Director: Tim Miller
I have really distinct memories of going to see this with my now-ex, who’s a much bigger fan of comic book movies than I am, and we walked out with very differing opinions, she thuoght it was OK, I loved it.
Deadpool is an origin story that isn’t. It gets round the problem of setting up the merc with a mouth and still not have it have that generic, origin-story-then-he-fights-a-guy structure of most superhero films by having our hero come to us fully formed, starting the he-fights-a-guy plotline, then telling us his origin in flashbacks. His origin also really works for setting up the main conflict in a way so many origin stories like The Amazing Spider-Man try to do and drastically fail. We join him on a crowded, complexely structured freeway about to get the ‘drop’ on a group of bad guys.
I’m beginning to think your reaction to this film really depends on what you think of comic book movies in general. As far as I know, all the people fully on board with the MCU bandwagon thought it was, meh, and all the people who, like me, have been suffering from RSI, or what I like to call Repetative Superhero Injury thought it was absolutely fantastic. Aside from that, if you like raunchy humour, graphic violence, and Wham! jokes, you’ll probably like Deadpool, a lot.
Let’s face it, Ryan Reynolds was born to play this character, in the hands of more traditional Hollywood types, there is a chance that his incessant jabbering could come off as purely annoying. If you take, let’s say Hugh Jackman, Chris Evans, or Keanu Reeves, who’s more traditional Hollywood tough guys rely mostly on them being quiet and stoic, there’s a chance that it could come across more Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan than Logan Howlett or John Wick, more The Human Torch than Captain America. In the hands of Reynolds, he’s actually really funny, and actually kind of endearing in an, annoying five year old kind of way. He makes all the incessant fourth wall breaking come off as funny and not absolutely infuriating in a b-grade post-modern Quentin Tarantino way.
When I walked out, I thought it was the answer to all my problems with the MCU, (problems which, since actually really anjoying Doctor Strange have gone down somewhat), I think my ex was actually slightly hurt at the beating traditional, family friendly comic book movies had taken in the film. Although maybe it hasn’t seemed to be the comic book movie cure-all we all hoped, it is still absolutely hilarious on rewatches. Jokes about the cheapskate nature of the X-Men universe and the duelling timelines are still funny.
When I first saw it, I saw it in IMAX which it’s really good for because it’s directed, not just with the kind of empty spectacle one could come to expect from Superhero movies but with a real cinematic verve and style I found lacking from say, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I mean say what you like about the DCEU, and I have, at least those films, like Man of Steel and Suicide Squad, have a distinct visual style, obtrusive, irritating, and migraine inducing as that may be. I have since seen it on a TV, and in the back of an aeroplane seat. The latter of which I was trepedatious about because certain films in a similar vein, like Kingsman: The Secret Service, for me lost a lot of charm when watched in that medium, realising what we had had there was empty visuals with a high sheen, now taken away. However, as I said in my Year Round Up, (here), it was just as badass as before.
Deadpool is a lot of, unruly, crude, crass, disreputable, foul mouthed, post-modern, fast talking, but ultimately really, really enjoyable, fun. The only superhero movie around with ball-gag jokes. My question is, after all the Wham! jokes, will there be jokes about George Micheal’s death in the sequel?
But what do I know? My favourite comic book movies are only Blade, Batman Begins, Unbreakable, and maybe Doctor Strange or Thor. Clearly I can’t have an opinion unless I think Captain America: Civil War makes all other comic book movies suck dick.