Deadpool came out this weekend and is a critical, financial and most importantly, audience success. The 2016 comic book movie year has started with a bang so let’s dive into Deadpool. (That’s right we’re jumping into Deadpool movie spoilers so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, stay away! Spoilers follow.)
Right off the bat I have to mention the success of Deadpool. As of me writing this Deadpool is on track for a $120 million 3-day opening weekend. To put that in context, it’s one of the highest opening weekends for any superhero movie ever! It’s better than most Marvel movies, better than Man of Steel, better than any X-Men movie, yeah let that sink in. Deadpool, a character most of the mainstream audience hadn’t heard about until now is doing numbers like that, and that’s all with a R-rating.
We’ll get into why I think it was so successful when I start talking about the movie, but basically Fox is very happy right now that the test footage “leaked”. None of this would be happening if that Deadpool test footage didn’t leak online, Fox would have never committed to this movie if they didn’t see the universal praise that footage got. And after Fantastic Four, having Deadpool make around 3 times its budget in one weekend must be making them feel pretty freaking good (yeah they’re touching themselves tonight). So without further ado let’s discuss Deadpool!
The overall plot is an origin story, a revenge story and a love story. We find out that Wade Wilson is dying and agrees to get experimented on by Ajax. Ajax (or should I say Francis) ends up turning him into a freak, removing Wade from his happy life with Vanessa. Wade then becomes Deadpool seeking revenge on the man who ruined his life, whilst trying to reconnect with Vanessa.
What I liked about this movie was that it was a simple, straight-forward plot. We don’t always need convoluted story-lines about time travel, the world ending etc etc. Deadpool was a much more character-focused film, and I loved that.
So after the awesome opening credits we see Deadpool in the taxi, with Dopinder. No Dopinder wasn’t just some throwaway taxi driver, Dopinder had a story! Quickly we see that the supporting cast is going to be adding a lot to this film. The Dopinder arc involved a love triangle, where Dopinder was the weakest link.
So Deadpool, being the nice guy he is inspires Dopinder to take action. And what does Dopinder do? Well kidnap his rival and accidentally kill him of course. Whilst a normal superhero does inspire change in everyday citizens, no one does it in the exact same way Deadpool does. That moment in the taxi where Colossus is outraged with what Dopinder did whilst Deadpool was cheering him on, really gave you a contrast on the type of character Deadpool is vs a normal superhero.
We then get the action piece that was originally in the leaked test footage. Deadpool is trying to hunt down Ajax and ends up in a massive fight. Have to give major kudos to Tim Miller, a first time director who did an amazing job with the whole film in general, but also with the action pieces, even with a limited budget.
Sure the scale of the action was smaller to what we’re used to seeing in superhero films, but in a way it made it feel more real. And watching Deadpool kill everyone with only 12 rounds was pretty awesome. And just as he’s about to finally get his revenge on Ajax in comes Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (her name is actually really cool). They were surprisingly really great additions to the film. Colossus is the ultimate straight guy so he of course played off Deadpool really well.
The whole film was hilarious, but some of my favourite moments were from the interactions between Colossus and Deadpool. Watching Deadpool break his body whilst fighting Colossus was hilarious (my whole packed theatre was dying at this point) and one of my favourite lines of the movie came from here “McAvoy or Stewart? These timelines are so confusing”.
Stopping here for a second, part of the reason why I believe Deadpool has been such a success, is because of the very nature of his character. He breaks the 4th wall, interacts with the audience, is aware of his life as a fictional character “It’s almost as if the studio couldn’t afford another X-Men”. This isn’t something the general audience are used to seeing in their superhero movies, I think it took them by surprise.
My biggest complement for this movie is that it had a very unique personality. It’s easy for a superhero movie to feel a little generic, especially after you’ve watched so many, but Deadpool didn’t feel like that.
That along with the perfect timing really helped push the box office for Deadpool. In the age of the internet, where silly, funny things go viral all the time, Deadpool is the perfect character for the internet. We saw the marketing pieces go viral all the time because they were smart and funny. And it’s the beginning of 2016, this is the first major blockbuster of the year, and with Star Wars hype now finally starting to die down, people were ready for the next big thing, that being Deadpool.
Anyways we then see a flashback of Wade Wilson’s life before he became Deadpool. I know non-linear narrative annoys some people, personally I don’t mind it, especially if it means we can get into the Deadpool action straight away.
It was during the flashbacks that we get a real sense of who he is as a person. We see that he is being paid to kill people who have wronged others, but he sure doesn’t consider himself a hero, but he does have a heart. And we especially see this when he meets Vanessa.
I love the montage of their relationship (and yes everyone was dying at the sex montage, “Happy International Women’s Day”), and especially when we see that their relationship isn’t just driven by pure sexual tension. The moment where Wade finds out he’s dying and all he can do is look to Vanessa and be amazed by her, really showed how much he cared for her.
And it was because of his love for Vanessa that Wade decides to be experimented on by Ajax. And it’s also because of his love for Vanessa that Ajax decides to target Vanessa to get back at Deadpool.
A big problem in the world of superheros is that often female love interests are not used as real characters, but rather plot devices to give the hero motivation. Which means the love interest often spends most of her time getting kidnapped or killed, without much character development at all.
And even though Vanessa did get kidnapped, I don’t think that this is the case for her. We did get some character development from her, and you felt like she was more than just some damsel in distress. During Wade’s disappearance whilst he was out being Deadpool it would have been nice to see more of what she was doing and how she was coping with it, but I’m happy with what we saw from her (that may be a little bias because I already adored Morena Baccarin). We found out about her terrible life growing up and how that shaped who she is now. She’s quick and resilient, and her crazy matches Wade’s crazy.
Before Deadpool finally gets his revenge on Ajax we see a lot of great moments. The interactions between Weasel and Wade were great, “I would come with you…but I don’t want to”. The interactions between Wade and Blind Al were beyond hilarious. The moment where Deadpool gently caressed her face with his tiny baby hand was just so…touching.
I mean I could go on and on about all the hilarious moments in the film, but there’s just too many. The truth is that this film is genuinely hilarious. I was worried it would be one of the films where all the good moments are in the trailer, or it would be a humour that didn’t resonate with me, but it wasn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a movie theatre that was this responsive to a comedic movie. The lines were delivered perfectly, and everyone played off each other really well.
Then we get to the last big fight between Ajax/Angel Dust and Deadpool/Colossus/Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Apparently there were last-minute budget cuts that affected this final fight (hence why he forgot his guns), but no problem, it was still really well done.
And revenge movies always needs a satisfying ending, and we definitely got that here, “What’s my name?” well why don’t we let Deadpool spell it out for you…with a bunch of dead bodies.
Then came one of my favourite moments in the movie. There we are, Deadpool gun to Ajax’s head, ready to kill him once and for all. But in comes Colossus, with a touching speech on what it means to be a hero. Being the bigger person, and not reducing ourselves to our enemies pettiness. But if you didn’t figure it out by now, Deadpool isn’t your normal superhero, and him killing Ajax just felt so good (even if it made Colossus feel not so good).
We then got our reunion between Wade and Vanessa, and she accepted him and his fucked up face (I have to mention the fact that during that whole end fight Wade had a Hugh Jackman face stapled to him is hilarious).
Camera pans out, roll credits. We did get a Ferris Bueller post-credit scene which revealed Cable would be in the sequel (yes a sequel has already been confirmed). And also because of Colossus’ yearning for Deadpool to join the X-Men, I’m sure we’ll see Deadpool in a X-Men movie soon.
Overall Deadpool was a hilarious movie that felt refreshing in the Golden Age of superhero movies. Like I said, this movie was distinct, it had a personality no other superhero franchise has right now, it knew what it was and stuck with it. The plot was simple because the story was driven by the characters. The movie was funny yes, but it’s because we got so many great character moments that it really succeeded.
And it goes to show that you don’t need a ridiculously huge budget to make a good superhero movie. I don’t need “the world is going to end” scaled stuff all the time. Sometimes it’s good to get a simple origin/love/revenge story.
Other things I loved:
- The score: Junkie XL is on a roll right now, Mad Max was awesome and so was Deadpool (and Batman v Superman’s score sounds promising too)
- The fact that Deadpool has a song! Do you know how much I love when movies have songs about the actual movie or the character? You know like the Men in Black song etc, we used to get a lot of that but not so much anymore. So I was really happy that we got a (hilarious)
- All references to Green Lantern/Ryan Reynolds/Origins Deadpool
- Stan Lee’s cameo in the strip club was perfect and probably the best one yet
- MCU references: So were they all working for Hydra then and fighting on a helicarrier?
My only real issue was the villains. Ajax wasn’t a very interesting character because we didn’t really get to know him, other than the fact that he was a dick. I’m getting over all these superhero movies acting like villains aren’t important pieces of a story who don’t need proper character development. This has been a big problem of mine with most of the MCU movies, however typically X-Men movies do a lot better of a job with villains.
However other than that Deadpool was a lot of fun and I’m glad we have a film like this out there. And now that it’s officially a success I’m hoping it leads to more studios taking risks. Not necessarily by making everything R-rated, but by taking chances on characters that aren’t your traditional superheroes (which is why I’m especially excited for Suicide Squad).
My final comment on Deadpool will be a PSA: Don’t take your children! Just don’t. This isn’t a MCU movie, it’s not a Batman or Superman movie, this isn’t for kids. During the scene where Wade mutates, I heard a kid in my theatre completely freak out to the point where he was yelling “Get me out of here!”. I saw a lot of parents walkout during the movie with their kids, so save yourself the trouble and don’t bring them.
Anyways if you couldn’t already tell by my long-ass post I loved Deadpool. 8 out of 10 baby Deadpool hands.
Edit: I just realised I went through this whole post without even talking about Ryan Reynolds! When an actor genuinely loves and is passionate about a character, you can see it in their performance. Reynolds did an amazing job, he is Deadpool. It makes me happy how successful this movie is because of the struggle him and a lot of other people went though to make this movie. It’s his passion project, and he nailed it!
Categories: comic book movies