I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
I’m of the opinion that a critic of any art-form should keep in touch with what is currently trending in their art-form. Without this rule, we would have critics whose soul function is to point out how great movies made by Stanley Kubrick were and how pathetic the current state of affairs with Superhero films, without even beginning to sympathise with what the public sees in these films. You’ll be surprised to hear then that I have been consistently breaking my own rule.
While I would like to get into the phase of superhero films that is over us, for one reason or another, I haven’t had an opportunity to marathon all the properties of Marvel Studios, Warner Bros’ DC, 20th Century Fox and until recently Sony. Maybe when Infinity War comes out in a few short years, I could go to one of those bumper screenings which show the entirety of the MCU in one day long go.
Until then, I’m going to be forced to review the odd disparate superhero film that connects little to some vast canon. So, as this movies titular protagonist would say, time to make the chimi-f***in’-changas!
Deadpool tells the required origin story of Deadpool, who else. He’s a superhero who constantly breaks the fourth wall and is fully aware that he is the main character of a movie. Constantly quipping, this “merc with a mouth” is on a mission to inflict some blood-soaked juicy revenge on a British citizen who has done him wrong.
From the trailers, I was both intrigued and a little worried about this movie. I found that the best jokes in those teases were references to other superhero movies and due to editing things down for time, the jokes did not have any sense of comic timing (a trait common with comedy trailers).
And for those who aren’t aware, one of the most common choices for worst creative choice of recent blockbuster history was the addition of a version of this superhero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which I still can’t be bothered to see), in which his character was torn entirely apart.
Which brings us to here, with Ryan Reynolds on his third attempt at playing a superhero. Hopefully, this will be satisfying.
85% of the comedy from this movie comes from this character’s self-referential, fourth-wall breaking personality. This is the first time that a comic book movie, connected to a movie universe, has been done entirely for laughs. Which means that the entirety of this movie rides on Reynolds balancing cheeky likability with obnoxiousness.
Luckily, the man succeeded. This is an excellent performance, backed up by great writing. This is everything I wanted from this character from the descriptions my more comic proficient friends gave to me.
The other 15% of comedy in this film comes from the rest of the world in which Mr Pool resides. We occasionally get moments where another character points out a particular clichéd plot point or something. Like the screenwriter was struggling how to continue the story and decided to let the character just say, “let’s have this thing happen, cause otherwise nothing will in this movie”.
What’s also good news is that the big joke that this came out around Valentines to trick those who wanted to see a Ryan Reynolds rom-com into seeing an ultra-violent comedy, actually managed to pay off in a way I was not expecting. This does actually have a very believable and a little moving romance with a surprisingly funny love interest. (See Hollywood, not every woman has to be written like a cardboard box!)
Speaking of ultra-violent, yeah this is a 15. It should be a 15. Parents have been petitioning for there to be a cut of this film released for what in America is called a “PG-13” audience, what we call 12A. I’ve been re-editing this movie to censor it mentally and the result is garbage. Not that every joke is reliant on swearing, sex and homicide, but that acts as a keystone to the feel of the piece. Take it out and Deadpool collapses.
The action is not anything much more incredible than other films of this type. There are some funny kills and a couple of cool ideas behind Ryan’s kills. So in that regard, I can’t say this movie is utterly perfect.
Also, as much as I was laughing quite a lot through this movie, I’m finding it hard to believe that this movie will hold up upon repeat viewings. Plus, I would have liked the direction of this movie to include a couple more visual gags, though of course, not everyone can be Edgar Wright.
But, that’s the critic in me. The me in me is just thankful that I saw a funny awesome movie.
Recommended Scenario: If you’re a fan of his, you’ll be thankful that his smart-ass ways have not been tainted. If you’re not a comic book film fan, this will be a welcome subversion of the genre. Or you could do it to prank your valentines date.