Hands down? This movie is a winner.
This is the most comic accurate comic book movie I’ve ever seen. If you’re wondering why that is, it’s because of several reasons:
- Deadpool the comic is distinctive in style, tone and approach. That’s an either-you-get-it-or-you-don’t factor.
- For once, they paired the right lead actor with the right role.
- Deadpool doesn’t suffer from the weight of expectations that other major superhero films do.
What’s Old is still Old but it’s New. And Funny.
Comic book stories are inherently silly. Grown people in spandex is never not funny unless taken absolutely seriously. Deadpool is written to go in the entire other direction. It is written to make a mockery of every single superhero paradigm that there is. And it does so very well:
- The hero was once handsome, and is now grotesque.
- The hero is pretty much the poster boy for ADD and OCC and ADHD combined.
- The hero is even more of a tool than the villains.
- The action can be over the top, because even the hero doesn’t take it seriously.
- The trademark fourth wall breaking.
- The extreme profanity. Not for kids, which was the original target audience for comics as a whole.
The genius of this movie is also kind of hidden in its moral conflict. It’s one of the reasons it’s so enjoyable even though the audience may not realize it. But because Deadpool is an anti-hero, he can actually do something that none of even the Wolverine movies do: he can give the villains the comeuppance they deserve. If you think about it, superhero movies NEVER do that. Westerners have some completely misplaced sense of nobility. The idea is pushed somehow that a person that maims and kills others must be shown that the hero is better than them. The hero doesn’t stoop to their level. Wrong again. Deadpool revels in that truth. As he says so eloquently, “I may be super, but I’m no hero.”
Waaaade Wilson! What’s my Name?
The opening sequence in the cab is just hilarious. The 12 bullet countdown is an instant classic. It does everything an early sequence should do. It gives us pulse pounding action, it shows what the the protagonist can do, and it is imminently rewatchable. I haven’t felt that way about a movie sequence since the elevator fight in Captain America:The Winter Soldier. And Cap’s escape from infected S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. But I digress. Absolutely every line of this movie is irreverent and vulgar. That’s really, REALLY hard to do. Humor is hard to write, and sarcasm at high speed even moreso. The Merc with a Mouth is actually likeable. That’s like, the funnest oxymoronic truth of all this.
Morena is back in the role all us Firefly fans know and love her for. The hooker with the heart of gold. Which is always the way that Hollywood has to portray prostitution. She’s just out doing her job being a naughty whore, and along comes this wonderful dirty man who somehow sweeps her off of her feet. Then they have to get married! Then it’s life or death with the threat of cancer. That’s really the most cliche part of this whole movie.
The film is told flashback style. We are hurled into the midst of the crazy action, which ironically all takes place on the bridge. Deadpool stops several times to explain directly to the audience how he got there. Wade Wilson’s power is his curse. (And the movie expertly pokes fun at the ridiculous Deadpool we met in Wolverine:Origins. Ugh. And the Green Lantern movie. Double ugh.) To save his life he agrees to be turned super. Which ruins his face, and gives him an off the chart healing factor. And oh yeah, he can’t feel anything. Turns out the lovely chaps that enhanced him didn’t mention that the goal was to make him a super slave. An assassin to be jobbed out to the highest bidder. Yeah, not cool.
Mr. D. Pool is on a vendetta type quest for Francis/Ajax, the man that turned him into the Bride of Funkenstein. He believes (only because Ajax says so) that he can be cured of his affliction. His new face means that he can’t have his old love. He looks like an avocado that had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado. So we get a Rocky-style montage of his evolution into the character we know. As well as the beginning of his quest for his tormentor. And it is side-splittingly hilarious. It combines grotesque brutality with non-stop one liners. And a top notch soundtrack. Fourth wall break inside a fourth wall break. That’s like, sixteen walls. We even get some excellent comedic moments with his Matrix-style ripoff of an Oracle-except-she’s-blind character. Deadpool even makes fun of Ryan Reynolds. Has that ever happened before in a comic book movie?
All Pop. All Tarts
So blah blah blah, they do the hero-villain-I’m-looking-for-you dance. And Wade does his beast-is-totally-stalking-the-beauty routine. But he just can’t seem to close the deal and reveal himself. Understandable. Vanessa gets kidnapped and it’s on. And there is just non-stop punch out, powers and puns until the end. And it’s glorious. Maximum effort. Even the bridge doesn’t survive there’s so much damage. There’s also actually no way Vanessa would’ve survived all of that without a healing factor herself, but let’s not get picky. Wade of course finds out that his hope of looking normal again was false. So he has to ask his lady love to accept him as is. Which she does. Because his kind of crazy totally matches her kind of crazy.
After credits scene? Had me howling. And I wanted to watch this movie again immediately.
Honestly the only part of this movie I didn’t like was Colossus. I have always loved Colossus from the comics and this big dumb Rocky & Bullwinkle walking stereotype of a character was parody wrapped in mockery. He only got in a few good moments, and basically got his butt kicked. Then he’s pontificating on what it means to be a hero. Just go away. I want to see the actual Colossus onscreen at some point.
As always, you wish that other movies would learn from the movies that get it right. It’s why the Wolverine movies have never really been the blockbusters they could’ve been. Logan isn’t Logan onscreen. Wade Wilson sure is Deadpool though. And it’s unbridled fun. I hope they fire up this same production team for the sequel. If not, we’ll always have Wham!