I feel like I should start these proceedings by saying I wasn’t super familiar with the character of Deadpool before my viewing of the film this week. Other than the most widely available and cursory details, I’ve never actually owned a Deadpool solo book. I’ve read and owned several of his runs with Cable and the X-Force, played the latest video game release and have now seen the film but that’s about it. Which is weird in retrospect given how much of a fan of irreverent humor I am, but such is life.
So in the weeks leading up to the release of the film, I read several issues of his solo title and filled in the gaps with an extensive perusal of his Wiki page. Thinking maybe a deeper knowledge of the backstory of the character the movie is based on might affect my opinion. Well I’m here to tell you that whether or not you’re a die-hard fan… This flick is nothing like you’ve ever seen from mainstream superhero cinema and we’re all lucky for existing in the same time space continuum as Deadpool the movie.
“Holy fucking shit” were words that kept running through my head as my brain and senses were pummeled over and over again like an overused punching bag. I could sit here and write a professional sounding critique/dissertation on the highs and lows but what’s the fun in that? This is a crass film that revels in the low down and dirty and I feel a review should probably reflect as such. There’s not a curse word unused, a bullet hole unbloodied, or human orifice un-sullied in this orgy of blood and guts and laughs. It’s as if Kevin Smith himself wrote the script and I could not stop laughing.
Ryan Reynolds was very clearly born into this world to play this part. He’s made a career out of playing smarmy assholes with unyielding charm and this is him at the height of his powers. With what little knowledge I have of the source material, I can honestly say there hasn’t been more perfect casting since Hugh Jackman slipped on the claws and defined the role of Wolverine. Speaking of which, the fourth wall breaks, specifically references to other X Men characters is absolutely sublime. There’s a moment late in the 3rd act where Wade removes the mask and reveals his face to a main character and the resulting gag had not only myself but the whole theater in stitches. The self awareness on display with this flick is uncanny and it never feels cheap or inorganic to the proceedings on screen. This is a perfect representation of the character in the comics so his hardcore fans as well the more general newer audience will all be equally pleased.
The fact that it’s so unequivocally (even unrelentingly) faithful to the comics, this might not be for everyone. A lot of people these days have existed on an exclusively MCU related diet which while not without its share of adult themes, has never dipped its toe into waters such as these. This isn’t the first R rated comic book film ever, but I’d wager to bet that this is the first time something like this was as widely available. I mean… Can you remember a studio friendly film where it’s (anti)hero was feature in a montage of sex with his girlfriend where he’s the one anally violated by her?!? That’s just a small fraction of irreverence featured here. Sure…Deadpool isn’t going to be winning any awards but it’s lack of fear or uncertainty about the type of movie it wants to be is absolutely refreshing in this market of film that tried to be all things to everyone.
Deadpool is a film that hit right at the exact moment it needed to. There will be no shortage of comic based properties that are making their way to the silver screen this year. We also know from other various news outlets and social media posts that’s there seems to be a level of super hero fatigue that is beginning to set in. I can speak from a personal stand point and say that I for one am still excited at the prospects of what’s coming down the pike… And if Deadpool is any sort of indicator as to what’s ahead then we are in for quite the treat.
Listen, you’ve already made up your mind as to whether or not yore going to see this film. This review or more appropriately this collection of thoughts on Deadpool aren’t going to sway you one way or the other. So then my job becomes to stoke an already lit fire. To blow up an already unprecedented amount hype surrounding one of the more underground and personally beloved comic characters. Not since the first Sin City has a film so faithfully traced around the lines with which its source material has existed in. I know it’s a point I’ve hit on multiple times thus far, but it’s something that needs to be acknowledged.
The history of superhero cinema is absolutely spotty at best before the MCU came around busting down the doors and allowing comic book movies the kind of acceptability of even the most dramatic Oscar bait picture. Historically in that dark times before the original Iron Man, when the studios landed such a property they actively worked to make it seem less comic booky. Look to the original X-Men film which started the whole book of super hero cinema. None of those characters looked or even acted like their comic counterparts. I’d wager to bet most of you readers don’t even really remember that film. While its legacy shan’t be ignored, dubious might be a better word use. Deadpool absolutely shatters the glass ceiling and reminds us that this is a movie we deserve.
So go out and see this flick, bask in its off brand of humor, gleefully laugh at the hyper kinetic violence. Show support for this movie as not just a good movie but as an important stepping stone. That a film about fantastic beings doing fantastic things doesn’t have to have its rating hamstring the quality of its content. That an R Rated raunchy lecherous superhero can cross over into the mainstream and his appeal could span people not privy to his journeys in print is kind of a landmark.
Besides all that journalistic hyperbole… It’s just a really fucking good movie that shouldn’t be ignored by anyone.
And not that I should have to say this at this point, but make sure you stay after the credits… You won’t be disappointed.