2016 R-rated superhero movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A Deadpool origin story.

Vibrant and cheeky, Deadpool feels fresh from beginning to end, and part of that might be because of the R-rating. The humor is randy, and there's some extremely violent imagery that your other X-Men [Disclosure: I don't know my comic books well enough to know whether or not Deadpool even is an X-Man.] or Marvel movies can't show you because they wouldn't be able to sell as many action figures. Oh, and nudity. There's some nudity in there as well. I think I even saw a dick!

Most of the credit has to go to the writers and Ryan Reynolds' performance, both tongue in cheek. The script is peppered with references to its cinematic peers, often poking fun at the genre. My favorite bit might have been a visit to the X-Men's school and the ensuing dialogue. The opening credits, my favorite superhero movie credits since The Watchmen, set the perfect tone, immediately taking jabs at and embracing the cliches of the comic book action movie genre. Reynolds is fearless, and he has this ability to have this arrogance where he knows he's all that while still managing to be likable. Witty dick jokes feel redundant after a while, but Reynolds delivers the last of them exactly like he delivers the first of them, and that persistence and dedication keeps the audience going. The script is more dirty limerick than Shakespeare, of course, but it's so offbeat and different from everything we're used to seeing in these Marvel superhero movies, that it's refreshingly amusing. This is the kind of movie where you know the people writing it probably had just as much fun as you are watching it.

The tone shifts when our anti-hero is transformed, but I suppose it's necessary. If any of the movie lags, it's this middle bit, and I think a more engaging bad guy could have helped. Like every single other Marvel superhero movie that has been made and will be made, this ends with a grand fight sequence that doesn't make a lot of sense. The big action and effects-laden payoff isn't nearly as much fun as the rest of the movie. Still, as a telling of the anti-hero's journey, this works.

Am I the only one who feels slightly embarrassed for Stan Lee when I see his cameo in these things?

I really liked Deadpool's sidekick, the blind woman played by Leslie Uggams.

I made the rare trip to the theater to watch this, the kind of thing that convinces me that I need to only watch movies in the privacy of my own home. The Simpsons' comic book guy was sitting two seats from me and couldn't stop giggling. Also, I was uncomfortable when the kid who came in to clean the theater as I was leaving decided he needed to talk to me.

Here's a question: Aren't most Marvel superhero movies going to seem really boring after this one?

1 comment:

cory said...

I agree. I went into this expecting it to be like every other comic book movie, but was completely won over. There were some flaws. Too much violence? Check. Over-the-top action ending you mentioned? Check. Too many times at the 4th wall well? Check. But more than balancing these issues is how much fun and how clever this is. Messing with the structure, laugh-out-loud smart one-liners, Reynolds shockingly engaging performance all kept me constantly entertained. This may not be the best of the seeming hundreds of Marvel movies, but it is the most interesting. My daughters will not be allowed to watch it until they are in their 40's, but I will definitely watch it again. A 17.