This unpleasant spandex spin-off is a desperate lunge to sex-up superheroes.
It energetically thrusts a minor member of the X-Men franchise centre stage, but can only muster some limp entertainment.
A weak and formulaic origin movie, the non-linear narrative and meta-commentary on the genre can’t disguise myriad failings, not least the unappealing lead.
Ryan Reynolds is perfectly cast as Wade Wilson, a proudly irritating special forces agent turned mercenary.
The script has to fall back on inflicting terminal cancer to create sympathy for him.
A sadistic scientist called Ajax deliberately disfigured Wade while attempting to turn him into a super-powered slave.
Last seen replacing Jason Statham in dull reboot The Transporter Refuelled (2015) reboot, rapper turned actor Ed Skrein over acts as the dull villain.
Believed to be dead, Wade adopts the identity of the gun toting masked man called Deadpool.
Despite two members of the X-men team attempting to recruit him, Deadpool insists he is not a hero.
His signature move is to pirouette into action, a deliberately camp affectation in keeping with the supposedly transgressive character.
Convinced of it’s own outrageous hilarity, Deadpool replaces the intense boredom of the recent Superman film with a juvenile tone, flippant sexism and some light bondage.
Then it adds child abuse jokes and frequent threats of rape.
Slow motion action scenes are mostly powered by mediocre CGI, blood splatting violence and explosions.
Deadpool is hunting Ajax for revenge, and to discover the secret to having his leading man looks restored.
Without them he feels unworthy of his fiancee, the beautiful hooker Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin.
This presupposes Wade recognises he possesses no other feature such as charm, wit or intelligence to which Vanessa might be attracted. Perhaps the character is written with more self awareness than Reynolds allows him.
Baccarin and Reynolds make an attractive pair and the few moments of quality are in their initial sparky banter.
Described as the first pansexual superhero, Deadpool is actually monogamously heterosexual.
Sadly all that’s required of the talented Baccarin in the role is to look fabulous in fishnets, talk dirty and be kidnapped.
This is in keeping with the pervasive sexism. All female characters are either ugly and therefore suitable subjects for mockery, or they’re gorgeous strippers and prostitutes.
Deadpool rooms with a blind old black woman whose sexual unattractiveness is a butt of much humour, none of which is funny.
Grossly pandering to the worst impulses of it’s target audience demographic of twelve year boys, the BBFC should be congratulated for putting Deadpool out of their reach.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) which off a £56 million budget globally grossed £282 million. The lesson learned is there is a lot of money to be made in arse jokes.
Among the slight attempts at deconstructing the gene, there is a weak joke regarding The Matrix (1999) and at one point Reynolds’ riffs on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986).
Marvel comics supremo Stan Lee cameos as a DJ in a strip club.
Most of the film consists of two fights, one on a freeway flyover and the other on a crashed Helicarrier from an Avengers movie.
There are some laughs along the way to the lacklustre climax, a word guaranteed to have Deadpool sniggering.