Deadpool

Deadpool is a 2016 superhero action comedy film directed by Tim Miller in his directorial debut. Miller is an award-winning visual effects artist; he was the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, having been a co-writer and executive producer on the film Gopher Broke (2004). Miller also designed the opening credits for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, and Brianna Hildebrand. Deadpool is technically the eighth film in the X-Men franchise. Reynolds stars as fan-favorite Marvel Comics character Wade Wilson/Deadpool, nicknamed  “The Merc With A Mouth.” In the comics, Deadpool is an immature, foul-mouthed, murderous schizophrenic with an extremely dark sense of humor. He has two conflicting voices in his head that argue back and fourth, best demonstrated in the video game based off of the character released in 2012.

Deadpool, in addition to the voices in his head, also has awareness that he is a fictional character. This is called “breaking the fourth wall.” In theater and stage productions, the stage is to be seen as a box, with four walls separating you from the audience (stage right, stage left, upstage, and downstage). “Breaking the fourth wall” refers to a character in the work addressing the audience directly, breaking the downstage wall and thus making it clear that said character knows he is a fictional character. This is almost exclusively for humorous effect. Indeed, in the comics, Deadpool often provides moments of humor in dark, twisted situations. Of course, it helps that the humor is also dark and twisted.

Deadpool is a mercenary with a hideous face and some would say a hideous sense of humor. He has a regenerative healing factor a la Wolverine and also has superhuman reflexes and agility. He can’t die, either. I am explaining this information because Fox (who own the rights to X-Men, The Fantastic Four, and Deadpool) just continue to screw everything up. The character of Wade Wilson appeared in the 2009 disaster X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Played by Reynolds, this iteration of Deadpool was Deadpool in name only.

Pretty much sums up that Fox is really stupid, right? It gets worse. The film I am reviewing right now was not even supposed to exist. Fox thought Origins would be a massive success, and was planning a solo movie about Dumbpool. Origins is instead a universally-hated box office bomb, so that plan was scrapped. Some time later, test footage was created and shown to Fox. It was pitch perfect, it was everything Deadpool was, is, should have been, and could have been. Fox said no. Deadpool is not a family-friendly character, so that means he is not marketable. Or so they thought. Reynolds, a fan of the character, fought valiantly to get the film made, to no avail. Then someone leaked it. The internet went nuts, like insane rabid nuts. Everyone loved it. So Fox, taken aghast at the overwhelmingly positive reception to this leaked footage, greenlit a real Deadpool movie. Major elements from the test footage were actually used for the opening scene of the film. Released on Valentine’s Day this year, Deadpool now holds the records for highest grossing R-rated film of all time as well as the highest grossing X-Men film. See what happens when you faithfully adapt beloved characters, Fox? No, apparently you didn’t.  So yeah, Deadpool , one of the biggest comic book film releases ever, was one big happy accident. It’s not just the studio that doesn’t understand either. If you are one of the people who still thinks comic books and their adaptions are safe for kids, you are woefully ignorant and I have three words for you: The Killing Joke. That is a conversation (and a review) for another day, though. On to my actual review.

Deadpoolis the perfect Deadpool movie. It is everything everyone wanted to be and more. The plot concerns Wade hunting down Francis, the guy who gave him superpowers and made him ugly because his hot girlfriend won’t love him if he’s ugly. Yeah, that’s the plot… And it’s perfect. It’s the exact type of non-issue issue that describes the character.

When it says “Written by the real heroes here,” it couldn’t be more true. Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the duo behind the 2009 cult comedy Zombieland this film is the funniest comedy to come out in the past few years. It is a hilarious onslaught of metahumor, immature dick jokes, and surprising heart. This movie actually got me to care. The relationship between Wade and Vanessa was actually quite endearing. I know that sounds suprising considering the content of the last two clips I inserted, but I’m serious, it was sweet. I wanted to see the… lovable(?)… Merc with a Mouth get Vanessa back. Some critics criticized the plot as being formulaic. It is… but in a comedy movie, that’s not a bad thing. Can you name a complicated comedy movie? Is any good comedy movie complicated emotionally or mentally in any way? Airplane, Dumb and Dumber, Step Brothers, Ricky Bobby… a three year old can explain the plot of all of those movies. The point of a comedy movie isn’t the story, it’s to make you laugh. Deadpool is not a superhero movie, it is not an action movie, it is not a romance movie, it is a comedy movie with elements of all previously mentioned genres. Any movie that features Ryan Reynolds attempting murder by Zamboni is a comedy movie. A very dark comedy.

Reynolds is obviously really into Wade as a character and it shows. He cares. He fought to get this film made. He’s really actually enjoying playing this character. It feels like he’d do it for free. If that enthusiasm comes as a surprise to you, you obviously haven’t seen his Twitter feed. The man is literally handsome Deadpool.

I first saw this movie on Valentine’s Day… with my little brother… and my parents. I thought I was in for an extremely awkward experience. They liked it, to my surprise. Deadpool is a movie primarily aimed at 15-28 year olds (not 5-year-olds), but as long as you know what your going in for (my parents did), you will appreciate this movie. It’s the best superhero movie Fox has put out (rivaled by Days of Future Past, for me) and the most commercially successful. A sequel featuring Cable has already been greenlit.

Seriously, just go watch the movie.

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