Friday, February 12, 2016

Deadpool Review

Seven years ago, the character of Wade Wilson as Deadpool made his theatrical debut in the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. There are many reasons why that movie was hated by most, but one of the big ones was how they portrayed Deadpool in the movie. The common nickname for Deadpool is the "Merc with a Mouth." Yet in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they sewed his mouth shut. When you introduce a character best known for his talkative, fouth-mouthed, wise-cracking, fourth-wall-breaking nature, the one thing you don't do is sew his mouth shut. That's like the stupidest thing you could ever do. It's a good thing Fox listens to their fans, though, because ever since they totally mutilated the popular character, they've been on a mission to make things right. It's been a long process, but about two years, some test footage was "leaked" on the internet of a new Deadpool movie that actually did justice to character and fans went crazy. This time in a positive way. Doing Deadpool right is a risky thing to do, but apparently the reaction to the test footage gave Fox the confidence to go forward with the project because it wasn't too much longer after that when the movie Deadpool was officially green-lit and put on the schedule for 2016. And now it's here. And yes, it's pretty awesome!!

I'm just going to come right out and say this. Before you go see Deadpool, know what you're getting yourself into. This is definitely a movie that's not for everyone and it's certainly not for kids. There's a lot of superhero movies out today that do a fantastic job of appealing to both adults and kids. I love superhero movies. That should be no secret. But a lot of my young nephews love them, too. The cross-appeal is fantastic. But this movie is adults only. Don't take your kids. And look at the parents guide for this movie before seeing it yourself if you are on the fence about it. I'm not going to spend a ton of time diving into the rating or the content of the movie, but they don't hold back at all. They take advantage of being able to do whatever the heck they want and they have a lot of fun with it. This makes this a very unique movie superhero movie that I was actually super excited for. Probably a lot more than I should've been given the nature of this movie, if you know what I mean. But it's not the foul-mouthed, raunchy superhero movie that got me excited. In fact, I was hoping that they didn't get too carried away with that aspect. I was excited for a superhero movie that broke the fourth wall all the time and rose the stakes with the action. And it totally delivered!

So let's talk about the humor in this movie. The one thing that I was worried about is that all the humor in the movie would be poop jokes and sex jokes. I'm not a fan of that type of humor because it just doesn't make me laugh. There's a reason why you rarely see me review a raunchy comedy. I skip them. It's not because of the rating. It's because of the humor. Some of these are even able to pull off the PG-13 rating because they avoided the f-bomb enough and they avoided the nudity. Yet I still skip them because I find the humor tasteless and unfunny. Or if I do see them, I'm usually just not impressed. A great example of this comes from the TV side of things. Modern sit-coms. Most of them are TV appropriate as they avoid the f-bomb and nudity, but so many of them are nothing but sex jokes or toilet humor for the entire episode. Sit-coms in the 90's were hilarious because they were clean AND funny. Nowadays they just can't help themselves and so there are very few modern sit-coms that I just don't even give the time of day. So yes, back to Deadpool. Overall I was super excited, but I was worried that they would get too carried away with toilet humor. Thus I was nervous about that aspect of the movie. But to my pleasant surprise, they weren't as extreme on that level as I thought. There was a ton of honest, genuine humor. I laughed. A lot. Sure, there was plenty of toilet humor that I rolled my eyes at, but for the most part I was laughing my head off from start to finish.

No, I'm not going to compare Deadpool to the Marvel movies in terms of the style of humor, but strictly in terms of how often I laughed, this is on par with Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt in Guardians has his timing just perfectly. Same thing with Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is the exact same. He's just a very funny person in this and all the humor is just spot on. As an actor, Ryan Reynolds sometimes gets a bad rap. Personally I've never hated the man's acting skills. He's just had a consistently terrible choice of movies. I've always felt that if he found the right role, he would shine. Well guys, he's found it. Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. He's just perfect in this role and absolutely hilarious. Most of the humor comes with how often Deadpool breaks the fourth wall. Not only does often stop and talk to the audience, but there are so many pop culture references in this. The movie pokes fun at Ryan Reynolds, it pokes fun at some of the roles he's had, it pokes fun at the Studio, it pokes fun at the Superhero phenomenon that has taken over our day, it pokes fun at other things and actors in Hollywood. And it doesn't stop. From beginning to end it is joke after joke after joke. And one of the best moments is actually the post-credits scene, so don't you dare leave when the credits start!

Humor isn't the only thing that this movie got right. They actually took the time to make a good movie. The story was a simple revenge story, so nothing super deep or creative, but there was a ton of serious, dramatic emotion. I don't want to give a ton of this away, but Wade Wilson is a very broken man. He doesn't consider himself super and he definitely doesn't consider himself a hero. He does find a girl that is just perfect for him, but before too long he is given a life-threatening diagnosis that leads him to make a very poor decision to trust the organization that eventually turn him into Deadpool. In addition to being very powerful, he is also extremely ugly and that leads him to an even worse decision to not return to his girl because of his new self-image issues. This adds a depth to the movie that I did not see coming. I expected to laugh and have fun. I did not expect a great, emotional drama to go along with that. Ryan Reynolds, in addition to pulling off the humor of Deadpool perfectly, also does an amazing job with the dramatic side of things. And the chemistry between him and his girl, played by Morena Baccarin, is great. Speaking of gutsy moves, it was definitely risky to do this movie in the first place. It was even riskier to spend so much time in this male-targeted movie on romance. But it totally works!

There are a few things I want to nit-pick at with Deadpool. The first is that this is an origin story. We've seen so many origin stories in the last five years that they've become less interesting. With Deadpool, this was definitely a thing that they had to do. Fox screwed up so bad with Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine that they had to spend this movie retelling the story of Wade Wilson the right way. No way around that. And they did do it in a clever way by starting the movie in the middle of the story then doing flashbacks to his origin throughout the first half. But it still didn't completely hide the fact that I was less interested in the first half of this movie than the second half. The story, while emotional, moving, and funny, was also super simplistic. This was in part a good thing because there are plenty of superhero movies that are too crowded or try to do too much, but at the same time this was a basic revenge story and that's certainly something that has been done plenty of times. Speaking of that revenge, the villain in this movie is good. Ed Skrein pulls off an amazing performance as this villain, which is especially impressive when considering he just came off that recent Transporter movie, but we don't really dive into his character at all, so I can't call him a great villain.

I hope you don't get too angry at these complaints. Sometimes when a movie is being called the best thing since sliced bread and I don't give it a perfect score, people yell at me as if I hated it. That's slightly annoying. Don't be one of those people. In fact, this experience reminds me a lot of my experience with Guardians of the Galaxy. Hilarious movie. Great characters. Lot's of fun action. Very re-watchable. But it suffered a bit because it had to spend time introducing these brand new characters we didn't know and they couldn't introduce the ultimate villain in the first movie. So I didn't call it the best Marvel movie. But it was still a good movie. And with how well they did at introducing their universe, it means the sequel has a good chance of being even better because they have those aspects completely out of the way. Same thing with Deadpool. They had to re-tell his story the right way. And I don't know who Wade Wilson's arch-nemesis is, but whoever it is, he or she can't be introduced and killed off in the first movie, so they had to start small. But all this means that now that this setup movie is out of the way, they have even more freedom in the next movie to jump right into the action and have a ton of fun.

So yes, I did have a lot of fun with Deadpool. It was a surprisingly well-rounded movie. Not only was it laugh-out-loud hilarious from start to end, especially with all the fourth-wall breaking they did, but it was a way fun action movie. Perhaps not as crazy and insane as last year's Valentines action hit, Kingsman: The Secret Service, but I still had a lot of fun. On top of the comedy and the action, this also has a good amount of emotion to this as it about a broken man in Wade Wilson that has a lot of newly-found self-image issues after what he just got turned into and this makes for a surprisingly well-done romance story. Yes, Deadpool suffers a bit from origin-story-itis, but that just means that they have room to make amazing sequels as they did a brilliant job of setting up this new Deadpool world. There's a lot of big superhero movies coming out this year. Namely we have Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, and Doctor Strange. That's a pretty dang good lineup. As such, there's a good chance that I will end up enjoying some of those movies more than Deadpool, but that's okay. We don't have to live in a world where everything is either amazing or horrible. We can have just plain good. And that's what Deadpool is. It's a good movie. My grade for it is an 8/10. 

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