Written by Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
Deadpool went from a long gestating hopeless pipe dream to the big screen in the blink of an eye. So how did the genre busting, R Rated anti-hero fair in his first outing? Great! That is assuming you haven't seen the trailers. If you are like me and saw the two red band trailers, you are going to be a bit disappointed in the lack of additional jokes and violence. Yes they are there but the really good, audience gut buster type laughs/kills were in those trailers. If you have managed to avoid those trailers you'll get easily 50% more big laughs. It's kind of unfortunate really considering if I didn't know those jokes going in it has a lot of good one liners.
It also suffers from having to be an “origin story”. Something that a character like Deadpool has every right to make fun of and almost skip over entirely. This was the movie that had every chance to say “Hey you want to see Deadpool be Deadpool and not worry about your basic movie plot crap? ME TOO!”. I can't help but think something like Deadpool would have been incredible in the hands of someone like Phil Lord and Chris Miller who have proven that they can take something like 21 Jumpstreet or The LEGO Movie that on paper shouldn't appeal to a mass audience and create something spectacularly entertaining. I was looking for a 100% Deadpool movie but only got 50%. Of that 50% half the jokes I know, so that really only left me with a quarter of a movie to really sink my teeth into and those parts I LOVED! The jokes landed fast and funny the action was great and the story was relatively interesting, it just was only a fraction of the movie. The customary fourth wall breaks were mostly fun and there are even some meta needle drops, including a "Deadpool" rap. The marketing turned out to be too much of a good thing it seemed when stacked up against the movie. It's still good, it's just not as solid as the ads tended to be and even less when accounting for the trailers. That said, I will once again sing a familiar tune for movies I liked but didn't love the first time, hopefully when enough time passes I can go in and enjoy all the jokes again as a whole and not as a combination of new and old. And I guess there is always the now announced sequel to crank it up to 11. More money, more creative freedom and more Deadpool, YES PLEASE!
As for the much talked about R rating, I'm glad it was rated R, more correctly 14A here in Canada. It's kind of sad really that swearing, violence and nudity are things 13-17 year olds shouldn't be allowed to see without parental supervison. None of it is really gratuitous and doesn't really push the boundaries as hard as the R title might suggest. The deaths aren't too graphic, the sex is played up as a joke and the nudity is kept fairly tame. This is actually a movie that would play great for the teenager crowd, it has the kind of humour and action they would definitely enjoy and should be allowed to see more easily, something a 14A rating allows for that PG-13 as it's currently classified and R can't.
Ryan Reynolds really is the perfect Deadpool. It's clear he was living his dream, having a blast as the wise cracking mentally damaged assassin. T.J. Miller is wholly under utilized as Weasel, the man is a hilarious improviser and he really only gets to stretch those legs once. The real stand out for me was Dopinder, Deadpool's personal taxi driver played by Karan Soni. There is a great storyline there and one that was one of the best parts of the movie. The jokes while many I had spoiled are all quite good! There are some good laughs and plenty of meta moments that will make you chuckle assuming you get the references. Something I am a little worried may date the movie in future. Although there are some references that are already dated and are poked fun of for being so, I guess they have their bases covered in that respect. The action is great if a bit small scale, something more to do with budget than imagination it seems as $7 million had to be cut in order to get approved to shoot. And it suffers a bit because of that. The cinematography is great at points but mostly dull and uninspired. Visual spectacle it is not, save for the opening scene which they may have blown the budget on but it was worth it. The CG of Colossus and Deadpool's suit are highlights in terms of production value and hopefully the rest of the movie will get a boost in the sequel as well. It's certainly doesn't detract from the enjoyment more just a disappointment that it wasn't able to get that same high quality look that it could have had. But still, that suit? Gorgeous! I want one.
Basically Deadpool was the tester to see if this kind of thing will work in the current PG-13 or else superhero world, and it turns out it does. It has garnered reviews ranging from great to positively glowing and this weekend it looks to haul in a handsome chunk of money that should easily make it break even by it's second week.That said it's just not all there yet. A movie under 2 hours that spends half of its time on the set up with some clunky timeline jumping is not exactly the quintessential Deadpool movie I was hoping for. With a bigger budget and less backstory to set up and less spoilers in trailers it could have been perfect, it is however certainly a lot of fun and worth checking out, even if you aren't a big fan of Deadpool. And as is now a custom with most superhero movies stick around for the end credit scene, it's worth it.