A smart, sassy, and refreshingly self aware super hero spectacle

Superhero movies have become so formulaic and, well, corporate these days that I’m considering not bothering with them at all anymore. So this long-awaited sendup was a real delight.

It’s not the first time a movie has tried to satirize the genre. Kick-Ass made a stab at it, as did The Green Hornet. This movie’s opening credits are funnier than The Green Hornet .

It’s also the most self-aware movie since Scream, to the point that it occasionally even targets it’s own inherent inanity.

The title role of an indestructible wisecracking motormouth is played by the ubiquitous Ryan Reynolds, and it may be his best work to date. He does just fine. But the thing is he always does just fine, and I couldn’t help but imagine what a gifted, truly glib actor like Robert Downey, Jr. could have done with the role.

There’s not a lot of plot. What there is is a lot of is genre-busting attitude. It’s smart, sassy, sexy, loud, lewd and full of bratty energy. Also hard R-rated potty-mouthed, quite violent, and a total blast.

Downsides: A tad repetitious, and at times its unrelenting irreverence borders on smug self-congratulation. Also it might have been more effective if it didn’t, somewhat paradoxically, stick so closely to the superhero origin story template.

Note to director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick: Nice job. Please don’t make a sequel. (108 min)