Deadpool (2016)

Although I have not read the comics, I was so thrilled when Ryan Reynolds was cast as Wade Wilson for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I’m familiar with Deadpool as a character and I really believed Ryan Reynolds was perfect for the role. (He was also my number one celebrity crush, so you know how it is.)

As you may know, it was a bit disappointing, as far as Deadpool portrayals go. So I was pleasantly surprised when that first announcement of a Deadpool movie was made soon after the release of the first Wolverine movie.

But then the project was shelved… and Green Lantern happened…

Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting a Deadpool movie to happen for a few years.

THEN that leaked test footage appeared. And I had to try very hard not to let myself get too excited, because test footage isn’t a sure sign of anything.

But here we are, after several years and a killer Valentine’s-President’s Day box office weekend, and Deadpool has done pretty spectacularly, breaking the record for this holiday weekend set by Fifty Shades of Grey last year and the record for an R-rated opening set by The Matrix: Reloaded.

First of all, let me remind you that Deadpool [proudly] earns a solid R-rating from the MPAA. It is not the kind of movie for small children who love Captain America and Superman. (Large children, like me, are probably okay.) One of the first things I noticed in this movie is that the violence is significantly more graphic than most comic book movies out there. Specifics will be below the trailer with other spoilers, but Deadpool does not shy away from violence and blood. I’d say it’s not quite at that Tarantino-level but it’s definitely approaching it?

There is a lot of language and a fair bit of sex in the beginning of the film as well. Full-frontal nudity? Pegging? (Yes, I never thought I’d ever say “pegging” on this blog either.) There’s a lot going on that is uncomfortable to watch with your parents or your kids, depending on your relationship with your parents or kids.

The opening scene of Deadpool involves going through a frozen action-packed scene (a crashing car that you get to see from every angle) and the humor is apparent in the opening credits: “God’s Perfect Idiot”, “A Hot Chick”, “British Villain”, “Moody Teenager”, “CG-Animated Guy”, “Gratuitous Cameo” are among those listed as we see little bits of the great meta humor that I think the movie does pretty well, like Ryan Reynolds’s “Sexist Man Alive” issue of People and a photo of Reynolds in his Green Lantern getup. In fact, I was a really big fan of this opening scene for setting the tone of the movie really well straightaway.

That being said, from what I understand, this humor is canonical as far as the comics go. I saw a few negative reviews criticizing the fifth-grader humor of the film. But Deadpool is not meant to be a dark, serious superhero movie. It’s a silly, violent anti-hero story. Starring Ryan Reynolds, whose sense of humor is similar.

Let’s talk about Ryan Reynolds for a second. I adore him, so I am biased to love him forever and always. (He was my number one celebrity crush for a long while.) He has always been an excellent choice for Deadpool and he has worked so hard to get this movie made. There’s a good chance he leaked that test footage, but even though he has had a lot of box office flops, I do sincerely believe Ryan Reynolds is great at:

  1. Comedic timing
  2. Physical comedy
  3. Action sequences
  4. Dramatic scenes

He has a fairly wide range, and you can see that he has reached into that range with his repertoire. It’s hard to believe that Van Wilder is also the star of Buried and The Proposal but that’s just the talent that he is, you know? (Side note: Loved his Hyundai Superbowl commercial.)

Morena Baccarin is also such a treat to see in this movie. I haven’t seen a lot of the roles that she is most well-known for (sorry, Firefly fans!) but I was excited when she was cast because she is now a Marvel character AND a DC character on CW’s Gotham. Her role isn’t huge, unfortunately, but I’m hoping we’ll see her character developed more in the sequel(s) that are sure to come.

My big issue with this movie was the shallow villain character development. This is a problem that runs rampant in Marvel Studios films, but the X-Men films that Fox Studios produces don’t tend to do that. Then again, Magneto is an extremely compelling supervillain, whether played by Sir Ian McKellan or Michael Fassbender. I can’t really say much about the Wolverine movies and their villains. Ed Skrein‘s Ajax is sadistic without any substance, it would seem, and Deadpool’s pursuit of revenge against him also lacked a bit of conviction, and I’ll talk more about that after the trailer.

Can I talk a little more about the meta-humor of the movie? Fourth-wall breaking, a Hugh Jackman mask, a pointed joke about how the studio could not afford any X-Men other than Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. It was fun to be able to chuckle at little things like this.

The TL;DR thing with Deadpool is it’s exactly what the trailers and promotional materials advertised: it’s crude, lewd, and in the same way that Wade Wilson is an anti-hero to the slew of other comic book heroes we’ve been seeing over the past decade, the movie turns the trope of the comic book movie on its head. It is meta, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it laughs at itself, its cast and crew, and its audience. (See the jabs at the producers in the opening and closing credits.) If you saw the trailers and had reservations about how much you’d enjoy the movie, your hunch may be right. But if you couldn’t wait to see Deadpool after seeing the trailer and their romantic promos or their other ads, then you’ll probably really enjoy seeing it.

Deadpool is in theaters everywhere. Spoilers are below the [red band] trailer.

The dumbest thing about this movie’s plot is that Wade Wilson abandons Vanessa, his girlfriend (played by Morena Baccarin), to seek this sketchy treatment for his cancer… and doesn’t tell her? Doesn’t tell her that he survives, which is why she assumes he is dead? Doesn’t go back to her because… he is ugly? He couldn’t even text or call her? Email? I mean, what is going on here. Was Wade Wilson really so vain that he didn’t think he could go back and talk to a woman he proposed to? Maybe he was, but that side of his character was not really shown. It made the emotional side of Deadpool a bit weak, because I had a hard time feeling bad for him or rooting for him to be able to fix his face, aka the reason he was hunting down Ajax in the first place.

I liked Colossus’s Russian accent, I guess, and I don’t really remember his character ever having lines in other X-Men movies, but it seemed like a lot. So many lines, so many Russian, and I mean, he’s comic relief in the form of a hulking chrome man. To play foil to the brooding teenage girl who didn’t like to talk or be nice, right? This seemed like lazy characterization to me.

The thing with a lot of these movies (and my issue with most movies, if you’re following along closely) is this lazy characterization of supporting characters, especially of a villain. Vanessa doesn’t have much to her but a sexy face+body and a wit to match Wade’s, really. They’re a good match but we don’t know anything about her besides how much she cared for Wade, which we were able to learn quickly after his cancer diagnosis. It is easy to convey these traits with a short amount of time, so not doing so feels really lazy to me. But maybe I’m just getting used to the TV format where we’re able to spend more time with supporting characters.

I don’t have a lot more to say besides I liked this movie a lot. It was a lot of fun and I laughed a lot. You may feel uncomfortable with some parts of it. (Pegging makes a lot of people uncomfortable, apparently.) (As does seeing someone’s head go splat against a road sign?) That’s okay. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Watch the credits. Watch the sting scene at the end. (It is fun, but doesn’t really add to the story or hint at a sequel.) Look for Easter eggs. Look for Stan Lee. Listen to the soundtrack.

Let me know what you thought about the Deadpool movie!
Are you going to watch the sequel?

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