The Best of Ryan Reynolds
12/9/2020 • 3 min read
You know him, you love him. It’s Ryan Reynolds, the super-handsome and very funny guy who can also do drama. We recognize him most now as Deadpool - which is kind of ironic, given that Reynolds plays the role under both heavy burn prosthetics AND a mask - but Ryan Reynolds can do all kinds of things.
Reynolds will soon star in FREE GUY as a mild-mannered everyman who discovers that he is actually an NPC (non-playable character) in a violent video game. Instead of accepting that fate, he decides to take matters into his own, digital hands. FREE GUY looks to be filled with wild action paired with the wit we’ve all come to expect from Reynolds. In honor of the upcoming movie, have a look at Reynolds's best roles.
Ryan Reynolds did not direct DEADPOOL and he did not create Deadpool, but he made this highly successful movie happen thanks to his own tireless campaigning - which included making a viral Deadpool short film as proof of concept. The actor just knew the Merc with a Mouth could be his signature role. And he was right.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Maybe Reynolds got the idea about DEADPOOL because his first swing at the character was so strange. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE is all-out weirdness. That is in part thanks to Reynolds’s first run as Deadpool, which you just have to see to believe. (Spoilers: The movie doesn't merely make him mute; it literally takes away his entire mouth). Even silent, Reynolds still manages to steal the show.
Van Wilder (2002)
One generation got its first big taste of Reynolds’ smart-aleck tone with this early 2000s National Lampoon gem that acts as a kind of update to PCU. Reynolds parties hard as a seventh-year college senior who just wants to have fun. In other words, it's, the part he was born to play — at least the one before Deadpool.
After college comes work, and this restaurant-focused take on the OFFICE SPACE formula doesn’t make it look all that great. But, with the help of a waiter like Ryan Reynolds, it can at least be fun. WAITING… doesn't have any big effects; instead, it allows the actor to show off his ability to entertain by endlessly talking.
Speaking of endlessly talking, here is a role where that’s literally all Ryan Reynolds can do. BURIED finds the motormouthed actor six feet under, stuck in a coffin with no way out. He does have a cell phone, however. Because of these physical limitations, BURIED is a claustrophobic and tense thriller carried one hundred percent on Reynolds’ shoulders.
Green Lantern (2011)
Maybe it’s not the best film, but you have to give credit to Reynolds: he really wanted to play a superhero. And before he got Deadpool off the ground (the real Deadpool, not the Wolverine version), he was willing to try anything. That included playing Green Lantern clad in a fully CG suit, offering a version of a character who probably could have done a bit more with his ability to conjure any weapon he can imagine. Nevertheless, Reynolds charms in the role.
The Change-Up (2011)
This body-switching comedy stars classic goofball Ryan Reynolds and classic straight man Jason Bateman. This means we get to see Reynolds in his most familiar mode, but also get the chance to see him doing an extremely good Jason Bateman impression after their characters swap bodies. (And vice-versa.) What’s not to like?
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Ryan Reynolds has a distinctive voice and way of delivering lines. If you thought ahead of time that distinctive tone would fit coming out of Pokémon mascot Pikachu, you should be out buying lottery tickets. And yet somehow the marriage works. DETECTIVE PIKACHU is funny and even touching. Reynolds and Pikachu are now forever entwined.
Reynolds isn't the star of this '80s-set dramedy; that honor falls to Jesse Eisenberg whose character James is forced to take a summer job at a local amusement park. In addition to falling for Em (Kristen Stewart), James meets Mike, the park handyman who claims to have played music with Lou Reed but whose real life is fairly pathetic. Reynolds turns Mike into a believable loser whose good looks and genial manner can't quite mask the fact that his life is basically a washout.
FREE GUY opens on August 13, 2021!
All images courtesy of 20th Century Studios, Miramax, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Lionsgate.