Thursday, February 18, 2016

Deadpool Review

Among the many different ways that Deadpool separates himself from other superheroes we have become so familiar with is the way he communicates with the audience through dialogue, referred to as "breaking the fourth wall". It happens quite often throughout the film but very early on we get the most on point utilization when he suggests that female members of the audience may be shocked by the graphic violence and style of the movie because their boyfriends simply told them it was a "superhero movie". While I am not entirely sure that it is fair to assume that any sort of adverse reaction to those first few minutes is due to gender, I can say that the crowd I saw it with wasn't quite loosened up just yet. Some laughter, sure, but with a hint of discomfort. Perhaps the promises of blood turned out to be even bloodier and the crude humor had to be heard to be believed.

Once Deadpool had made his motivations clear and he had announced to the world his disgust over being referred to as a hero, things seemed to loosen up and the laughter was far more comfortable. By the end it seemed we were all in agreement: the movie is a blast. 

Consistently funny and fast paced, wrapping up in a mere 100 or so minutes, Ryan Reynolds proves to be the perfect choice to fill the suit through a barrage of bullet holes, dick jokes and dead bodies left in his wake. Personally I find it quite strange how many people have immediately disparaged this movie for being nothing more than a teenager's wet dream, despite it being a pretty fair assumption that it probably is. Sure, had Deadpool been released 15 or so years ago I probably would have declared it my favorite movie and wanted to watch it on repeat, but that doesn't mean it is a guaranteed failure for adults. This concept sort of feels similar to the idea that animated films are only for kids and that growing up means moving away from such material. I have a wife, a daughter, and my one and only vice is cinema. I am by all accounts boring and usually am on the receiving end of old man jokes because my ideal weekend night involves pajamas and a great film. I'm also quite capable of falling in love with a wonderful work of Disney animation or laughing at an incredibly immature masturbation joke. If that isn't okay, then fuck growing up. 

Before anyone considers the existence of a double standard, as I recently wrote an extremely negative review of the cinematic turd Dirty Grandpa and criticized its lazy desire to beg for laughs using juvenile humor, one word in that is crucial to point out the difference: lazy. All erection jokes are not created equal. The reason Deadpool elicits laughter from me whereas watching Robert De Niro touch himself and say nothing but dirty things left me cold is because it actually takes talent to nail comedic timing and use such material in a clever manner. Deadpool works because of outstanding writing and not just in the understanding of comedy but also the rewarding way it balances the graphic content and cuss words with a surprisingly moving romance and meaningful dramatic stakes. Just making an audience smile isn't easy. Being able to wipe those smiles away with a tonal shift that further engages them is even harder. 

Deadpool is self aware enough to know that the tropes of a superhero film are a bit tired yet entertaining enough to still make me care when they are invoked, and while the villains frankly sucked, I also found their underwhelming and cliche nature to be a part of the gag. Thank goodness for Ryan Reynolds in the lead and Morena Baccarin as his love that keeps the silliness in check, because their chemistry is superb and somehow believable inside a film that is practically forcing you not to believe. Every time Reynolds reminds us that we are watching a stupid film it is quickly forgotten because the talent both on and off the screen elevate it to something smart. 

15 years ago I would have convinced myself that Deadpool was perfect. I'm quite alright with adult me accepting that it is merely pretty damn great. 



  1. I think "All erection jokes are not created equal" is the best line you've ever written :D and should go on a gravestone somewhere. lol

    I agree, and loved the movie was well. There is so much going on, and it really doesn't feel like it until you go through it again in your head. Question: did you see any kids in the theater? I had a few in mine and it just seemed a little weird, perhaps the parents just didn't know better, but after watching those trailers I'm not sure what they were really expecting.
    If you're interested I just posted my review too:

    And I'm not sure if you reviewed this or not, but I also did one for The Finest Hours:

    1. Haha glad you appreciated that one Cody. Thank you sir.

      I don't think I saw kids in the theater, I would have taken mental note of that I'm sure. I went on a Tuesday night so maybe the time wouldn't work for parents that still felt like that was a good idea.

      As a father, it isn't hard to do research on what you should take your kid to see. I'm not even a judgmental person in that regard, I was getting judged when I took my kid (at the time 6 years old) to see The Winter Soldier in the theater because I refuse to censor her from PG-13 superhero movies, but I still do my homework to make sure none of the content should truly be avoided. Deadpool was a pretty obvious one to avoid, I actually had to turn her down because she saw it was a superhero and assumed she could go haha. Not a chance.

      I will gladly check out your reviews sir, thanks for linking them. I haven't seen The Finest Hours yet but I will. With the amount of movies I see, that would is definitely on the list.