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Deadpool - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
cinema_holic
cinema_holic
Deadpool
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Directing: B
Acting: B-
Writing: B
Cinematography: B+
Editing: B
Special Effects: B-



Not bad! I mean, not terrible. This is high praise from me, since I thought I had sworn off superhero movies. But everyone and their mother says Deadpool is different -- it's a Marvel movie that's rated R! It has filthy jokes! It has nudity! Honestly I was still convinced I would avoid it until I heard that last part. It has full frontal Ryan Reynolds! Okay fine, I'll go see it. I'm that shallow.

But I also thought, maybe -- maybe -- I would have fun in spite of my skepticism. And you know what? For a lot of this movie, I actually did. You should know that the nude fight scene is a little disappointing. Not just because he's covered in scar tissue makeup but because he's inside a burning building and you don't get a particularly clear view of anything interesting. It's actually one of the least interesting sequences in the movie.

It certainly starts off promising, and in a uniquely fun way. No other movie has opening credits like this, with cast and crew names being replaced by insults ("Directed By: An Overpaid Tool"). This is all done while the camera weaves through the nooks and crannies of a freeze-frame shot of our anti-hero in the middle of a fight, like a 21st-century update on 1960s Batman.

The idea that Deadpool is fresh is, however, widely overplayed. The problem is that it seems "fresh" to audiences (to the tune of nearly $500 million in worldwide box office, so far) because they have been so oversaturated by other sub-par comic book movies that the bar is depressingly low. The saddest part is that this movie had real potential to be even better, and it still failed to meet it.

And I don't understand the devotion to making movies that exist in the same world as other Marvel superhero movies. Isn't one superhero enough? I suppose this is because the same is done in the original comic books, which I have never read. I still argue that it detracts from the experience, and makes any one given "special" character less special. Things were going along pretty well in Deadpool until, suddenly, we cut to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters -- and we see only two, low-level X-Men characters, who subsequently become supporting characters in this story. One of them is some giant tin man with a flat top and a Russian accent. I don't even know his name. Google says it's Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic). He spends a lot of time trying to convince Deadpool to become an X-Man. But there's also Negasonic Teenage Warhead (what?), played by Brianna Hildebrand with a haircut apparently so short only so Deadpool can keep making Sinead O'connor jokes about her.

This is all just unnecessary and tedious. Deadpool would have worked far better with just him as the one guy with superpowers (his body always re-heals) and one formidable villain. But with other superheroes tagging along, we get a climactic sequence that, while mercifully devoid of the overdone weapon intended to destroy the entire planet, still devolves into the same fights-that-destroy-public-property bullshit. That's also where most of the rapid-fire humor that worked pretty well early on in the movie tapers off, and where tediousness returns. Yawn. Someone should consider rethinking this "bigger is better" mindset in Hollywood superhero culture.

Let's see, what other complaints do I have about Deadpool, which actually was surprisingly entertaining in spite of it all? Aha! Deadpool himself, and how he came to be: the origin story. How Wade Wilson became the red body-suited guy with a mask covering massive disfigurement could hardly be less interesting. It's also disappointingly similar to Wolverine's backstory. (Cheeky references to Hugh Jackman, though, are a nice touch.) This is where we meet the "British Villain" referred to in the opening titles -- Ajax (Ed Skrein) -- who we learn was responsible for turning Deadpool into this miserable (yet gleefully sarcastic) version of himself. The whole plot of this movie is about Deadpool finding Ajax to exact revenge for it.

And he moves through Ajax's henchmen with wild abandon, not just incapacitating them or beating them up, but blithely murdering them all in turn. I won't deny that a couple decapitations are fun to watch. But I do get a little stuck on this movie clearly meaning for us to think of Deadpool as the hero even if he won't, even though a strong case could be made that he's just as psychotic as Heath Ledger's version of The Joker. What's so great about this guy, really? Apparently that he's so entertainingly quick witted. Although at best about 80% of his "wit" in the script actually works, but whatever.

This is the thing. Deadpool actually is different. Its unique brand of self-referential meta humor kind of overstays its welcome, but some of the earlier stuff in the movie nearly makes up for it. I loved seeing him draw a cartoon of himself with crayons. The best thing about this movie is its refusal to take itself seriously, and in so doing indicting other Marvel movies for doing just that. I will freely admit that I laughed more often at this movie than I probably have at any superhero movie this century, or perhaps even since any since the Tim Burton-directed Batman movies. The laughs don't last or stay consistent, though. In the end, Deadpool becomes the very thing it's trying to convince us it's making fun of.

Ryan Reynolds reacts in mock surprise at how great DEADPOOL actually isn't.


Overall: B-
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