Photo: ‘Deadpool’/20th Century Fox
Ryan Reynolds is one of the biggest actors in Hollywood today. His performance as the Merc with a Mouth has launched Ryan Reynolds into the realm of comedy Titans, but he is a jack of all trades. He has shone in drama, horror, and action flicks throughout his career although he mostly focuses on comedy nowadays because let’s face it, d**k jokes are fun. Reynolds tends to be a stand out in every movie he’s in because of his charisma, wit, and in the case of Deadpool, skin-tight red bodysuit.
Ryan Reynolds Performances
#5- The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
This movie is the very definition of a summer comedy. It’s fun and it doesn’t make you think too hard if you want to enjoy it. It’s not incredibly deep (we’ll get to Reynolds’ more meaty performances later in the article), but if you like the quick-witted and charming public persona Reynolds has put out there then you’ll love this movie. Reynolds plays Michael Bryce who is tasked with bringing Samuel L. Jackson’s Darius Kincaid to trial to testify against an international criminal. Reynolds has nary taken on a role in a buddy comedy, but this movie makes it seem like this is far from his first Rodeo. He and Jackson have such amazing chemistry together as scene partners. Again, this isn’t the type of movie for scholarly intellectuals but if you want to see how Deadpool and Jules Winnfield gel, you know what to watch.
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#4- 6 Underground (2019)
6 Underground is the perfect movie to watch if you like the wisecracking action hero but want to leave the superpowers out of it… kind of. The ability to jump from building to building is pretty cool, but it’s about as much a superpower like that of Hawkeye. Sorry Hawkeye fans, shooting arrows on expert mode is not a superpower. Six people who have mastered certain skill-sets (gun-slinging, parkour, medicine, spying, driving, and… being rich and having a lot of time on hand, I guess) fake their own deaths to take down an evil regime. Reynolds plays Number One, the leader of the group of vigilantes. He sets the tone for the movie and leads the rest of the actors through a movie dripping with his trademark quick as a lightning clap wit. Some of the actors, such as Ben Hardy, had seldom ever done comedy on screen before but Ryan Reynolds empowered the other actors to be just as funny as him. Reynolds didn’t steal the comedic spotlight and is a generous fellow comedy actor despite his mastery of the genre.
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#3- Buried (2010)
Pro-tip: if you happen to be working abroad, try your hardest not to get buried alive. That’s something most guidebooks leave out but it’s pretty important. In Buried, Paul finds himself trapped in a coffin underground after his convoy is ambushed by terrorists. The best thing about this movie is that Paul is not some high ranking official or charming action hero, he’s just a regular guy. If you like Reynolds for his most common typecast character: a wise-cracking over confident semi-A-hole with a heart of gold, this isn’t the movie for you. This role is the opposite of the charming Reynolds we’re used to and that’s what makes Reynolds’ performance so real. His desperation to survive his situation seeps out of every minute of the performance. Paul is scared of dying like any of us would be in that situation. Reynolds perfectly portrays the character’s fearful, anxious, and frantic mental state when he’s sure he has no chance of living.
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#2- Mississippi Grind (2015)
This is a modern take on a classic leprechaun tale. Gerry, a down on his luck gambler, makes friends with Curtis, a young guy who acts as his lucky charm of sorts. Gerry and Curtis embark on a gambling trip to Mississippi in hopes of turning Curtis’s life around. This movie came and went with unfortunately little fanfare. It is an incredibly deep and complex film that’s a bit hard to watch at times but it’s still a good movie, especially if you’re interested in the psychology of gambling addiction. Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn pair perfectly as the film’s dual protagonists and Reynolds plays off Mendelson’s character’s desperation beautifully.
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#1- Deadpool (2016)
And finally, we arrive at Reynolds’ piece de resistance; his magnum opus filled to the brim with equal parts gratuitous violence and gratuitous fart jokes. Deadpool is the role Reynolds was born to play. Deadpool fans can picture no other actor kebabbing bad guys while spewing quips while his victims spew blood. This movie is one of the highest-grossing R-rated films ever made, and it’s in large part thanks to Reynolds’ performance as the Merc with a Mouth. Reynolds leads this movie to victory with his sharp-as-Deadpool’s-katanas wit, amazing chemistry with the rest of the cast, and fashionably Croc covered feet. There is nothing not to love about Reynolds’ performance in the red bodysuit. He’s the reason the movie is as fun as it is. I’ve seen the movie somewhere in the ballpark of 250 times and I have never grown tired of it. I have never met a single fan of the comics who does not love Reynolds’ performance and if you haven’t seen Deadpool you don’t know Ryan Reynolds.
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