Sunday, February 28, 2016

Deadpool - Review

Before I get started, I should point out that even though I'm a big fan of comic books, superheroes, and superhero movies, I'm not a huge fan of Deadpool. I don't think that I have any Deadpool comics, and I think that the only ones that I have with him are ones where he's making a guest appearance. It's not that I actively dislike the character, it's just that I never found him appealing enough to follow his book. After 30 years of reading comics, that's true of a lot of major characters though.

As a result, I might have actually skipped this one if it hadn't been for all of the good reviews. After all, I'm a fan of the Fantastic Four, but I didn't bother with the last movie since the reviews were so bad. With so many good comic book movies, why waste your time with what looks like a real stinker?

That certainly didn't seem to be the case with Wade Wilson's feature film, and the people who seemed to like it the most were the comic book fans. Also, it seemed like it was a project that the creative team really believed in and really wanted to get right. So, even as a passive fan of the character, I had to check this one out.

Overall, I really liked it, and it lived up to the hype. It was crude, violent, and hilarious, but they did a good job of creating a character that I could care about, and the love story was better than a lot of movies that are marketed as love stories. Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

Ryan Reynolds - After the disappointment that was Green Lantern, I honestly wondered if the guy had what it took to carry a feature film. I think that this was the movie that proved that he can. I actually have a lot of respect for the guy, as I know that he's one of the main reasons why they got this right. He obviously respects the character and the fans, and he wanted to not just make a good movie but to make one that was true to the spirit of the comic book. (Even though I don't own any, I have read a few, so I can say that it succeeded on that level.)

The story structure - I can't think of another superhero film that does a similar thing, but this one began in median res. For those of you not well-versed in Greek epic story structure, that means that it starts in the middle of things. It doesn't waste any time showing Deadpool in his full costume right from the first scene. It then flashes back, catches up to where it started, and then it continues the narrative. I thought that was pretty smart, as most of Deadpool's appeal is in his fighting style, which includes a whole lot of talking too damn much.

The costume - I don't want to hear any more crap about how superhero costumes don't necessarily translate to the screen. If Deadpool doesn't look like he just jumped right off the page, then I don't know what's what. If they can do that, then we can see Wolverine in something a bit closer to the comics.

The wisecracks - The movie proved that you can have flippant remarks while fighting without taking away from the dramatic weight of the situation. While the two recent Spider-Man movies started heading in that direction, now there's really NO reason to not have Spidey be his smartass self in his next feature film.

The R rating - I'm totally fine with an R rated superhero film. There are a lot of adult fans out there. But like some others have commented, I'm worried that Hollywood will learn the wrong lesson and go that route with too many of them. As a father who likes to watch these films with his son (not this particular one just yet - my son's only five) I'm not too happy at the prospect of even more of these being out of his age range. Because believe me, he knows who Deadpool is, and he wants to see the movie. I'm not sure if I like the idea that the next Wolverine will be rated R (especially considering my son is named for him) and the fact that there will be an R rated version of Batman V. Superman on home video has me a bit nervous. (Superman should be accessible to little kids. I'm sorry, but any other way of looking at that is just wrong.)

Colossus - Even though it wasn't horrible what they did with him in the X-Men movies, it was nice to see a Colossus who was recognizable from the comics. I was a bit worried that he was going to be all grim and gritty as well, but he made for a nice foil for Deadpool with his earnest and heroic attitude.

The love story/ending - SPOILER ALERT - I really liked the relationship in this film, but I think that they should have taken more of a chance with the ending. I can believe that Vanessa would want him back, but they should have saved that for the next film. She was obviously hurt with him disappearing on her like that, and believing that he was dead took a toll on her. I would have found it perfectly believable if she would have told him that she loved him despite his deformity but could no longer be with him because of how hurt she was. The movie took so many chances in so many other ways that it would have been nice to see it do something a little more unconventional with the love story. That's a minor complaint, mind you.

The tone - This is probably the most incredible part of the movie. It's hard to pull off a movie that switches from comedy to drama as much as this one did, but it really pulled it off. Somehow I completely accepted the absurdity of some of the situations, but when everything took a dramatic turn, I was still invested in the characters.

I guess the only real shame is that even though this is a Marvel property, it's not part of Marvel's movie studio. It would be cool to see him interact with The Avengers, but I guess that's just not to be.

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