Before I say anything else, in the event that either of my sisters or any close friends are reading this, I promise you, I will not be the one to introduce any of your offspring, or my own for that matter, to this movie, until they are at least eighteen. Or maybe twenty-one.
Needless to say, this movie lives up to the trailers’ promise of definitely-not-for-children content. Blood. Violence. Sex. Body parts. Inappropriate humor. Innuendos. Swearing. Other language. Dark thematic material. And so on and so forth. Actually, outside the end-credits, I can’t seem to recall one single moment anywhere within two hours of run-time that would be child-friendly.
All that said… Deadpool is awesome!
It’s just so much fun!
From start to finish: laughter! The kind that makes your sides hurt and turns breathing into a monumental task. There were moments I wished I could pause the movie so I could finish laughing at one joke and catch my breath before proceeding on to the next, usually about a millisecond later. I am still laughing! 😀
Put it this way: there was a moment when I went, “Wait, what? We’re at the climactic final fight? Already? …Wow, that went by fast!” Time flies when you’re having fun!
Deadpool is the kind of movie that is astoundingly difficult to get right. Not only is it the very definition of “unorthodox,” but mixing humor and violence of this caliber can be quite difficult to get right. It’s very easy to either be off-putting in some fashion or resort to endless so-called “humor” about farts and sex. Deadpool himself, aka Wade Wilson, is nothing like a hero, so the typical hero humor just does not cut it. In fact, the typical hero anything just doesn’t cut it. And yet, not only did they manage to pull it off brilliantly, but the story they told was surprisingly emotional.
It’s a very simple story, really, albeit one that mixes origin, revenge, and love stories all together: crazy guy meets equally-crazy girl, falls in love, gets taken away from girl, and fights to get back to girl, leaving a number of bodies in his wake. Toss in an incredible straight man in form of a classic hero trying to recruit him, alongside the stereotypically moody teenager, and a British villain – a very good villain, by the way, though not really a well-developed villain – eventually kidnapping the girl to get to the guy, because they always do that, and you’ve got Deadpool. And yet, as simple, violent, and funny as it was, it actually got me to invest in the crazy, murderous main character.
I think, out of everything, that’s what really sells the movie. Sure, I expected to enjoy the main character’s escapades and some dark, macabre humor, but I did not expect to feel any sort of connection with him. He’s the single most anti-heroic anti-hero I can think of! Yet, even he has soft spots (and hard spots). Even he, in the depths of darkness, knows love.
Speaking of, Vanessa was not your typical superhero’s love interest. Most heroes’ romantic interests are either the saintly girl next door, possibly one who reforms the “bad boy,” or the bad girl in need of emotional rescue even while she shows her boy toy how to walk on the wild side. Not so for Vanessa. Neither she nor Wade live in the normal daylight of proper society. The wild side isn’t where they walk, it’s where they live, in civilization’s shadow, scratching out a living doing jobs that most wouldn’t call respectable. Both have their issues and both, in their unconventional way, are strong enough to endure it. Though she needs a rescue by the end of the film, at no point could I see her as a weak woman. Vanessa and Wade are kindred spirits. As he puts it, her crazy matches his crazy.
That’s exactly what drives this film and carries its every nonconforming aspect: the characters. It’s not the plot, or the action, or the special effects, or even the unending dark comedy, though those are all good and enjoyable. It’s the characters. Thus the “surprisingly emotional” bit I mentioned earlier.
Here, I have to give a big shout-out to the cast. Every one of them did a phenomenal job. Of course, the crowns go to Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin, but they are surrounded by equals, not inferiors. Every one of them delivered their lines perfectly, and behaved the way these characters could actually behave.
Another note about the adult content:
I know I’m not the only one who was reminded of Kingsman while watching Deadpool, but where Kingsman earned my respect for doing what they wanted, Deadpool, I just love! Kingsman had a deeper, intricate plot with a powerful theme, and a boy’s journey towards becoming a hero. Deadpool didn’t give a crap about all that, except to make fun of it like they made fun of everything else they can get their hands on, including themselves, as it took us on a crazy, bloody, violent, sexy, horrifying, hilarious ride. I believe I called Kingsman “totally unrepentant,” but Deadpool flat-out laughs in the face of the mere idea of repentance! It’s fantastic!
In regards to the uber-violence and all the rest, it’s important, I think, to note that the advertising for Deadpool put all of the violence right out there in the open, and then made fun of it, so we all went in with realistic expectations. …well, ok, most of us went in with realistic expectations. I’m hearing stories of people who actually did take kids to go see this movie. To them, I say, “Are you nuts?!”
I have to say, I was not expecting Deadpool to be one the best superhero(ish)/comic book movies to date, but I believe it is exactly that. Fox’s little experiment has paid off in the figurative sense, and we’re seeing it pay off in a literal sense, too! Hopefully, this will encourage more such ventures by Fox and other studios! (I believe I’ve already mentioned the need for experimentation…)
I am already actually looking forward to the sequel!
And that is not something I often say about sequels, let alone within five minutes of the first movie’s ending. 🙂
Rating: …hmmmm… a moment of consideration.
As great as it is, I can’t share this with the kids, so that’s one point incontrovertibly off. There would/should be several points off, but Deadpool recovers most of them by being awesome. So…
Rating: 9 out of 10.
Grade: …another moment of consideration.
It would be a travesty to give this one anything but an A. But, again, can’t share with the kiddies. Soooo…
Grade: A-Minus. Like, right on the border. Almost a B-Plus. But an A, nonetheless. 😉