Deadpool Review

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I’ve never been a fan of Deadpool, but in my defense I stopped reading superhero comics right about the time the he came out (I still read Cerebus or Concrete, just no nearly-naked people face-punching each other in order to stop a time-traveling future-self from destroying the current multi-verse). All my friends who are still into it said that I’d love Deadpool: he’s unconventional; he breaks the fourth wall; he knows he’s in a comic; he’s hilarious. None of these are necessarily good things in and of themselves.

I heard basically the same thing about the movie: it’s close to the source material; it makes fun of superhero movies; it’s rated R; it’s an unknown character making $200 million. None of these are necessarily good things in and of themselves…

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The Lost World stayed very close to the source material.  Jurassic Park did not.  Which is better?

First, being close to the source material is almost always inevitably bad. The source material is not a movie, it’s a comic book. There are certain things you can get away with in a comic book that you can’t in a movie and vice-versa. The sex scene in the Watchman comic is erotic and fulfilling – it fits the theme and the characters perfectly. The sex scene in the Watchman movie is uncomfortable. The experimental black-and-white art of Sin City helped move Frank Miller through seven storylines that perfectly fit the mood of the comic. The movie version of A Dame to Kill for is, for lack of a better word, bad.

 

There are thousands of examples where “close to the source material” is an awful thing (going all the way back to Greed based on McTeague). It’s not because the source material is bad, it’s because the source material is not a movie. You have to have a good writer on the movie in order to have a good movie. Deadpool has that, but please don’t say, “It stays so close to the comic!” Just say “Reese and Wernick knocked it out of the park.”

The same thing goes for making fun of super-hero movies when it is a super-hero movie. Spy Hard is a bad movie, Austin Powers is a good movie; they both make fun of the same genre, but one misses the point completely. Deadpool mostly hits the mark. The only place where this movie misses is where it makes fun of a genre and then walks us down that same super-hero origin road expecting the same audience reaction. At no point was I

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How pathetic and sexy he is

worried that Deadpool might not get the girl or that he might get hurt or that he wouldn’t save the day or that he might not kill the bad guy. The way the story is set up, though – like a typical superhero origin story – that’s exactly what the writers wanted out of the audience (notice how the number of jokes decrease as we reach the climax, not unlike how Lemon was conceived) You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a parody and be the thing you’re parodying. You’d be Carrot-Top.

 

Also, being rated R is not a big deal; the rating of a movie is inconsequential. No one goes to see a movie because “I heard they show balls!”, or in the case of PG-13, “I heard they almost show balls!”

Finally, Deadpool is not an unknown character. Even after The Avengers came out, I would see Deadpool merchandise as much as I would see Captain America or Iron Man. He only seems unknown to everyone else because of all the characters that you know of, he’s the only one you can really point to and say, “I still have that first issue!” which is why you’re not going to like what I’m about to say.

Deadpool is not for you, just like Thor is not for people who originally owned Journey into Mystery #83. I know it feels like Deadpool is for you. After all, it’s a combination of video games, (which seems to have a pretty hard hold on my generation) nostalgia, (I remember Voltron!) and superhero movies (I have several friends who believe Superman vs. Batman is going to be a flaming turd and have taken a personal day on March 25th). I know it feels like a Taken for 30-somethings. But it’s not. It’s a revenge fantasy for sure, but it’s not our revenge fantasy. We already had ours. It was The Crow.

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Because real girls are scary.

This movie is for the 20-somethings and the teens-who-can’t-wait-to-be-20-somethings-because-they’re-too-dumb-to-realize-being-20-is-awful: the ones who played that Deadpool video game until their mom yelled at them (but she was secretly worried they were spending too much time masturbating), the ones who grew up reading manga (and spent way too much time masturbating to girls with cat ears) and then easily transitioned into McGuinness’ Deadpool, the ones who think Joe Kelley’s sort of funny internal dialogue is actually clever tongue-in-cheek meta-fiction, the ones who grew up with hyper-violence on the internet (in between masturbation sessions) and actually prefer watching someone get cut in half. This is for them.

People of my generation: I’m not saying you can’t like this movie – it’s a good, funny movie – but you want to own it. You can’t own it like you did with The Crow.

Take it down a couple notches. Call it a good movie on-par with This is the End, but don’t call it “the new super-hero paradigm on which all future super-hero movies will be based” (we all know that will be El Guapo: Latino Skateboard Telepath).

Call it a “fun night out” and go play with your kids.

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