Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Deadpool


   It's almost a year since Deadpool came out, and I seem to be the last person on the planet to snag it on blu ray. But, better late then never- right? Don't attribute my procrastinating to a dislike of the movie. On the contrary, I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed Deadpool. Especially since I was all but cheerleading for the movie to absolutely flop before it came out. (In my defense, all the halfwit "fans" out there calling this "the first R rated comic book movie" got on my nerves in a big, BIG way.) Nevertheless, a year later- would my feeling about Deadpool maintain? Or would the movie end up losing it's charm like a 2 billion dollar box office shit commonly known as Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Hmmm...

   Well, there's good news, and bad news. Good news is, I still really like the movie. The bad news? -Which shouldn't come as a surprise to any objective viewer- the movie is pedestrian as fuck. As... fuck. Deadpool in the comics wasn't just a funny R rated character, he was a crazy R rated character. As in literally insane. He had an actual death wish because he lived in constant agony, to the point where he would visualize death as a beautiful woman who he could never hook up with, but was always pining for. How does the movie handle all of this? It mercilessly tossed it out the window of a speeding car, all the way back at the planning phase of this little flick.

   See, Wade Wilson (Deadpool) isn't crazy in this movie. He just has a dark sense of humor. (Super edgy though because jokes about molestation and clown porn.) Oh and he doesn't have an infatuation with lady death, just the space hooker from Firefly, who just plays a regular hooker here. (Way to be progressive guys!) Thus, the whole movie turns away from it's source material in the worst way it possibly could, it becomes a love story... exactly like every other superhero movie. Ever. (Except Dredd, but apparently the whole fucking world fucking forgot about that fucking movie. Fuck.) How progressive is Deadpool's uber-violence and raunchy humor worth, if the story is as generic as they come?

   Apparently, people also forgot about Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2 because those movies did exactly what Deadpool does. Kick-Ass is still fun, but ultimately feels like rather middle-of-the-road fare several years on. But here- Deadpool's story is basic, it's pacing is janky, and it's plot structure is erratic as fuck. What it does do, it does well. It's gratuitously violent (the best kind of violent to be), energetic, funny, and full of wit. So while none of those things are particularly cutting edge or ground breaking, Deadpool is still well made and a lot of fun. The movie is carried entirely on the shoulders of Ryan Reynolds who bounces through the movie with the energy of an atomic bouncy ball. His chops in the action set pieces and his comedic timing make the movie well worth watching.

   Unfortunately, nobody seems to realize that they missed the whole point of Deadpool. He's still been reduced to "ha ha, funny guy with swords", and yeah, that is his main, well known image- but the Deadpool game that came out a few years ago did a better job of capturing the nature of his character. I'm not saying he's a character that you could hitch a major thinkpiece of a motion picture to. No. A good Deadpool movie should indeed be fast, violent, and full of one liners- which this one is -but, in making this a love story, it lost the edge that the comics have, and dulled his character down to being the commonplace comic relief that wouldn't be out of place in a kid's cartoon. The hype over it's R rating was absolute nonsense, and part of my pre-release ire was entirely justified.

   Yet, I'm far more willing to make excuses for a movie so gloriously in touch with the kind of 80's, B-movie, uber-violence that most blockbusters these days shy away from. Impalings, beheadings, stabbings, choppings, explosions, car crashes, bones breaking, and general blood gushing- Deadpool manages to entertain with both barrels blazing. It's a severely imperfect movie, but far from 'bad'. Is Ryan Reynolds the ideal Deadpool? Fuck yes. Is this the ideal Deadpool movie? Almost- and for now, that's good enough for me. Cue the music...

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