There is a lot of potential for a review of Deadpool. We could have had him personally write the review and us having to fight him for control over the keyboard (which, honestly, wouldn’t have ended well for Manchicken and I), we could have tried to write the review in the style of the film, or we could have just thrown some Fourth Wall breaking nonsense together and called it a day.
Deadpool is not your typical Marvel Superhero film. Sure, the film’s plot was done with the typical origin story, but with this character, I actually believe it was somewhat necessary. In the case of Wade Wilson, I believe that the general public had no knowledge of his existence outside of the brilliant marketing campaign put together by Fox and Ryan Reynolds himself.
Ah hum. And no matter what I can say about this film, it’s all about Ryan Reynolds. The man who single handedly took the crap given to him from Gavin Hood, David Benioff, Skip Woods (Director and writers of X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and likely 20th Century Fox’s evil lead, Jim Gianopulos, (depicted below in his true form), and made sweet sweet lemonade out of fetid lemons.
From showcasing some of the character’s fighting abilities in the failed prequel to X-Men, endlessly campaigning for the film, somehow being first to showcase “leaked” footage from a 2011 proof of concept to this film on Twitter, and appearing in countless ads and other marketing stunts, including an amazing “self help” video advocating “Touching Yourself” to look for testicular cancer, oh, and actually staring in this record breaking R-Rated film.
It’s very rare that studios are comfortable releasing R-Rated films. Mainly because it really kills their chances at getting all that sweet allowance money from the coveted 13-16 year old demographic. I imagine Fox did everything they could to try and make this film PG-13, but both Reynolds and director Tim Miller (this was one hell of a wide-release debut) lobbied as hard as they could for the film’s essence to be maintained. Even when they had to lose $7 Million from production at the last moment, they came through and took away the previous release record for an R-Rated film (previously held by The Hangover Part II). With an opening weekend of $135M in the US (way more in other territories), it not only blew those records away, but it kicked some major studio butt by becoming Fox’s largest opening weekend (stealing it from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith).
Don’t know what Fight Club has to do with it, but, I’ll roll with it. Anyway, for not being a fan of Deadpool in the comics (I’m more of a DC guy), I enjoyed the heck out of this film. The most common thing I hear people say about it is that it was “fun”. I think that is a fantastic way to describe Deadpool, but I believe there is a better one: Original. And I really worry, just like director James Gunn that filmmakers are going to learn a completely different lesson from Deadpool. While I’ll be the first to advocate for more R-Rated films in wide release as well as less serious comic book films (sorry my dearest Ben, I’m looking at your Batman vs. Superman).
had gratuitous amounts of violence and blood, or even was extremely funny in pretty much every way. Unfortunately, that’s what Hollywood is going to take away from Deadpool. The trope of “comedic-ultra-violence” will hit screens (hell, I’d pay to see more blood while Wolverine with the gloves off his claws rips through the entire cast of the Brotherhood of Mutants). Why lie? We’d all watch that…but then we’d get fatigued again and they would just be another brand of superhero films. The magic from Deadpool would be lost in the sea of uncharacteristic actions taken by notable heroes.
I was thinking of Spider-Man creating nooses for the bad guys but sure, Kevin Smith can laugh at us.
Apart from Reynold’s obvious passion for the character and the film in general, his supporting cast are taken along for the ride. Not a single one of them miss a beat as the Merc with a Mouth goes on one killing rampage after another (sometimes even turning the camera away when it could get too bad), makes self-referential humor, or even decides the film needs Colossal ball punching. That last part is literal. Needless to say, the supporting actors look like they’re having as much fun as the audience and can hardly keep from laughing in almost every scene.
Slow-motion action is nothing new. Both Wanted, Kingsman, and the granddaddy of them all The Matrix all had variations of the fight choreography in Deadpool. There was something special about the ultra-violence depicted on screen, but even displays such as Watchmen and the first two Terminator films had copious amounts of ultra-violence. In my opinion, the two directors who have pulled off action as well as that in Deadpool are Timur Bekmambetov (Director of Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Matthew Vaughn (Director of Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service). There are scenes in Wanted and Kick-Ass that still make me cringe when I think of them.
Okay, well, I did cringe at Green Lantern, but that wasn’t the point. In general, others have done what Deadpool has done, but I think their real trump card here was the internal dialogue from Wade. In fact, several sequences are shot in such a way that Deadpool is actively telling a complete story while dealing out death to anyone who was foolish enough to continue fighting after the first few bullets didn’t put him down. Again, as I said, it all comes back to Ryan Reynolds.
Something I don’t often cover in movie reviews, but applies here, is the musical score. Horror films utilize the score to create tension and unless you are watching a film with the name “John Williams” or “Danny Elfman”, you’re not likely to notice the score. Deadpool was an interesting case. The 1990’s Hip-Hop vibe and general zaniness of the music flaring with the action is one impressive bit. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there was a moment in the film where an action movie trope was exploited for a gag that had the theater in stitches.
There was only one flaw in Deadpool’s otherwise stellar story, action, and acting was the villain. Unlike *spoilers* President Underwood up there, I don’t know why Marvel, Fox, or Warner Bros. have not been able to produce a good villain since Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Did he set the bar too high? It’s been almost 10 years and we’ve seen squat in a fully formed villain. All I want is someone that has a reasonable scheme, no mystery casting (we all knew he was Khan), and can act worth a damn. I was however impressed with Gina Carano in the henchmen role which is her best role since she played “Crush” on the revamped “American Gladiators” during the 2008 Writer’s Strike.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
Deadpool is an instant classic in the superhero genre that has become saturated. Perhaps all we needed was a little bit of passion, humor, and debilitating ultra-violence injected straight into our veins to wake up from the action films that major studios have been peddling too us lately. They’re going to have to seriously up their game because not only is Deadpool a blast to watch, but it’s original without having to resort to filming the whole movie with computers. Just go see this movie, you won’t regret it…unless you bring your children. The explanations you’ll have to endure on the ride home will be harrowing to say the least.