MOVIE REVIEW: DEADPOOL
Bek: Directed by Tim Miller in his directing debut, Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as the red-clad anti-hero, Morena Baccarin as the love interest and Ed Skrein as the villain.
The plot goes something like this: after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, former Special Forces-turned-mercenary, Wade Wilson (Reynolds) undergoes experimental treatment by the nasty Francis (Skrein). By the end of it, Wade is kind of immortal, but also hideously deformed and takes on the alter ego, Deadpool. The rest of the movie is Wade hunting Francis, so he can get his pretty-boy good looks back and return to his true love.
So, I didn’t mind this movie. It was a thousand miles better than Deadpool’s first appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which left me wanting to gouge my own eyes out with my slushy straw.
Char: Wait, are we talking about that scene where Deadpool had his swords implanted a la Wolverine, and the London tube map on his skin, and then he fights Wolverine? That scene? (Comment courtesy of YouTube, because that whole movie escaped any of my long-term memory).
Bek: I was talking about that. Reluctantly. Okay, so Deadpool had a killer opening sequence and cool action shots. There’s a ton of violence in it, but it’s got an R rating, so it’s to be expected. The fourth-wall breaking worked well and the constant dick-and-balls humour even made me smirk a few times.
Char: To be honest, I think the R rating is for the sexual content and the fact the violence is highly gratuitous.
Bek: Did I mention the hefty helpings of fart-level humour?
Char: You did. And I like dirty jokes, though coming from a Mouth sometimes gets tiresome. At least Mr Reynolds does an excellent job of invoking that.
Bek: As much as I like violent movies though, this one didn’t quite resonate with me. I was entertained, but not blown away, and was interested to understand why. The best I can figure out, it was missing an ingredient. There is emotion in this film, but it only had one note. I feel like I’ve seen this movie before, along with the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. The confusing thing is, I enjoy simple movies! I loved John Wick, which was as simple as you can get. Bad guy kills ex-assassin’s puppy, gifted to him by his dying wife. Violence ensues.
Char: I too enjoyed the opening sequence of Deadpool, but that was about it. I sat there, munching my pick n mix while the fanboys around me laughed hysterically. My cack-o-meter never cracked a smile. I too thought about it long and hard afterwards. I mean, come on! I like swearing! I like action! Why the hell don’t I like you, Deadpool? And here’s the thing. I was engaged at exactly two moments in the entire film: 1) At the start, when Wade Wilson is roughing up the stalking pizza delivery boy, because he supposedly has a “soft spot” for the stalked teen, and 2) during the time with evil Francis, where he’s bucking up the other guy, using his Merc-with-a-mouth powers for good. The rest, I did not give a shit. Why? Because he’s a selfish, vain prick whose on a vengeance rampage because he don’t look pretty no more. I don’t care about THAT story. I mean, I believed the whole sequence with his girlfriend, and why he leaves, and all that. But this ain’t even a revenge-for-the-girl story. It’s a revenge-for-my-face story.
Bek: Right. At least with John Wick, there was an underlying complexity of his grief for his wife. I actually had this same issue with The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner. I mean, his motivation for the whole movie is him getting his drugs to make him smart. I mean, really?
Char: Exactly. I remember having this conversation – Matt Damon is a highly intelligent, highly trained lethal killer on the run = sexy. No one can take that from him. Jeremy Renner is a dumb guy who needs his pills on the run = nope. No one wants to identify with the hero who’s only smart because of something he has to keep taking (as opposed to say Captain America who is stuck with his awesome). I think with superheroes, even the anti-heroes, you need to be able to aspire to something about them. Deadpool is the kinda guy who’s got a group round him at a party, and you realise after laughing at how funny and clever he is, that he’s actually just a jerk you want to avoid. Plenty of anti-heroes work really well. This one just doesn’t for me.
Also, the scene at the end of the credits is Deadpool replicating the scene from the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Yeah, I spoilered it for you. It’s not worth it.
Bek: How dare you! Anyway, Chuck Wendig posted a short blog/tweet about simplicity and elegance in storytelling, which you can read here. He mentions when writing, it’s key to have a simple, but engaging motivation to create a great story.
Char: That Chuck Wendig thing is great, by the way. Simple is right. It works for Deadpool in terms of simplicity. It’s just his motivation is shitty – or not engaging enough. You know what would have worked better? Deadpool wants vengeance on Francis because it actually destroys his relationship, which is the only thing that made him a better person (choose your reason – Vanessa can’t stomach his change, it makes him impotent, it sets off her allergies, whatever – but I think it needs something concrete, not imagined. That’s what this is – a movie about vengeance over the imagined end of the relationship. LAME.).
Bek: Poor Ryan Reynolds. I’ll bet he’s weeping in his piles of cash.
Char: Wasn’t he also Green Lantern?
Bek’s Grade: 6 blood-soaked bodies out of 10
Char’s Grade: 5 shots in the arse out of 10