In our look back at the best of 2016, ‘Deadpool’ was at the top of the list when it came to movies as the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ finally landed on the big screen…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When it came to superhero, science fiction and just all around nerdy movies in 2016 there were plenty good — ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Dr. Strange’, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ — and there were bad — ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ and then the down right ugly — I’m looking directly at you ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’.
But at the top of the list for movies in 2016, ‘Deadpool’ stood head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd.
‘Deadpool’ was a labor of love for Ryan Reynolds and when he finally got the movie made, it turned out to be everything fans could have hoped for and more.
When Reynolds first portrayed Wade Wilson in the forgettable ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ movie, he immediately fell in love with the character and immediately began fighting for the right to make a movie based on the real Deadpool from the comics. The over the top, hilariously sarcastic, violent and ‘R’ rated Deadpool and not some dumbed down version that would be transformed into a PG-13 summer blockbuster complete with plush dolls and action figures for the kids.
No, to make ‘Deadpool’ the right way, Reynolds had to bite, scratch and claw his way into production and along with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and director Tim Miller they were able to bring this vision to life on a budget of just $58 million — $200 million less than what Zack Snyder had to work with to make ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’
As it turns out, ‘Deadpool’ ended up as the best film of the year because it was not only an outstanding comic book movie, but it was also a hilarious, well acted thrill ride that was a pulse pumping theater going experience. The filmmakers had less to work with than the standard comic book fare that ends up in theaters, but the made so much more.
Of course, ‘Deadpool’ was filled with a ton of raunchy humor that you’d never find in a standard superhero film but at the heart it was still really a love story. Wade Wilson falls in love with his girl Vanessa only to find out he’s been stricken with cancer.
When an opportunity arises to cure his disease, Wade jumps at the chance but has no idea the people he gets into bed with are actually mad scientists who create mutants to turn into super slaves for hire. Wade’s transformation to Deadpool is predicated on seeking vengeance on the people who did that to him while quietly trying to find a way to re-enter Vanessa’s life after she’s written him off for dead.
Of course, Reynolds shined as Deadpool, but the supporting cast in the movie was also outstanding.
Morena Baccarin was a perfect counterpart to Reynolds as his love interest Vanessa while comedian turned actor T.J. Miller was spot on as his best pal Weasel. True form, Miller’s comedic timing was on point, especially when trading barbs with Reynolds in some of the funniest moments of the entire movie.
Tack on Ed Skrein and Gina Carano as a one-two punch for the villains along with Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead and this cast was largely unknown but a far better ensemble than virtually every other comic book movie that came out in 2016.
The dialogue was sharp and cutting and the story was simple yet compelling.
‘Deadpool’ broke down the fourth wall by talking directly to the audience in the middle of the movie but that was just another piece of the puzzle that separated this film from all the others in the same genre this year.
It was new, creative and original and that’s not easy to do with the amount of comic book movies coming out these days.
‘Deadpool’ was the best of the best in 2016 and if you disagree then go f…never mind we’ll just leave that for the ‘Deadpool’ sequel in 2018.
THE BEST OF THE REST
‘Captain America: Civil War’ — In any other year, this movie probably would have taken the top prize. This was the best Avengers movie that’s been made and it wasn’t even an Avengers movie. From start to finish, ‘Civil War’ was by far the top traditional comic book film in 2016 while still finding a way to re-invent the genre at the same time. One thing is for certain — Marvel Studios still rules all at the superhero box office.
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ — No one was certain what to expect from the first ever ‘Star Wars’ spinoff film but ultimately this ended up being one of the absolute best movies in the entire franchise. The film told the story of the rebels who stole the plans to the Death Star that played so prominently in ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’. When this movie was over, you were certain to roll a tear down your cheek while standing on the edge of your seat cheering for more.
‘Dr. Strange’ — Another Marvel origin story that knocks it out of the park. Dr. Stephen Strange is an egocentric neurosurgeon who suffers an accident that costs him his magical hands. Instead, Strange is transformed into the Sorcerer Supreme where he tackles real magic and mysticism while protecting Earth from all sorts of other worldly beings. This was a character most fans probably couldn’t pick out of a superhero line up five years ago. Now ‘Dr. Strange’ is another outstanding addition to the Marvel film family.
‘Star Trek Beyond’ — With J.J. Abrams gone, ‘Star Trek Beyond’ wasn’t supposed to be a quality third entry into the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ universe, but instead this was one of the most enjoyable films of the year. When the Starship Enterprise is ripped apart and destroyed — at the beginning of the movie for once — Captain Kirk and his crew have to find answers to stop an alien hell bent on the destruction of the Federation. A great entry to the ‘Star Trek’ film library, which is chocked full of hits and misses over the years.