So I went and saw Deadpool on open­ing night.

Fangirl of the char­ac­ter that I am, this was the first movie in my life that I’ve ever cared enough about to brave the humon­gous crowds for an opening-night show­ing. (According to 20th Century Fox, Deadpool broke records for highest-grossing open­ing day for R-rated films, and it is poised to break more. On a note that would high­ly please the Merc with a Mouth him­self, and with a not-at-all-subtle amount of irony, it even out-grossed the open­ing night of every X-Men film. Suck it, Wolverine!)

Something about the ban­ner that stood out­side the door to the the­ater, with the red-suited star cheek­i­ly form­ing his hands into a heart-shape, made me feel like the cre­ators may just have kept the promise they’ve been trum­pet­ing about. That they would stay true to the omni­sex­u­al anti-hero’s source mate­ri­al.

Well, folks, I am proud to report that Ryan Reynolds, Tim Miller, and com­pa­ny have kept their word — Deadpool is, in my opin­ion, one of few movie adap­ta­tions that more or less does jus­tice to its char­ac­ter.  (I admit it, I squealed like a one-year-old through­out most of the decid­ed­ly not kid-friendly dis­play.)

The movie itself start­ed out in a man­ner entire­ly apro­pos to the atti­tude of Wade Wilson: again­st a freeze-frame mon­tage of an action scene, com­plete with trin­kets of Deadpool’s mur­der­ous machi­na­tions (bul­lets sus­pend­ed in midair? That cray­on draw­ing high­light­ed in var­i­ous trail­ers? Hello Kitty chachk­is?!). The open­ing cred­its flash­ing not with peo­ples names, but with satir­i­cal descrip­tions along the lines of “Asshole” and “Sexy Beast”. Classic!

Fans of the char­ac­ter will be more than sat­is­fied with this homage. There’s plen­ty of blood, explo­sions, gra­tu­itous lewd dis­plays, loads of gross-out slap­stick action, a pletho­ra of oddly-timed pop-culture ref­er­ences, a cor­nu­copia of fourth-wall-breaking, and — of course — lots and lots of the out­ra­geous­ly wacky humor that we’ve come to know and love. He even saws his own hand off to escape a pair of cuffs! If you’ve come for the ‘Pool, you will not leave dis­ap­point­ed.

The plot plays around with the back­sto­ry a bit which isn’ a big issue, since read­ers of the comics are no stranger to this, but it still sticks with the basic details of torturous-experimentation-post-cancer-diagnosis. Also appear­ing in the film (again, with changes) are Weasel, Blind Al, Vanessa Carlysle (com­plete­ly eschew­ing the char­ac­ter of Copycat and leav­ing her human, but still keep­ing intact the rela­tion­ship with Wade Wilson and his sub­se­quent break­ing up with her after his diag­no­sis), and Colossus (and the School for Gifted Youngsters!). In the role of the bad­dies, we see Ajax (a.k.a. Francis!), Angel Dust, and for sharper-eyed fans there is pre-Hydra Bob — Agent of Hydra!

Some fans will won­der at the lack of Deadpool’s oth­er voic­es in his head, his lack of tele­port­ing pow­ers, and why chimichangas were only ref­er­enced once in the entire movie. However, the­se are more or less for­giv­able since the first bit is arguably hard to exe­cute in live-action, the sec­ond is not canon for the entire­ty of Deadpool’s exis­tence, and the third, well, it’s been men­tioned that Deadpool doesn’t actu­al­ly like eat­ing chimichangas as much as we’re led to believe, but rather, reeeal­ly enjoys say­ing the word (can’t argue there, it’s fun to say) so I can live with that. There are just too many ref­er­ences, and only so much movie to put them in between fight sce­nes. Don’t wor­ry — there’s more than enough com­i­cal ass-kicking to make up for it.

As far as super­hero action-movies go, it’s not entire­ly dis­ap­point­ing there either, but it’s not any­thing ground­break­ing. The film most­ly runs on the hype that is Deadpool — not that that’s real­ly a bad thing. It is as much com­e­dy as it is action; where­as oth­er entries in the super­hero gen­re focus more on the action and dra­ma, for Deadpool the com­e­dy is the engine that keeps the ship run­ning.

And the humor is absolute­ly on point. It is wit­ty, it is clev­er, and it is blade-edge sharp. It is the exact brand of unex­pect­ed humor we’ve come to expect from Wade Wilson. I have to hand it to the writ­ers, it is spot on. It real­ly feels like a Deadpool work through and through. It is supreme­ly grat­i­fy­ing.

On a more pro­found note, we get to see a side of Wade Wilson that isn’t always obvi­ous: the shame he feels about his appear­ance. While this is an aspect that is re-explored from time to time in the comics, his devil-may-care facade tends to mask the fact that he is affect­ed by what oth­ers think of him. Only now, of course, he express­es this shame through oppo­si­tion­al self-fulfilling bit­ter­ness, tak­ing off his mask in front of oth­ers and forc­ing the spec­ta­cle of his grue­some fig­ure on them to see their reac­tions.

In this movie, it is a dri­ving force, an emo­tion­al bar­ri­er keep­ing him from reunit­ing with the girl he left behind because he is scared of her poten­tial reac­tion. It even caus­es him to make stu­pid mis­takes — mis­takes that costs her her safe­ty, as his pan­ic when try­ing to approach­ing her, when he already knows his ene­mies are on their way to cap­ture her as a pawn piece again­st him, leads to the inevitable result. Even a man as genre-savvy as Deadpool is fal­li­ble when human emo­tions are at stake. Every so often we get a reminder of this in the comics, and to see how mad at him­self he is after the fact is that won­der­ful and nec­es­sary reminder of his emo­tion­al depth and human­i­ty.

As far as plot, Ajax does unfor­tu­nate­ly come across as a bit script­ed and cliched. In most cir­cum­stances this would come across as a poor cre­ative deci­sion, but for one thing — in this case, it is a per­fect foil to Wilson’s unpre­dictable crazi­ness. When Francis spits out a for­mu­laic vil­lain line we’ve heard ver­ba­tim before, it just makes the zany retort from Deadpool’s mouth that much bet­ter by con­trast. Colossus is also a bit of a foil com­ing from the side of Good, but thank­ful­ly not as stereo­typ­i­cal in his lines. Having Ajax and Colossus at oppo­site ends of the moral spec­trum with sim­i­lar behav­ior pat­terns does well at high­light­ing Deadpool’s sta­tus as a moral and behav­ioral rene­gade. He knows he’s no hero, and he owns the fuck out of it, wise­crack­ing all the while.

Untangle the action from the com­e­dy, how­ev­er, and the action los­es a bit of its shine. For one thing, the action was amaz­ing at the begin­ning… but there was no real vari­a­tion from there. Not that any of the fights lat­er on weren’t sat­is­fy­ing, but they didn’t get any bet­ter either… which is some­thing that one tends to look for in the finale of the­se films. This is one of those moments where they already start­ed at “max­i­mum effort,” and didn’t leave any room for improve­ment for the final bat­tle. Well, with the excep­tion of one thing.

In the fight sce­nes, Colossus is great, Angel is great, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (as an X-men in train­ing under Colossus, with Nitro’s pow­ers) is great. Deadpool him­self is real­ly amaz­ing as well, most of the time, but when you’re fight­ing again­st cer­tain ene­mies who do the same things over and over, it gets monot­o­nous. I’m talk­ing about Ajax.

Every fight with Ajax was the same old axes. Even though the scenery was dif­fer­ent, and the stakes were dif­fer­ent, there was no vari­a­tion in Ajax’s fight­ing style, and that left lit­tle room to work with for Deadpool. Until the point in each fight at which Deadpool solution’d the prob­lem, they may as well have patched in pre­vi­ous fight footage with Ajax and we wouldn’t have noticed. But even fly­n­ning can be done in var­i­ous ways, and the direct­ing staff could, and should, have made use of that.

The oth­er thing that both­ered me about the fights was the lack of oth­er weapons in Deadpool’s arse­nal.  Yes, it was great for a gag when the duf­fel full of guns got left behind in the taxi, but… not even grenades? He had the util­i­ty belt for fuck’s sake, sure­ly they could have at least showed him toss­ing a time­ly grenade. We didn’t even see him using any guns oth­er than the dual pis­tols. For me at least, it’s not real­ly Deadpool until he ran­dom­ly pulls out a giant gun, even if he doesn’t use it for long. (Yes, he took one shot with the teeny gun he got from Al, and he used a small­er knife to saw his hand off, but A.) nei­ther of those were not in-combat, and B.) the tiny-gun use doesn’t make up for lack of big-gun use.)

His supe­ri­or capa­bil­i­ties with the weapons he does reg­u­lar­ly use were well-demonstrated, but, Earth to Miller, he *is* also a multi-weapon spe­cial­ist — includ­ing unarmed fight­ing! They had plen­ty of time in com­bat to illus­trate his oth­er in-combat abil­i­ties, and it would have been a great poten­tial solu­tion to the prob­lem of the Repetitive Fighting Ajax. This is the one biggest issue I have with this film.

But even for a very-okay super­hero movie, Deadpool still per­forms well in its class. For Deadpool lovers, it’s a thrilling num­ber that hits all the right but­tons, and then some. If you came for the Marvel super­hero action with­out any knowl­edge of the char­ac­ter, well… just pay atten­tion to the crazy, meta jokes and you’ll get your money’s worth just fine. And who knows, even if you agree that the action falls short, may­be it’ll get you hooked on the char­ac­ter and the comics. Either way, it’s a solid win.

P.S. There’s a post-credits scene! Stick around to the end for a hilar­i­ous through-the-fourth-wall sequel teaser, folks! AltariaMoviesDeadpool,Movie,Review*** MILD SPOILER WARNING *** So I went and saw Deadpool on open­ing night. Fangirl of the char­ac­ter that I am, this was the first movie in my life that I’ve ever cared enough about to brave the humon­gous crowds for an opening-night show­ing. (According to 20th Century Fox, Deadpool broke records…
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Indigo Altaria
Indigo Altaria has been a devo­tee of Pokemon since Gen 1, what­ev­er gave it away? Within the greater realm of geek cul­ture, her inter­ests include lan­guages, cul­tures, world­build­ing, and inter­sec­tion­al­i­ty.
Indigo Altaria

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