Almost no genres have a subversive twist that skewers its main points into a manic, delirious free for all: that is, except the comic book movies.
Scratch that, actually: Most genres have those things. It’s just, very few of them work. For every Naked Gun and Scary Movie, there’s Meet the Spartans and Epic Movie that proves that maybe the makers of the films don’t entirely get what makes them popular.
What makes Deadpool work, despite itself, is its willingness to poke its own holes and accept its own faults. Yes, the movie is fully aware that it’s an origin story. Yes, it’s aware that the romance angle is half-baked and meant to keep female audiences entertained.
And, yes, the villain absolutely sucks. And before you mention Loki and The Joker, really think about how much you loved watching Ultron and whoever the hell the the villain was for Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Didn’t think so.
Deadpool’s shtick, and also its one redeeming quality, is its utter irreverence. Unlike all superhero movies that are spit shined into being a nice cross hatch of moody and lighthearted, Deadpool makes damn sure to let you know that it’s not clean, accessible to the masses or worried about making anyone “a good guy”.
Yet, holding onto one shtick often means it’s holding onto one joke, one idea and that it will be enough to sustain an entire 100 minute run time.
Thing is, if you like gore, childish humor and a whole lot of disgusting sex jokes, Deadpool does it all so right that even people who don’t like superhero movies will enjoy this.
Without getting into the actual comics, the movie does a fantastic job of setting up what makes Deadpool different from any other hero in the Marvel lineup. Almost instantly, you figure out what makes Deadpool special without having to consult a wiki to look up his history.
That’s right: Deadpool is, straight up, a wholly realized character that is instantly recognizable without relying on tried and true tropes (mostly). He is, honestly, the best realized character in all of comics.
And he does this by completely subverting all expectations of what hero origin films do.
Despite being the protagonist, he isn’t necessarily the good guy. He isn’t the likable lead. He could very well be one of the most annoying characters you could sit through, if it weren’t for an excellent script with great one-liners.
This could easily be one of the best comic book movies ever made…if it weren’t for the fact that literally nothing else works outside of the main character.
Seriously, nothing that does not involve the main character doesn’t work in this film at all. The two side characters are boring and one-note, the villain is stereotypical british baddie, the love interest is just that.
The film doesn’t spend much time at all on side characters or the villain, which isn’t much of an issue, but it does make the last third of the film kind of boring and lifeless.
In fact, whenever the main character isn’t joking or doing crazy stuff, the film has no life to it at all.
Some might say this is because the time is given to make Deadpool great. And sure, it’s a valid understanding of why things are made the way they are. But it still slows down the movie to an almost grinding halt.
This will probably be the performance of Ryan Reynolds’ career. Since his popularity in Van Wilder, he’s played almost nothing but sarcastic, charismatic asshats who somehow get what they want.
Deadpool is basically the most obvious of that type of character…only much more likable and much less annoying. If Reynolds makes a career out of just playing this character, much like Hugh Jackman has with Wolverine or Chris Tucker has with Rush Hour, it wouldn’t be that bad. Again, he’s perfect for the character.
So, what is Deadpool? In the grand scheme of things, it’s one of the better superhero films, right next to Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel’s The Avengers.
It doesn’t quite reach the levels of Naked Gun and Airplane for spoofs, though, so it’s more subversive methods don’t pan out the way it should.
It’s still wholly unique and a great time for anyone looking for a bloody, disgusting and curse laden good time.
The Wiz Says #71