Ah yes, R-rated superhero movies. They are a rarity amongst the silver-screened world, but the few that have come out were either hit-or-miss, or just plain….well…..misses.
Now don’t get me wrong, I liked Kick-Ass as much as the next guy, but otherwise a lot of these ultra-violent and abrasive movies fly under the radar. Sure they may have the same amount of heavily gorey action and some adult humour sprinkled everywhere, but they all seem to be missing some sort of flair to them that really didn’t make them anywhere close to big hits in comparison to other, more traditional superhero movies (part of this is that it caters to a larger audience, being just a tad bit more kid-friendly).
So, one can see how an R-rated superhero movie can easily fumble if any B-class team were to handle the reins. It can either crash and burn or lose itself in the void of the wired at some point in time because of how despondently mediocre it is.
Yes, you can say that Marvel made a huge risk creating an R-rated superhero movie. Yes, the could have messed up the story in a bad way. Yes, there was the possibility that they could not get the essence of the characters properly and do them justice. And yes, the movie could have flopped in the box office, big time.
Movie Title: Deadpool
Source: Comic book (originally by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand
Released on: February 12, 2016 (U.S.A)
Directed by: Tim Miller
Studios: Marvel Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Kinberg Genre, The Donners’ Company, TSG Entertainment
Music by: Tom Holkenborg
Runing Time: 108 minutes
Wade Wilson is a hero for fun.
Well, not really, but he does do mercenary-for-hire-type things, but on a much smaller scale. He meets a girl named Vanessa and the two hit it off almost instantly. But, as it is with everything that’s about to get good, things all get blown to shit when the couple discovers that Wade has terminal cancer on multiple organs of his body.
Shattered by this news and worried for the well-being of his beloved, whom he would leave estranged, Wade accepts the offer of an agent claiming to have the solution for his problem: they can cure his cancer and make him a superhero in the process. Upon arriving to the agent’s HQ, however, he finds out that this “superhero-creation facility” is actually a program devised to create mutants to serve their purposes.
He gets tortured day after day, until finally Wade develops a mutation that gave him a healing factor similar to Wolverine’s, curing his cancer in the process. The only downside is that his body became greatly disfigured, making him unable to return to his loved one. Hunting those who wronged him, Wade dons the red and black suit and hunts them down under the name “Deadpool”, and vows to seek vengeance on Ajax, the scientist responsible for Wade’s tortures, in the hopes of returning him to normal.
Now, the base story is rather generic if you think about it.
Guy meets girl,
Girl loves guy,
They fall in love,
Guy becomes terminally ill,
Guy leaves girl to free her from having to see him suffer,
Guy goes into a secret organization with the hopes of them being able to cure him,
Guy gets tricked by a secret organization that tortured him to “awaken his mutations”,
Guy gets a healing factor but his appearance becomes warped,
Guy goes out for revenge on the people who made him look atrocious,
Guy’s girlfriend get kidnapped by the secret organization,
Guy gets even more motivated to go after the secret organization,
He gets revenge after badass fighting,
He gets the girl back,
And then the end.
Trying to figure out the plot be like….
Ok, it might not sound as generic as I explained it, but the bottomline is that, at its core, Deadpool is your traditional boy-meets-girl-love-story-I-will-swear-vengeance-against-the-people-who-harmed-her kind of movie that we see in many other forms of entertainment.
However, what makes this movie unique is how it takes what is supposedly generic and gives it a twist in the balls.
……………..figuratively speaking, of course…
What I’m saying is that Deadpool takes these old tired tropes and makes it unique by parodying the whole “genre”, if you will. This was especially easy for someone like Deadpool, who is notorious for breaking the 4th wall and commentating on his own stuff. These commentaries, as well as the rest of the comedy, gives this movie a comedic and outright wacky tone as opposed to the dark and gritty “OMG I WILL TAKE REVENGE ON YOU BECAUSE REASONS”-tone that movies involving kidnappings, like Taken, usually have.
In addition, it really plays with the superhero-genre-parody as well, with Deadpool being the most apparent representation of this. He’s no hero for the sake of saving people: he has his own vendetta and would go to many lengths to exact his revenge on the people who wronged him. Colossus would tr to convince him otherwise, but he would rather prefer to shoot people in the head at point-blank range than to listen to the concept of heroism and self-sacrifice from a huge chrome-plated Russian guy.
And the most important highlight of all is that Deadpool himself doesn’t seem take everything too seriously himself. He jokes around, he taunts his enemies, he tries to style on them as much as he can, and his confidence and cockiness is just off the charts: certainly things that not every hero completely has (granted, some do, e.g. Spiderman, but certainly not to the same degree as Deadpool).
The humour in and of itself was great in many respects. Tons of references to other superheroes (especially the X-Men), movies (especially Ryan Reynolds’ previous movies), and even celebrities (ESPECIALLY Ryan Reynolds), gave the comedy its own flair, something that Deadpool is essentially an expert at already. In addition, one of Deadpool’s bigger quirks, his ability to break the 4th wall, was used well enough as to get some nice laughs out of, while not being too overbearing as to interfere with what’s going on on-screen, to which I am thankful for. There were, of course, a lot of sex jokes, innuendos, and vulgarity, but definitely not too much to the point of turning the humour into a distasteful puddle of slime.
The movie was unexpectedly heartfelt and the romance aspect was very welcoming and more developed than I initially thought. There was great chemistry with the main romantic pairing and their own personalities make for some great banter and rather solid moments. I can definitely see how this movie was marketed as a Valentine’s Day movie, because the romance is a huge part of the driving force for the main character’s actions, and for the most part, the movie does a lot of things right with the romantic elements.
That said, the whole cast has really great chemistry with each other. From Colossus and his apprentice’s relationship to Deadpool to Wade’s bromance with his best friend, each and every character in the movie served a purpose all while being their own interesting characters, and were all a pleasure to watch every single time.
Yes, even Stan Lee’s character.
But the real meat of the movie is definitely Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. He owns the character and steals the show every time he’s on-screen, either as Wade or as Deadpool. His silliness, cockiness, eccentricities, and tendency to joke around at any given moment perfectly encapsulated the comic-book character’s odd personality really well, while at the same time, giving the ordinary human Wade Wilson some gravitas in the moments that mattered.
Shoutouts to you, Ryan Reynolds, you wonderful man you.
All your previous miscasts have been washed away clean with this performance.
Yes…..even this one…..
Nothing much to say in the realm of cinematography and soundtrack other than the fact that they complement the movie very well.
The use of classic late-’80s to early-’90s songs actually worked well with the whole wacky and fast-paced tone that Deadpool has, as well as some of the more romantic and comedic moments. The actual OST consists of a lot of hip-hop-esque tracks that really gave the movie its own style and complemented the action-packed moments, which were directed really well and worked with the main character (and the rest of the cast, for that matter) in question to a great degree, by the way.
All in all, if there’s one word to describe this movie, it’s that it’s SOLID.
SOLID acting from most of, if not all, of the cast.
SOLID comedy and the right kind of humour for the subject material.
SOLID soundtrack and direction that matches the movie’s style.
SOLID characters who are interesting to watch.
SOLID representation of Deadpool, which steals the show every time.
and finally, SOLID writing: this movie is one big parody and it knows it.
Soooo, with all the solidness of pretty much everything, why isn’t this movie a certified masterpiece of entertainment?
Well, the most obvious reason is that everyone’s sense of humour is different. Not every joke in the movie was laugh-out-loud funny, not every reference was used effectively, and some of the sex jokes and whatnot were a bit too overbearing for me.
Also, the fact that there were quite a bit of instances of sex and, uh, other R19+ factors kinda made me cringe a bit, not gonna lie, considering that Deadpool could technically work without the sex and the nudity. But, then again, that is my own taste in entertainment kicking in.
Finally, the plot itself, after all that’s said and done, is still not too much above average and the execution of a lot of the scenes could have been better done/paced. And yes, I know that they did it because that’s how Deadpool parodies it, but still, there was an obvious difference between the serious parts and the comically wacky bits (which were thankfully balanced out well enough as to not break immersion). Granted, this is the first movie, so some exposition and backstory would most certainly have to be implemented in order to familiarize everyone with the plot, and even then it’s not like there were too many boring bits in the movie, if at all for that matter.
To be honest, I’m just nit-picking at this point. I’ve enjoyed myself a lot while watching (and no, not THAT kind of “enjoying myself”), and the movie itself is one big love-letter to the fans of Deadpool and superhero-movies in general, saying “Hey, we know you like this superhero thing. Let’s give it a bit of a spin and see how it goes.”
And what we got was a fast-paced, hardcore action flick with tons of laughs, solid romance, and an entertaining cast, all wrapped up in a nice bloody and gut-filled R19+ superhero movie.
Long live the Deadpool movies!
May they, like the main character, live forever!
As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this review, on the movie itself, or if you would like me to review anything. And, speaking of liking, give the review a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it and follow me on twitter @tbs_ken for updates and general shitposting, if you feel like doing so.
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