Not too much to really say about this movie. It appears that pretty much every movie goer has seen it already given the numbers that it has reportedly done over the past two weekends. So, I’ll just make a few points about why I absolutely loved the movie.
Now, I have to preface this by saying that although I know the basic Deadpool storyline I am not a long time fan of the character. He wasn’t one of the most popular Marvel comic book characters when I was growing up so I wasn’t very familiar with him as a character. Or at least not to the extent that I am with Spiderman, the X-Men, Iron Man and some of the other more classic characters. He has certainly risen in popularity over the past few years and now that a movie based on his story line has come out he is gaining even more fans. He is moving on up in the Marvel universe. A sentiment that Deadpool himself actually conveys offhandedly a few times in the movie.
The movie is awesome, first and foremost because the character is awesome. Deadpool, as a character is hilarious, ridiculous and awkwardly relatable. A lot of people will say that he is groundbreaking for shattering the 4th wall in Marvel comics but I don’t agree with that at all. Spider-Man has actually been doing that for years and years. But that brings up a really good point. I think that Deadpool’s shared characteristics with Spiderman are a large part of his narratives appeal. No. I don’t mean that Deadpool is popular because people look at his suit and confuse him with one of Spiderman’s various incarnations. What I mean is that Deadpool shares many of the characteristics that have made Spiderman so popular over the years. Sure, they both break the 4th wall quite often in their comics. I don’t think Spiderman has ever done so in a movie but he has done so often in comics and the 90s cartoon. But in order to do the speaking to the audience thing, you have to have a good sense of humor. The Deadpool movie finally got this right for Marvel. I always thought that was one of the biggest flaws of the Spiderman film franchises. Spiderman is witty and sarcastic but that never comes across in the films. But in Deadpool they did went a long way to emphasize his sense of humor.
In addition to this both Spiderman and Deadpool have this accessibility that other comic characters lack. The narrative of Spiderman and Deadpool have readily available human elements to them. One of my favorite prominent elements in this regard in the narratives of both characters is the evolution of their respective suits. It is really funny and relatable in both the Deadpool movie and in the Spiderman series. The two characters are more relatable and accessible in so many ways that other superheros in american comics are not. Spiderman was just a totally regular student who has superhero-dom thrust upon him. Granted Deadpool was already a bad-ass that few could ever be before being turned into a super anti-hero, but Spiderman was also already a scientific genius before becoming a human spider. They both also have very human reactions to their acquisition of super powers. With a virtually immortal, self healing body and hyper kinetic reflexes Deadpool just kind of does as he pleases in life. The funny thing is that when he gets out of the facility, the only thing that he is really angry about is his appearance. All of his anger is centered on his new found ugliness. It’s kind of funny when you think about how human a concern that is. Likewise is the fact that he received his powers because he wanted to cure his cancer and return to life with the woman he loved. His persona as this anti-superhero with loose self guided morality just doing whatever he wants with these incredible powers is really cool as well. That’s actually far more believable than a guy deciding to give up his life to champion justice, especially for people in this day and age.
I also liked how the audience is never able to quite grasp whether Deadpool is completely insane or represents some for indescribable genius. He talks like a crazy person, both to himself and others but somehow manages to always to end up on the right side of all of his shenanigans. I know this is weird to say for a movie that isn’t serious at all but somehow his borderline retardation creates a slight feeling of real suspense. Not suspense in regards to the possibility of his death but a weird type of suspense surrounding how he will eventually end up winning his battles.
The other thing that makes this Marvel film is the directing job. It was done masterfully. It’s awesome when you enjoy a movie and then later when rehashing it, think to yourself “Damn. There was no other way that movie could have been done.” The director formed a perfect narrative for the character. I imagine Deadpool would tell a story totally exactly like that. Random thoughts flying through his cancer ridden brain which was already borderline ADD to begin with causing the need for cut scenes and impromptu explanations for this and that is befitting to the character. And the comedy. I can’t explain it without giving away spoilers left and right but it is funny. Honestly, I think Deadpool should be considered groundbreaking just for being the first Marvel comedy. Loads of laughs interwoven in even funnier action. They throw a little of that Venture Bros feel into the movie as well. A lot of making fun of the super hero genre. I liked that. It somewhat had the quality of satire while holding true enough to an emphasis on its own narrative to remain distant from the frivolous goofiness often associated with recent satirical films.
And the final thing that made this film so incredible; the casting. Ryan Reynolds is the only person who could have played Deadpool. His mix of sarcasm, honestly confused comedy and general demeanor made the character. You might not know what I mean by confused comedy but I know no other way of describing those situations that happen in life when simple miscues, and misunderstandings cause moments of comic brilliance by pure accident. Well, Reynolds interactions with the other characters in the movie created that consistently on-screen. But if you think about it, he was basically acting as Van Wilder with super powers and a slightly darker frame of mind and also a disturbing backstory. That is the easiest way for me to explain the Deadpool he brought to life on screen. There were too many great supporting characters to name but they provided wonderful moments in the film. The villains were rather lack luster all in all. But it wasn’t there part to be particularly imposing in the first place. This entire movie was a bit of a narcissistic coming out bonanza for Deadpool the character. I loved it.
And Yes. Now I am going to be that guy. The bandwagon fan who becomes interested in the comic after watching the movie. Don’t be a hater. Be a homie and suggest some good Deadpool issues for me to read.