Deadpool (2016)

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Writer, Nate Brigman

Nate Brigman

Spoilers:

 

Deadpool is hilarious in the most not-kid-friendly way short of… well, things I’m not allowed to say. Seeing as this was the biggest and probably most highly-anticipated R-rated “superhero” movie of all time, the writers knew they had the wiggle room to go through the roof with the dark comedy and violence, and it paid off in a major way. 

This review would be remiss to not congratulate Ryan Reynolds for throwing off the weight of his previous incarnation of Deadpool in the ill-fated X-Men Origins: Wolverine (the less said about that farce the better) and bringing true life to the superpowered, humorous, and oftentimes lovably disturbing comic book character. The ‘Merc with a Mouth finally got one in this film, and boy does he use it in all its glory. 

Let me preface any plot description with the fact that this movie held the title of highest-grossing R-rated movie for around three years before finally succumbing to a newly-minted powerhouse, Joker. That alone speaks volumes about the quality of this film, and the place it has in the hearts of comic fans across the world. Part of the appeal certainly lies in Deadpool’s Ferris Bueller-esque fourth-wall breaking (to the uninitiated, fourth-wall breaking is when a character knows they are in a fictional world for an audience’s entertainment, and thus speaks to the audience as such). Deadpool has many asides and self-aware jokes that are made specifically to the audience, oftentimes to the confusion of other characters in the movie. 

To boil it down to its base element, Deapool is a revenge movie. However, there is far more to it than that crude statement. Yes, Wade Wilson does seek vengeance on the main antagonist, Ajax (who’s real name is Francis, much to Deadpool’s repeated delight), for torturing him with the experiments that gave him regenerative powers, but there are also tender moments and real feelings in between blood-and-gore fight scenes and killer quips. There is also the most memorable Stan Lee cameo of all time mixed in for flavor as well.

Deadpool is an antihero, meaning he kills his adversaries, but he does team up with a pair of (good guy) X-Men, the metal-skinned Colossus and the somewhat self-explanatory Negasonic Teenage Warhead. The ensemble is rounded out by Wade’s friend Weasel, Mr. Pool’s love interest Vanessa, and a rather unforgettable cab driver. 

Deadpool is truly important because it single-handedly proved that the R-rated comic book movie could be made. The industry had suffered numerous near-failures (i.e. Punisher: War Zone, Swamp Thing, etc.) and only moderate successes like Blade and Watchmen, but Deadpool truly paved the way for real moneymakers/quality films like Logan and the aforementioned Joker, which grossed over one billion dollars and was just nominated for eleven Oscars. It’s always excellent when filmmakers decide to make a movie based on authenticity to a character instead of purely to gain profit, and Deadpool proved that it is possible to do both nearly flawlessly. It is truly a staple of pop culture now, and will certainly withstand the test of time.