A country that seems poised and ready to be entertained by a Trump v Sanders presidential election is the country ready to be entertained by a movie like “Deadpool”. It’s a completely out of the box film with no obvious built in audience other than fans familiar with the source material.
Yet, "Deadpool" both manages to hit every right fanboy button and be a gleeful general send up of comic book movies, comic book origin movies, action movies, rom-coms, the movie franchise trend, and horror movies. Actually, the horror movie part is the closest thing to a straight delivery in the film. Check your expectations at the door and come out on the other side inexplicably entertained. This is not a comic book movie for someone expecting “Marvel’s: The Avengers” and in the name of everything holy: Keep Your Children At Home!
Deadpool’s production team clearly had a blast (yep, that’s right) making the movie. 20th Century Fox also clearly gave them the liberty to stretch all boundaries; which was the only way to make a Deadpool movie correctly. In between the acrobatic action sequences, Ryan Reynolds throws every wisecrack (and one body) at the wall to see if they stick (the body does). You’re left with no choice but to root for the anti-hero with the heart of gold (or maybe half-gold and half pure snark). The rom-com element serves mostly to drive the plot forward, but “Deadpool” also manages to serve true love in the dirtiest montage possible within a R rated movie. The love, however, also sticks. The relationship between two like kinds comes across in the admirable chemistry of Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin. (Any true geeks know the two degrees of separation between Ms. Baccarin and “Marvel’s: The Avengers”? Leave it in the comment section!)
The uncomfortable, but strangely never grotesque, scenes of how Wade Wilson becomes Deadpool hammers home a theme more about the price of being superhuman than a celebration of torture (of which there is plenty). It is a straight delivery. If the movie bogs down anywhere it’s here, but only because torture is the only thing the movie itself doesn’t make fun of, even a little.
You might feel a little like your brain has been scrubbed by a brillo pad of vividly cartoonish violence and some of the most creative, constantly rolling profanity in a movie since “South Park”. The offbeat time sequencing of the story, which works, also lets an otherwise hyper kinetic film humanize a character created originally to be a pure satire. The brillo pad scrubs pretty consistently, but never enough to become the point of the film. Deadpool, a character never quite certain of his own reality, comes across at least realistically motivated.
The wide range of genre elements also serves up a wide range of thematic elements. Believe it or not, you really can go to this film to not think or to overthink it. Like all satire, small bits of truth lie beneath the surface. The price of power, the instability of a world where “hero” and “villain” are defined by the type of power each has, whether a good person can be both selfish and selfless, and even a demonstration of female empowerment in the climactic finale. Or it’s just a bunch of action, a lot of cussing, a little luv, and a lot of completely inappropriate humor. Take it as you will, “Deadpool” gives Pool fans everything they wanted in a Filmpool. With a record setting opening weekend for an R-Rated movie “Deadpool” also has successfully, deserved struck a little deeper audience as well.