In the world of superhero movies, our intrepid champions of truth and justice usually have the following qualities: stoicism in the face of adversity, camaraderie amongst their own and the people they protect, and, above all, a defiance to kill their adversaries, unless absolutely necessary. Deadpool, on the other hand, conveys none of these qualities, and that’s a good thing.
Since his first appearance in Marvel Comics in 1990, joining the cast of the New Mutants, Deadpool has always been the black sheep of the superhero family. He curses, he kills people, and he engages in rather lewd behavior on a constant basis. Amid the hard-boiled yet endearingly charming roster of Marvel characters, Deadpool is a refreshing dose of sarcasm and biting wit, calling attention to the various idiosyncrasies of superhero life. In that regard, the film adaptation of this “merc with a mouth” stays true to form, which is a blessing when compared to the typical, humdrum antics of his more subdued allies.
From the very beginning of the film, Deadpool knows exactly what it hopes to be: a meta-induced fever dream of sexual innuendo and bloody fucking mayhem. When the credits read “Produced by Asshats”, and the cast is listed as “A Hot Chick” and “A Moody Teenager,” you know what this movie is gonna be like before we even jump into the action. That being said, as far as superhero movies go, it is a far cry from the PG-13 exploits of the X-Men or the Avengers. However, as far as a Deadpool rendition goes, it falls a bit short.
The film, directed by novice Tim Miller, delivers a narrative that falls in between the sterile and sanitized movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the balls-to-the-wall insanity of the comics. One cannot fault him for straddling this line, as audiences have yet to engage fully in such mayhem on screen until now. However, with Deadpool’s massive opening and continuing popularity, we can only hope that the envelope gets pushed even further with the next iteration. I will say, however, the moment when our anti-hero shoves a car cigarette lighter into a villain’s mouth, followed by the line “I normally never say this, but don’t swallow,” is the perfect rendition of Deadpool’s crass behavior and ruthless tactics.
Overall, I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a bloody good time and is tired of the same old superhero tropes. While Deadpool the movie was a tad bit tame by Deadpool’s standards, I think we can all agree that it’s definitely a huge step in the right direction. Thankfully as well, we shouldn’t have to wait ten years for another sequel to come out this time.