Deadpool is without question the perfect Valentine’s day movie. From the boisterous opening credits that referred to the producers as” Asshats!” to the concluding post credit scene that paid respects to the OG of fourth wall breaking movies, you knew that at the end of the movie you’d be getting into you’re partners “Chimichanga’s”. Well perhaps not so much, but I can tell you that I haven’t laughed this much since I saw a road worker fall over his own warning sign! Deservedly exceeding all expectations; commercially, critically, domestically and internationally, even being banned in China and Uzbekistan, the “Merc with the mouth” hasn’t just fondled Hugh Jackman’s testicles to succeed but defied the corporate ignorance of studio executives that underestimated the popularity of adult orientated movies for a mature audience. Man those Dredd fans must be fuming?! It’s Crass, rude, ambitiously earnest, with a swagger bordering on arrogant, revelling in its own irreverent tone. Deadpool invests heavily in Ryan Reynolds ability to entrance audiences with his fun, nonchalant tone without the shtick becoming irksome. And he does it, just. It’s the type of movie that I would’ve sneaked into a cinema to see when I was 13 and one that can’t be diluted by an impotent, family friendly direction. It had to be loud, bloody and contain enough expletive laden innuendos to satisfy every university dormitory. It would be like a Schwarzenegger movie without witty one liners or a Tarantino movie without gratuitous swearing or Sam Jackson. But what you’ll relish most is just how consistently funny this movie is.
It appeals to the lowest common denominator, the kind of people that are amused by fart noises, that burp the national anthem or knock on doors and run away. Most notably however is that it appeals to my juvenile sensibilities. As I mentioned above, if I can laugh hysterically a man falling over then you can be certain that I’ll laugh when Deadpool strokes a blind woman’s chin with his newly growing hand that resembles that of a baby and remark how big his penis will look being held by it! It’s just funny how appropriate the meta humour is. During one scene when Deadpool is recruiting the aid of Colossus and “moody teen” from Xavier’s school for gifted children, I thought to myself that clearly this movie hadn’t been given the necessary funds to provide more than 2 X-men for this scene. So to hear Deadpool comment on the obvious depletion of mutant activity was strangely surreal. In a way Deadpool’s environmental awareness is reminiscent of the way The Simpsons carefully poked fun at Fox, with Deadpool lambasting the very studio that financed the damn thing! Though not financially backed with any considerable assuredness. Because of the budgetary restraints you’re not going to be hiring the most recognised actors in the industry, which is hugely beneficial really. The unconventional cast of nobody’s are surprisingly robust. Performances by the likes of Brianna Hildebrand and Gina Carano were entertaining supporting actors. TJ Miller had some great quips and Karen Soni playing a taxi driver provided audiences with arguably the funniest moments in the movie. But Deadpool’s success is largely attributed to Ryan Reynolds performance, one he has arguably been perfecting all his life.
His portrayal of a violent ballistics expert, whose appearance is afflicted with cancerous tumours is played to near mad perfection, yet the characters/actors pithy exuberance will deter many, as will the glut of dick jokes, smutty oral fixations and sexual proclivities that extend to the realms of implied beastality, such as masturbating a unicorns horn. His esoteric jokes discharge at such a constant rate that it’s like a comedian attempting a greatest hits show without taking a breath. But dag nammit if it doesn’t do what any good superhero film should; be fun. It’s self-aware, self-referential, almost self-serving to the point of being smug. Though this smugness will inevitably be the pervasive aggravation to some detractors, the movie has every right to be. It’s like one of the Wright brothers turning to his sibling after their first successful flight and saying “I told you it would work.” With the perceived idea that a 15 or R rated movie has significant financial limitations for turning a substantial profit, suddenly violence is a decidedly viable equity, which is both exciting and concerning. Exciting because we may finally get Blade film that hopefully won’t feature Ryan Reynolds (look it up. Terrible film!) and concerning because of how the industry will likely interpret Deadpool’s success. Fundamental corporatism has been bluntly humiliated by a product that could be just as pliable. It’s a format ripe for bastardisation. The crucial distinction between this and other superhero fares is that this is a fresh if not inventive concept, with some sexual vulgarity thrown in. And because this movie was such an underdog a sequel could struggle to replicate this one’s authenticity without coming across as arrogant. It can at least leverage a little more production money I guess.
But to see people revoking the apathetic cynicism of society and become so motivated and deliriously passionate about anything is thrilling to witness. People in the cinema were laughing emphatically and not just the in a fake, “I get that reference” kind of way, but with their entire bodies! You can’t fake that kind of pure enthusiasm, the same effusive avidity that has seen numerous movie-goers flood social media to recommend it. Yet Deadpool is wrongfully being recognised as original. It isn’t. But there’s a purity about it that makes it seem new. It’s simple, fun, there’s no overarching morality, superfluous 3D or apocalyptic disaster that needs resolving. Deadpool, if nothing else is proof that with enough passion and motivation, especially from Reynolds and director Tim Miller who simply wouldn’t give up getting this movie made, not to mention some genius promotional marketing can achieve both a film people wanted but also, a superhero movie people needed.