Deadpool Review – Quaint Heroics

I know Deadpool was released a couple months ago and I’ve been seriously slacking at this blogging thing for the past few weeks, so I’m going to talk about Deadpool to make up for that lack of blogging.  Because Deadpool was awesome.  I FINALLY saw it a couple of weeks ago to much enjoyment.  It is a brutal, hilarious, maniacal, warm, loving tribute to the superhero genre, all while taking place in the X-Men universe (one of my favorites of the cinematic comic universes).  Deadpool is great for many reasons and everyone should go see it.

And so to be super simple and not worry about the specifics of the movie, here are five super obvious and unoriginal reasons why I enjoyed Deadpool:

  1. Ryan Reynolds
    I’ve never had a problem with Ryan Reynolds.  He is an actor I always find charming and he seems genuinely invested in his roles, particularly this one.  He is dramatic, funny, charming, psychotic, cartoonish, and lovable as Deadpool/Wade Wilson.  I was surprised by the anger and the tenderness that Reynolds displays at various moments of the film.  His performance is more than just the random one liners and action displayed in the trailers and commercials.  He gives a great performance filled with wild exuberance.
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  2. Ties to the X-Men
    Some of my favorite bits of this film happened when you saw Ryan Reynold’s bum Deadpool interacted with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead.  His fourth-wall breaks and general zaniness worked better when he was playing against actual mutants who displayed actual heroics.  Deadpool and Colossus made for a great comedy duo.  And Colossus proves that Deadpool exists with the other X-Men portrayed on the silver screen.  He is not a one off, he is not separate from Wolverine like Iron Man or any other character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This means that Deadpool can possibly appear in any X-Men film, he could fight alongside James McAvoy’s Professor X, or curse with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  And I love that that is a possibility, because this is a franchise I still enjoy 16 years after it began.  Deadpool also gets to rightfully criticize the franchise for how terrible it can be.
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  3. The Humor
    I was worried that I wasn’t going to find this film funny.  I enjoy the concept of the character of Deadpool and enjoyed Reynolds as Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine before they sewed his mouth shut.  And some bits of the trailer made me laugh, but I didn’t fully understand why so many people loved the test footage that was leaked.  It seemed like there were too many jokes, too many one-liners.  It felt too over the top and I was concerned that I wouldn’t laugh.  And that is the case in some scenes.  Sometimes I felt that the jokes were too much (leave the stove on, groan).  But I was mostly laughing.  The jokes are genuinely funny.  The character and Reynolds are hilarious, particularly when Deadpool has another character to bounce off of.  This movie was funny throughout and that is more I can say about many Hollywood comedies.
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  4. The Plot
    Now this is something I’ve heard people criticize.  Some find that the story told is too simple and too similar to other superhero movies.  And it’s hard to argue with that.  Deadpool does have a plotline that is reminiscent of films past.  But it is told in a way that it is interesting and fresh.  If you think about it, the film only has three actual action sequences, four if you count the killing montage that includes a Zamboni (!).  What’s so smart about the film is that it continuously cuts to one action scene (the bridge sequence) multiple times to feel like the film has more action that it does.  This allowed the film to concentrate on the character of Deadpool and his journey to seek revenge and save the love of his life.  The time jumps, the wall breaks, the wall breaks within wall breaks, the jokes, the narration, the self references, the music, the writing, the acting, the action all allowed the story to be told in a way that felt unique, even if the main plot line isn’t.  Man becomes hero, man loses woman, man saves woman, man learns lesson, man defeats other man.  It’s a story that has gotten old, but thankfully Deadpool relies on telling it differently through its tone, humor, action, and characters.
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  5. The Love
    This is an infectious film.  One that will cheer you up and one that is easy to embrace, not just because it is so damn fun, but because so much care and love and attention is felt on every frame.  Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick have been fighting to make this film for years now and their patience, passion and persistence is palpable.  This is a film that although similar in tone to Kick-Ass and rated R like 300 and Watchmen, all successful to varying degrees, was still a risk for the studio.  But the quartet of geeks and filmmakers kept trying and trying and trying, until finally they were able to make a film they so desperately wanted to create.  And all that effort and loved paid off wonderfully.  The film doesn’t feel like a film made by committee, it is a film that feels like it had passion and purpose and love behind in every facet.

Deadpool is a great time.  It is entertaining, thrilling, hilarious, and enjoyable.  The love behind it is such an amazing thing to behold, that it should rejuvenate any film fan worried about the future of comic book movies.  Yes the genre might be peaking, but as long as a film created with such love like Deadpool comes along, then us film fanatics shouldn’t complain.

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