So if you are anything like us, you have been following the quest to get Deadpool to the big screen for some time now, curiously wondering if they can really capture the Merc with a Mouth in his truest sense without having to hold back and pander to the studios or a PG-13 audience. Well the wait is over, and let me tell you they don’t hold back at all. Deadpool is truly a hard “R” rating. For the last fifteen years, Hollywood has been on a serious bender that hasn’t seemed to let up, tossing super hero movies out of its Armani pockets like loose change. Sure it was fun in the beginning, and you occasionally run into something incredibly entertaining, but the genre is wearing thin and has been in desperate need to have a jolt of adrenaline. If you are like me, you want for something different. Well thanks to Ryan Reynold’s all-in, balls-deep approach to the title character, and to director Tim Miller’s flare, Deadpool is just what the genre needed. This is a film that truly earns its rating with its’ glib, tongue-in-cheek, low brow sensibilities, and its’ flair for over-the-top violence and action set pieces. This movie is just straight up serious fun! From the opening credits, the film never takes itself too seriously and pays massive fan service to its’ loyal comic readers. Deadpool delivers everything anyone has ever been looking for in the super hero action genre. Finally a movie you can’t take the kids to! This one is for the teenage adult in us all. To say it’s crass and immature is an understatement, but that is just part of its charm.
That isn’t to say its not without its flaws, but that too ends up being part of its charm as well. Deadpool is an origin story, following wisecracking mercenary Wade Wilson, who is turned into a severely scarred, mentally unstable mutant with the ability to heal mortal wounds and a penchant for revenge. He wants to make the mutant doc responsible for his suffering and deformity pay and get his best girl back along the way. He is, as he says super, but he “ain’t no hero”. The film is bogged down at times in the origin story mire, and its plot is a tad predictable. But these flaws are easy to overlook since there is whole lot of fourth wall breaking, poking fun at itself and the genre during the entire ride of the movie. The open credit sequence alone was worth the price of admission.
Deadpool uses a narrative structure that moves in and out of past and present to help break up some of the obviousness of its plot line, and the moment you even get the slightest twinge of ‘been there, done that’, it immediately has you laughing out loud or cringing at the over-the-top violence and gore. The real reason that this movie works so well is Ryan Reynold’s performance. There is a pure sense of joy in his incarnation of the anti-hero. He owns this role. The film was made on a modest (I say modest in the Super Hero Action genre sense) budget of $50 million. In a time when the average Super Hero movie budget is $150 million dollars, Tim Miller had to make this work on far less. And although some would say it detracts from the film at points, I argue that it actually helped lift it to be one of the best “Super Hero” films to date. Because of its inability to solve every problem by tossing money at it, it had to use creativity instead. It may look nearly as big, but it has a low budget charm to it that is undeniable. Let’s just hope that Hollywood takes note and realizes that it’s okay to make movies like this for adults and that we will gladly pay the price of admission if you take some risks.
Check your pretentiousness at the door and get on board! Deadpool is here and poised to slap that crusty, wrinkled, flacid, cinematic shaft right out of your mouth!