In cinemas this week: Deadpool, Zoolander 2 and Brooklyn.
Deadpool – Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humour, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. An obnoxious, but rather clever marketing campaign has generated a lot of buzz for this subversive R-rated superhero entry about a fringe X-men character few non-comic book fans have heard of. Ryan Reynolds is a gifted comic performer, and no doubt well-suited, but will its profane riddled rebellion fall into unpleasantly smug territory, and just how much does its subversive approach actually work?
Zoolander 2 – Ben Stiller returns both in front of and behind the camera for Zoolander 2, a comedy that finds the beloved model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and his rival-turned-partner Hansel (Owen Wilson) facing a threat to their continued success. Zoolander’s status as a (deserved) cult comedy icon could be tainted by this cameo-drowned disaster. Let’s hope no one is talking about this film in 15 years.
Brooklyn tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. I placed Brooklyn at #20 on my Best of 2015 list. This beautiful and understated romantic drama is pretty close to perfection for most of its runtime, and utterly impeccable when the story is set in Brooklyn. It tells a universally relatable immigrant story, of the courage it takes to build a life independently in a big city or strange land. Best actress nominee Saoirse Ronan and an equally Oscar-worthy Emory Cohen are wonderful; their chemistry delightful. Costumes, period design, musical score – all divine.
Weekly Recommendation: Brooklyn, but the jury is still out on Deadpool.