“…having someone who is passionate about every aspect of the film really shines through to the final product.”
Yesterday I saw the highly anticipated film Deadpool. Just for some perspective, I am not particularly a fan of Deadpool as a character (only seeing the odd comic panel of him cracking a joke), and I absolutely despise most of the people that call themselves fans of Deadpool. I know it is a harsh generalization, but the majority of deadpool fans just use the image to say shit that is just raunchy or “random” and they dress up as Deadpool at conventions to try and be funny. It seems to me that every fan I have seen of Deadpool is just really fucking hungry for attention. This is why I was very cautious about the movie. I have known about this movie since the test footage was “leaked” and the internet went fucking bananas. And to be completely honest, that footage got me excited for the movie. And leading up to the release of the movie, the hilarious marketing campaign got me even more excited for the movie. But there was always that little voice in the back of my head that would say “remember the fans”. Now the voice would keep saying this, not to remind me that the movie would instantly be terrible because of the fans (I like to be impartial when I see a movie), but to remind me that it would be so easy for the writers to include lots of stupid, crass, and “random” jokes to appease those fans. Luckily, when I was watching the movie I got to breathe a breath of fresh air because in my opinion, they fucking nailed the humour. Now it is hard for me to give a plot synopsis for this movie because it is basically the origin story for the character of Deadpool, but I will give you the basics. Wade Wilson is a kind of mercenary with a sense of humour, who then gets cancer. In order to cure the cancer he receives treatment that makes it so his cells regenerate so quickly that he can’t be killed. Honestly, you can probably put the rest of the plot together in your head, he kills a bunch of dudes and says a bunch of jokes.
Deadpool is a special character in comic books because, for some reason or another, he knows that he is in a comic book and periodically will talk to the reader of the comic book. This is no different in the movie where there are many 4th wall breaks (and even a 16 wall break), but I felt that they didn’t overdo it. Much like with my comedy concern earlier, it would have been very easy for them to overstep into ridiculous territory having Deadpool talk to the audience almost nonstop, but I feel they had a nice balance. One problem I did have with 4th wall breaking aspect is I feel that the writers didn’t do a good enough job setting up the rules of what Deadpool knows and what he doesn’t. For example, Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds) makes a reference to Ryan Reynolds in the movie. Now, does Deadpool know that he is Ryan Reynolds? Or does Ryan Reynolds exist alongside Deadpool? If Deadpool doesn’t know he is Ryan Reynolds, how does he know other things, like the fact that he is in a movie? Or how is he able to make jokes about the movie not being able to afford more superheroes? It just really didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, and of course for a movie like this you have to suspend your disbelief, but I just would have appreciated it if the writers set up the rules more clearly. But I did love how Deadpool was not afraid to mention things in the real world because it really helped make the movie seem real. I hope that movies in the future follow suit and allow for things to be mentioned in passing that the audience can relate to. And when it comes to comedy, it is not only the pop culture referenced 4th wall breaks that bring the laughs, there are also just some really funny parts. I felt the opening credits were hilarious, and that is something that is almost going above and beyond in a comedy. There was also the scene with the baby hand that had me laughing more than anything has in a long time. But of course, some jokes were pop culture references, but that doesn’t make them bad. Really, the only jokes that fell flat for me were the ones that were featured in the trailer. And I was a little bit disappointed that Deadpool didn’t call out Stan Lee for making a cameo in his movie, but hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes and put that in the sequel.
The action scenes were definitely a high point of this movie, alongside the comedy. Anyone who has scene the test footage kind of has an idea of what they have in store with the action scenes. They are gory, brutal, and look unbelievably real. There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t impressed with what I was seeing on screen effects wise. Even the wounds that Deadpool acquired over the action sequences looked amazing. And the tracking shot in the beginning that plays during the opening credits is just a testament to how good the effects in the movie are. And of course the acting is what was expected. Ryan Reynolds has been spearheading the Deadpool movie since the beginning, and his love for the character really shows in the way that he portrays him. Like I said, I haven’t read any Deadpool comics, but what I have seen of the character shows me that Reynolds is absolutely doing him justice. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the part because Ryan Reynolds kind of is Deadpool. And in regards to him spearheading the entire project, it really fucking shows. Instead of companies seeing the success of this movie and thinking that they should just make their movies R rated with dick jokes, they should really take away that having someone who is passionate about every aspect of the film really shines through to the final product. It is a shame to see superhero movie after superhero movie just trying to emulate the one before it that was successful. Giving the reins to someone who legitimately loves the medium and the characters is the way to go. The movie also featured two of the numerous X-Men (one who I had never even heard of before), which shows that movies don’t have to be fucking huge productions with thousands of characters to make money. The X-Men used in the film were absolutely not audience draws, but I still enjoyed them in the film immensely. That is because it doesn’t matter who the character is, it matters how you write for them. And I honestly hope Deadpool really gets that through the seemingly thick heads of some of the people making superhero movies every year.
Now for the main event; the story. Deadpool, as a movie, I felt was a little slow. The problem I had with it was the overabundance of backstory. It was nice to see that Deadpool was a nice guy before he became Deadpool, but after a while it just got stale. No offence to the character, but when I go and see a Deadpool movie, I expect jokes. And when I get long stretches of the movie with no jokes and forced emotions, I’m going to get a little bored. It would be like watching an episode of the Three Stooges where Larry gets AIDS. I completely understand that when introducing a character to an audience, there needs to be some backstory in order for the audience to get an emotional attachment to the character, it just felt out of place in a Deadpool movie. Continuing on, after all of that Backstory it didn’t feel like there was enough time for an actual movie. Instead of me feeling invested in the characters during the climax I just kept thinking “this can’t be it. It can’t be over”. That’s because you get so little of an actual movie, when the ending comes around it just feel like another fight, and that just didn’t work for me. Honestly, it felt like the movie just kind of fizzled out, instead of ending with something memorable. One thing I did like about the story was the lack of supporting characters. When you watch the trailer for Deadpool you would think that Weasel, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead each have a significant part in the movie, but I was very pleased to find out that they each rightfully took a back seat to the man of the hour; Deadpool. I’m not saying that I disliked those characters, it’s just that, like I said before, when I go to see a Deadpool movie I want to see Deadpool. And the soundtrack was absolutely kick ass as well. The music used was almost entirely songs that I knew the words to, and I feel that along with the R rating mature audiences are really going to feel at home with the soundtrack.
All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Deadpool and I hope it sets the tone for more superhero movie to come. I would honestly say that if you sit down and laugh at the opening credits, then you will probably enjoy the rest of the movie. But comedy is subjective, and you may absolutely hate the movie. It’s really difficult to gauge what audiences will think about comedies. But if you have any desire or curiosity to see this movie, I would say go for it. But if you don’t have any desire to see the movie, then thank you for reading my review anyway. And if you do watch the movie and enjoy it, be sure to stick around for the post-credits scene.
I give Deadpool a B (4/5)