the ADD-addled youngsters might find them hard to figure out, while Reynolds is too smugly self-congratulating to notice that most of his humour is simple and not that funny.