Remember back in 2009 when comic book fans were thrilled that Deadpool was finally going to be in a movie? And then that movie turned out to be X-Men Origins: Wolverine and we all died a little on the inside? But then Ryan Reynolds said we were going to get an actual Deadpool movie and we all backed away from the ledge a little bit?
Well that was almost seven years ago. I was beginning to lose hope that they would ever do the “Merc with a Mouth” justice on the big screen. Even when Deadpool was FINALLY greenlit and Reynolds was all excited about how it was turning out and the trailer looked very promising, I was still pessimistic. This is the 20th Century Fox after all, who just released this abomination last summer. And movies that loiter in development hell for that long rarely turn out to be good.
So how was Deadpool? Well, in short it was… huh. So THAT’S what it’s like to see the perfect Deadpool movie. Radical.
I don’t give that kind of praise lightly. In a time when multiple comic book movies are released every year, I’ve come to judge them a little more critically. I get tired of seeing the same things over and over again, so it is imperative that these movies stand out from one another. Deadpool is perfect not just because it is everything you could ever want in a Deadpool film adaptation, but also because it is so beautifully unique and refreshing. And man oh man is it sweet vindication for Ryan Reynolds.
Reynolds has had a bumpy career. We all know that he’s talented and funny, but he’s been in so many bad movies that you kind of forget about that. I think we also knew he would be perfect as Deadpool after seeing him in the opening scenes of Origins: Wolverine (the only part of that atrocity worth watching), and yet roadblocks remained. It didn’t look like we’d ever see a Deadpool movie, but Reynolds never lost hope. He persevered and then delivered the performance of his life in the role he was born to play.
As a character, Deadpool is crass and vulgar. He delivers headshots almost as quickly as he cracks jokes and breaks the fourth wall. The movie and Reynolds embrace all of that with glee and don’t hold anything back. Deadpool is so entertaining and such a proficient killer that we don’t mind that he’s not the most heroic guy to come our way (a fact that he points out early and often). This is in no way a bad thing. After experiencing dozens of movies featuring superheroes trying to do the right thing, it’s nice to see a character who’s a bit more morally flexible.
It’s also extremely gratifying to see an R-rated comic book movie done so well, to the point where the quality of the movie would’ve suffered had it been PG-13. I was also impressed with what first-time director Tim Miller accomplished on such a limited allowance. Deadpool’s budget was $58 million. To put that into context, X-Men: Days of Future Past had $200 million worth of wiggle room. Avengers: Age of Ultron had $279.9 million in spending money to bring all those heroes together. While Deadpool may not be the extravaganza that those other two films were, I never once thought that the movie looked cheap or poorly made. If anything, the rating and the meager loan from the studio enhances the end product. Crazy, I know.
Is the plot too formulaic? Could be. We have seen a classic revenge story like this play out time and time again, but those other revenge stories didn’t feature a foul-mouthed, ass kicking mercenary in such a brilliant parody of all the other revenge stories and comic book movies that came before it. Simply put, Deadpool is a damn good time at the movies and serves as a reminder that it’s okay to be unconventional and take a few risks to try and stand out from the crowd.
(On that note, don’t be stupid and take your kids to see Deadpool. It more than earns its R-rating and if you’re upset that your kids were exposed to it, you only have yourself to blame for being a moron.)
It took a long time for Deadpool to see the light of day. Turns out it was well worth the wait. Congrats Ryan Reynolds, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer (and lewder) guy.
Jesse’s Rating: A+