Warning: The following blog contains some spoilers for Deadpool.
The merc with a mouth finally got his own movie and I think I found my film of 2016. Director Tim Miller erased the unpleasant taste that the ‘Deadpool’ cameo during the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine left in our mouths with a beautifully shot, well-written, well-acted and well-paced anti-hero romp, but I’ll get to that.
So, let’s start with what I was worried about going into the movie. I’d seen all the trailers and the mini promos but I still had the following doubts:
- Deadpool’s most notable ability is his self-awareness. He knows that he is a character in a comic book, cartoon, movie etc. and so, he is well known for breaking the fourth wall. That could get old really fast.
- Deadpool’s bread, butter and jam is sex, violence and profanity. Unfortunately, those are the biggest pet peeves that the MPAA and the BFI put on their dating profiles and so the movie may be tamed to reach a wider audience with a lower rating.
- Much like with Ant-Man, the film maybe tailored to suit the lighter tone and themes of the MCU and Fox’s established Marvel properties, the X-Men.
- As Deadpool is a one-man army, the favourites and regulars of the comics become relegated to inconsequential cameos.
However, then I went and saw the movie:
- Yes, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall. However, the gimmick is used sparingly and is often more nuanced than a straight *turns to camera*. The joke remains funny and actually adds to and helps develop the plot. Furthermore, the film is split between Wade Wilson and Deadpool. Wade Wilson does not break the fourth wall and so the Wade Wilson portions of the serve as a break from the meta antics of Deadpool. Furthermore, the film is genuinely funny without the little Deadpool breaks and mannerisms.
- This film is rated R (15 in the UK) and boy does it test the boundaries of that rating. There is stuff in the film I was surprised was allowed in an R-rated flick. But! The sex is tasteful and (mostly) implied or happening just out of shot; the violence is intense, brutal and hyper-realistic and you don’t go more than six or seven lines without some sort of profanity. This is a film about the Deadpool we all know and kinda love.
- Continuing from the above point, the film follows more in the footsteps of Jessica Jones and Daredevil, giving us a raunchy and fun superhero flick. Believe me, if this had been tamed or toned down to fit the feel of the X-Men and wider MCU, the film would have sucked. Deadpool makes a name for itself while not completely removing itself from the feel of the Marvel superhero films.
- Blind Al and Weasel are both wonderfully brought to the big screen with TJ Miller absolutely killing it as the nerdy, kinda whiny Weasel. Colossus and Nega Teenage Sonic Warhead of X-Men fame are also wonderful, the unlikely pair playing off one another perfectly and leading to some great simple moments (such as Colossus, a hulking perma-steel Eastern Europe mutant actually being rather tame and polite). The villains of the movie, Ajax and Angel Dust, are fantastic and realistic (for a superhero film). Deadpool is surrounding by a vibrant, living cast of well-developed allies and enemies.
Other points of note:
-Ryan Reynolds was born to play both Wade Wilson and Deadpool, delivering a powerful and inspiring performance in both roles. He can switch on the Deadpool at will but never lets the two cross, as some actors may be tempted to do so.
-For a superhero film, it is surprisingly deep and powerful. Whereas you may tire of the typical run of the mill superhero movies, Deadpool comes with refreshing depth and nuance.
-Unlike most superhero films, Deadpool isn’t a series of action set pieces tied together with reasons to get the characters to the next set piece. It is a fluid superhero revenge comedy that paces well and flows freely.
All in all, I adored this movie. 2016 is going to have to try very hard to top Deadpool for me. What did you think? What were your favourite moments?