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As much stand-up comic as comic-book character, "Deadpool" is a scalding-hot satire on the superhero genre that gives star Ryan Reynolds the snarky platform he's always needed.

Reynolds plays Deadpool, a Marvel Comics character who is as fast with a sarcastic quip as he is with his guns and katana swords. He uses them all liberally in his rampage to capture his nemesis, the super-strong mutant Ajax (Ed Skrein).

Midcarnage, Deadpool narrates his own flashbacks to explain his origins as mercenary Wade Wilson, who abandoned his super-hot girlfriend, Vanessa ("Gotham's" Morena Baccarin), after a cancer diagnosis, for which he endured torturous treatment by Ajax that gave him recuperative superpowers.

Director Tim Miller, an animator and visual-effects guy making his feature directing debut, oversees a joke-and-profanity-laden script (by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) that frequently mocks the genre, breaks the fourth wall and shreds the "X-Men" franchise that spawned it. Things drag in the movie's overly serious middle section, but Reynolds' gift for rapid-fire putdowns adds spice to the frenetic action.


Opening Friday, Feb. 12, in theaters everywhere; rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity; 107 minutes.