Director: Tim Miller
When my girlfriend and I went to go see one of her favorite bands perform live, it left her in a state of ecstatic frenzy that she couldn’t come down from for about a week. In a similar manner, I recently saw the long-awaited, much-pined-for DEADPOOL, and in the interest of objective reporting, I’m going to try to keep my spasming to a minimum. But first, a lapse:
Holy Christ on a Crouton, DEADPOOL was fantastic. My GOD, it was everything one could ever ask for in a movie that was finally true to the Deadpool who fans have known and loved since Rob Liefeld brought him into existence in the early ’90s.
Pictured: Me (left) and the Crossfader editors (right) at the DEADPOOL screening
I’m sorry you all had to see that. DEADPOOL is a far cry from the Wade Wilson/Shitpool the world had foisted upon it in WOLVERINE ORIGINS, and the film won’t let you forget it. Ryan Reynolds’s rapid-fire quips are the heart and soul of this movie, cementing him as the obvious choice to play the Merc with a Mouth. Every filthy word and double entendre out of this man’s mouth was an affirmation of his suitability for the role, to such a degree that I’m almost concerned that Ryan Reynolds really thinks he’s Deadpool. Someone should really talk to him. The script is rife with fourth wall-breaking, and at one point there’s even 16th wall-breaking, true to the character’s comic book roots. However, not everything survives the adaptation to the silver screen, and fans will note that the voices Deadpool often speaks with in the comics are noticeably absent.
To be fair, an hour and 40 minutes of “Pop-up Movie” would’ve been exhausting
DEADPOOL is a sendup of the nigh-ubiquitous superhero genre, often lampooning and at times literally nudging ribs while calling attention to the tropes and clichés of films in this post-Marvel world. In one scene, before one of the villains, Angel Dust (played by MMA fighter Gina Carano), confronts Deadpool and his X-Men compatriots, he nudges one of them, informing them that they’re gonna do a “superhero” landing and that it’s “murder on the knees.” Sure enough, she lands in a pose that Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have all emulated in their respective films. DEADPOOL is at once like and unlike any other superhero that’s been seen before. Unlike them, Deadpool has to take a cab from place to place, lives in squalor, and even has a landlady. There are many things in this movie that are transgressive of other superhero movies, up to and including the fact that this is Marvel’s first hard R post-IRON MAN.
“Hey, guys, remember me? I’m a Marvel movie too!”
However, I find it important to note that DEADPOOL is not a fantastic film. Please don’t close this review—let me explain: DEADPOOL did a lot of things right, but it also did many things wrong. For instance, the character’s motivation throughout the entire film is to track down the man that gave him his powers and also disfigured him, and force him to change him back so that he can finally reunite with his love, Vanessa. The relationship between Wade and Vanessa doesn’t seem like it would be too hampered by an aesthetically displeasing figure, nor does it seem like either character values that aspect of their partner very highly. More importantly, she’s not very well-designed as a character, as are many of the few women in the film, with the exception of Brianna Hildebrand’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Many things about the film are just confusing, especially the winding narrative that takes the story to the present, to the past, back to the present, and back again through the use of narration and fourth wall-breaking.
The sexual tension between TJ Miller and Ryan Reynolds, however, is palpable
It’s also another Marvel origin story, which has been decried by most critics in the past few years as overdone and trite. I agree that origin stories have been overdone, but it’s unfortunately a necessary evil if one is going to make a superhero movie; otherwise, you have this larger-than-life character bounding about the screen with superhuman powers that absolutely no one can relate to. This plot structure carries with it its own bunch of tired tropes and clichés that have largely contributed to the mass feeling of being “burned out” on superhero movies. While this is no doubt a real occurrence, DEADPOOL could’ve gone farther with its attempts to lampoon these clichés. In fact, DEADPOOL could’ve gone farther in many ways, including depictions of the character as unhinged, which is a major part of his personality.
Tired of superheroes? Try like 50 in a movie!
DEADPOOL is not a perfect movie. It’s rife with clichés and tropes that it tries to be above and suffers from many regrettable writing choices. DEADPOOL is, however, a perfect Deadpool movie, hitting all the marks that longtime fans have wanted since WOLVERINE: ORIGINS and portraying the character exactly as he should be. You may remember an article I wrote during Crossmas concerning the portrayal of Deadpool, and this film is a Crossmas wish come true. While some references and material may be inaccessible to casual viewers, I would urge anyone growing weary of the superhero genre to check this movie out, as well as just about anyone who just wants to go see a movie and doesn’t have to bring their kids.