‘Deadpool’ delivers on bringing audiences an original superhero

Modern superhero Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, poses seductively in front of a warm fire.
Modern superhero Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, poses seductively in front of a warm fire. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

The producers of Deadpool made a great decision when deciding on a song for the movie’s trailer. DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” from his 2003 album Grand Champ is loud, grabs your attention the whole time, smacks you in the face when you listen to it and is just plain fun to hear. That’s what Deadpool is like – all of that and more. 

If you’ve ever seen a superhero movie, you probably already know the basic plot. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is an ex-soldier working as a gun for hire. When he is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, he decides to sign up for an experimental treatment offered by a shady businessman. As it turns out, this treatment ends up giving him superpowers, and he goes on to become Deadpool. When the villian, Francis Freeman captures Deadpool’s girlfriend (Morena Baccarin), Deadpool defeats the villain and saves the day. But plot is really the last thing that Deadpool is about; rather, it is about comedy. Even in the comics, the character of Deadpool was always a spoof on the classic super-hero genre, poking fun at the motifs and endless clichés that always pop up in a genre that entices Americans like no other. The filmmakers have adapted that tone perfectly, resulting in a raunchy, unapologetic and hilarious version of the character.

It seems like every few months there’s a new movie coming out with Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, etc. For fans of those films, and even for people who have gotten tired of those films, Deadpool is for you.

Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, markets himself as a new kind of hero, and that statement is very true in two respects: He’s way funnier and way more violent. As everyone was walking out of the theater, I noticed a lot of talk about how much people liked the jokes. This was true for me too, but specifically, I thought Deadpool was at his best when he was addressing the audience or breaking the fourth wall, so to speak. There are numerous times when Deadpool acknowledges that he is in a movie and uses this as a way to poke fun at everything from from superhero clichés to Hollywood. Probably due to it being owned by the same production company, the X-Men franchise gets special attention from Deadpool’s jokes; especially hilarious is when Deadpool subtly aims his jokes at Hugh Jackman.

Deadpool is also more violent than previous superhero movies and certainly deserves its R-rating. It’s mostly driven by Deadpool’s status as an anti-hero. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, as dark comedy can be as effective as its lighter counterpart. Just don’t be that guy who brings his seven- and eight- year-old kids to see it like the dad behind me in the theater.

Did Deadpool have any flaws? Certainly a few minor ones. The cast did well as a whole, espe-cially Reynolds and Baccarin. But the filmmakers underutilized T.J. Miller, a hilarious comedian in his own right and a regular on the acclaimed HBO show Silicon Valley. If I had to choose a human version of Patrick from Spongebob, I’d probably choose him. In this movie he plays Deadpool’s bartender/wingman Weasel, but apart from being the guy who gives Deadpool his name, he doesn’t have many memorable scenes.

The film’s only other potential flaw lies in its evidently minimal budget. It’s actually an interesting story: The producers weren’t confident that audiences were going to want to see a movie like this, so they only committed about $58 million to its budget (most new superhero films generally receive a budget of around $150 million). Then Deadpool went on to earn more than twice its budget in the first four days of its release, silencing any of the producer’s fears. A small budget usually translates into low quality special effects, but this was not noticeably the case in this film. Deadpool’s sidekick Colossus, who is basically a giant man made of shiny steel, was the lone CGI character in the film, and his look was quite polished and very sharp. The fight scenes were well choreographed, the explosions were lifelike and the make-up was very haunting.

Deadpool really is an excellent movie. If you don’t mind a little blood and a bit of crassness, it’s a wild ride of a movie definitely worth watching as soon as you can.

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