20th Century Fox has done the unthinkable. They have opened Pandora’s Box and unleashed the Merc with A Mouth on the masses. Bad parents will rue the day they let their children watch a masked psychopath cut off his own hand in the theater.
Fox’s Deadpool works. It will not win any Oscars. It was not made to. It was a gift to the fans of the character and an apology for a past wrong-doing.
In 2009, 20th Century Fox plopped a turd in the lap of every Deadpool fan with his portrayal in X-men Origins: Wolverine. A character known for his talking had his mouth sewn shut and turned into the unspeakable.
The portrayal was universally panned. The movie was highly offensive to not only Deadpool fans but movie fans everywhere. The only enjoyable version of X-men Origins: Wolverine was the leaked workprint version. That may be the greatest comedy film ever created. Certainly in the same league as Some Like It Hot.
A Deadpool movie had been rumored for years after the butchering of the character. A script floated around online. I got my hands on it while in college. It was decent. This new movie has scenes from that script. I like this movie a lot more than that old script.
Deadpool is a relatively faithful adaptation of Joe Kelly’s run of Deadpool. Adaptations should focus on bringing the spirit of the story to another medium. Fans want a 1:1 reproduction of the source material and that is not feasible in most cases. What works in one medium does not necessarily work in another.
Deadpool has the spirit of the character down. Deadpool is a tortured psychopath masquerading his insecurities and fears with sardonic wit. The Deadpool character is known for his humor and breaking the fourth wall. It is forgotten by many that he is a man who has cancer eating away at his insides everyday and he has killed many people. He is a mercenary, not a comedian.
Joe Kelly’s run focused on Deadpool’s insecurities. Deadpool was not a hero. He’s your prototypical anti-hero on acid. He detested the word, “hero”. He once beat a woman to a bloody pulp for continuing to call him one.
The humor in the comic book was strong. It was very much a part of the book and character’s success. Joe Kelly seamlessly added in references to television shows, celebrities, and more. Some of which have stood the test of time.
Deadpool takes the best of Joe Kelly’s run.
All the elements of that Deadpool character are in this movie.His checkered past. His aversion to the word, “hero”. His mangled face. His fourth-wall breaking. His scumbag friend, Weasel. The gratuitous violence. The old blind woman that he keeps locked in his house for company.
Blind Al and Weasel made it to the movie screen. We have come a long way from 1978’s Superman.
Deadpool is at its best when the title character is running around in his red tights and mask. Ryan Reynolds is having a lot of fun with the role. He brings the insanity and tragedy of Deadpool. The way Deadpool fights and acts is straight out of one of his comic books. Reynolds’ timing is impeccable. He gets the character. I appreciate the love he’s shown Deadpool.
I have one gripe with Deadpool in this movie. He’s not ugly enough.
He should have looked more like an eighties horror movie villain. Closer to Jason Voorhees than Ryan Reynolds with a bad rash. The audience should have had the same reaction as the characters when Deadpool removes his mask. His face should be stomach-churning. I also think we shouldn’t have seen his face until the final scene. It should have been a running joke that we see only the characters’ reaction to it. I know they had a lower budget for this film so I’ll let this slide.
The movie does struggle when Deadpool is not on the screen. The flashback scenes showing his romance with Vanessa were some of the weaker scenes of the movie. They are funny, but not gripping. The movie starts us off with him in the suit. He’s gunning and slicing mooks. Every flashback scene pulled us away the present to deliver us the past.
The film should have started where the story started. Instead we get a little bit of present Deadpool and then some flashback. More Deadpool, more flashback. Once the flashbacks stopped and the movie could just go, it flowed. The movie had to do the origin story which hurt it. It tried to do A Day in the Life of Deadpool and Deadpool’s Origin all at same time. It should have tried to be one or the other.
If they went down that path, it would have been thirty minutes without Deadpool in the suit. The audience might have grown restless. So maybe in medias res is the better way to start.
The movie throws a busload of jokes at you. Most of them work. The ones that don’t, you forget about quickly. Every audience will react to this movie differently. The jokes about Blade 2, Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine went over the heads of my audience. Everyone will find something funny. I could see people disliking all the dick jokes and over-the-top swearing. It is very sophomoric but the tone fits Deadpool.
The film was more sexually-charged than I was expecting for a comic book film. There were jokes about masturbation and pegging. They were funny, but I hope they don’t turn some people off to the movie.
The film is a fun time in the theater. If you’re looking for sweet film with decent action, questionable acts around stuffed animals, and a ton of humor, you should check out Deadpool.
I do have one thing about the ending though. Spoiler Alert.
Deadpool gets the girl. He’s a character who’s not supposed to get the Hollywood Ending. The scene prior to it was an attempt to define Deadpool as not a hero. Colossus, an X-man, tells Deadpool to not shoot the main villain in the head. Deadpool can define himself as a hero by sparing a life. Deadpool does not hesitate and blasts him in the head in the middle of Colossus’s speech. This is telling us Deadpool is no hero. However he is given the hero’s ending by having Vanessa accept him despite his ugly looks.
For a movie that prided itself on deviating from the traditional path, it had a traditional ending. To be Deadpool is to suffer. He can’t get the girl. What will they do with her in the sequel? Kill her off? It seems like they have to. Will Deadpool get married?
I have high expectations for the sequel.