What happens when you take the already witty writing that the Marvel Universe likes to incorporate and ramp up the ESRB rating to “R”? You get Deadpool, a Marvel movie unique for its offensive, sarcastic, and satirical viewpoint on the standard superhero movie. This premise intrigued me enough to set aside my general dismay for the superhero genre to give this movie a fair shot.
One thing going into this movie that made me hesitate was its sense of humor. Based on the trailers alone, I wondered if the movie would rely too heavily on juvenile comebacks, random remarks, and dick jokes. Thankfully, this was not the case, as Deadpool has just enough of everything to flesh out an altogether humorous, though not entirely hilarious, outcome. A wide variety of references, potty humor, and satirical wit was enough to not turn me off from the movie before it really even started.
The way the story is told is broken up into chunks and scattered. The movie goes back and forth from the past to the present in variously compressed bits. It begins in the present; a lead-up to a fight scene, to the fight scene itself, before a monologue from our bad good guy himself takes us back to his haughty origins. Almost in a Forrest Gump-like fashion, it continues to jump back and forth up until the final half of the movie pushes the plot at hand onward. I, for the most part, like this set-up. It gives a little variety to the storytelling and doesn’t make it seem linear in the long run. I felt they could have perhaps played with it a little more and given it the satirical treatment they were giving the scenes themselves, but alas, they were probably too lazy for that.
Setting aside the way its presented, the story itself is rather cookie-cutter. It is a plot you will probably be familiar with if you’ve seen any superhero movie, well, ever. The only change here is that instead of a normal life, Deadpool, or Wade, had a rather vile (and somewhat vague) life before he came upon his superpowers. This may not necessarily be a problem if you’ve never seen a superhero movie before… but c’mon. Who hasn’t seen a superhero movie before?
Placed inside Deadpool is a variety of characters, ranging from Hot Chick, Comic Relief, British Villain, and Awesome Guy. I’m not joking. They are seriously credited by those titles. It gives a sense of what the movie is going to be from the very first scene in the movie: obnoxiously silly. It’s a good plan to familiarize the audience with the content as well as setting them up for the unexpected, but for the most part, that’s how the movie rolls on. However, I can’t help but feel this sense of silliness and satirical piece of mind makes the characters (perhaps intentionally) one-dimensional. But at the same time, it also makes the movie appear to be fondling with the very thing it wants to parody. It also left me disappointed with the lack of depth or overall development that the cast received throughout the film. For the most part, it’s a satirical, comedic film, with all of the depth going to the central star. All other characters have a place in the back of the hypothetical short bus. Wade himself is the only character in the movie I felt a genuine connection to by movie’s end.
If not for the overall bland story, I believe my biggest issue with Deadpool is the conflicting moods that plague the movie all throughout. Color me critical, but I feel the movie suffers from shifting back and forth between comedy and drama. There are scenes that are purely comedy and scenes that are purely drama with spices of comedy simmered in. I can understand the thought process of trying to make the character more relatable by putting them through conflict and genuine dire straits, but I feel the movie never fully made up its mind of what it wants to be. Either it’s a movie about satire or it’s a movie about being a hero. I feel it didn’t do well enough to seam the two concepts together to make me care for the outcome. Then again, the predictable plot may have also been a factor, too.
The action scenes within the movie were very pretty to look at. The deaths were gruesome (a few made me cringe (in a good way)), the combat was over-the-top, and the commentary by Deadpool was simply the icing on the cake. I felt the most enjoyable aspects of the movie were simply Deadpool being Deadpool. More of a nitpick at this point, seeing as its a superhero movie, but some of the logic behind these fight scenes are absurd. I guess it goes along with the satirical nature of the film, but really. These nameless henchmen are making it way too easy for him. I thought the suit looked great and the CGI, while noticeable, wasn’t anything glaring.
I can finish the review by saying that Deadpool as a whole was thoroughly entertaining. It was a film I enjoyed much more than I thought I would for its fun-loving and deliciously sinful writing and sense of humor. I only wish the story itself and everyone aside from the main character was enough to write home about, but I’d end up in tornado-ravaged trailer park if that were the case. For what it’s worth, it’s an easy recommendation for someone looking for something out of the ordinary. Just don’t tell them about the serious bits.
Final Score: 6.5/10