No Marvel Character was so spectacular badly done like Deadpool in his appearance in the first Wolverine Spin-Off. Maybe it was the misguided humor of the creators to sew the mouth of the Merc with the mouth shut, maybe it was directed by studio officials, who didn’t believe in a Deadpool like he was in the comics, to give Deadpool, instead of his red suit, Katanas as hands, or maybe it was just stupidity what gave him his laser vision. I don’t know and I don’t want to know it (maybe in some sort of documentary, like the one about the Nic Cage Superman film). So can Deadpool – The Movie, starring Deadpool himself, save this frontal crash of a comic book character? To make it short: yes! If you just want to know if you should watch „Deadpool“, because you liked him in the comics, then go watch it. The rest of you, please read along.
Those of you, who are not familiar with Deadpool, he is a short history of the character: Created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, Deadpool had is debut in New Mutants #98 in 1991. The unique about him is, besides his immortality and cancer-riddled body, that he constantly breaks the fourth wall, cracks jokes and overall takes himself not too serious. When in 2009 it was announced, that Deadpool will appear in the first Spin-Off X-Men Movie about Wolverine, fans had high expectations. But like in the introduction described, Deadpool failed hard.
Now, seven years later 20th Century Fox realized, that a real Deadpool could work. The trailers clearly show that they made a real effort to bring the comic book Deadpool to the big screen. Can this film revitalize the character, or have we here a Fantastic Four/the Amazing Spiderman Franchise Reboot Fail on our hands? Well, I spoiled it already, so whom am I kidding? I liked it very much, it was everything I expected it to be.
[spoilers may lay ahead]
Already in the opening credits, Deadpool is different. Not the names of the Director (*overpaid asshole*) or the screenplay writers (*the real heroes*) are shown, but what seems to be Deadpool opinions about them. And that is just the beginning. The movie is filled with little, easy to oversee gags. At one point one protagonist says: „There is a man waiting for you. I don’t know who he is, but I think he will advance the plot.“ Such things come unexpected, quiet and without any slapstick. Overall the movie has less than expected fart and dick jokes, more visual gags and dry humor. Don’t get me wrong, Deadpool is often just silly, too. But not so often, that it gets annoying. It seems to me, somebody watched „Guardians of the Galaxy“ real closely and adapted the recipe on the Deadpool franchise. Especially the soundtrack remembers at the GotG formula. One other big point, which worried Fans of the Franchise was the violence. At first, Deadpool was announced to be PG-13 rated, which would have killed a lot of the macabre side of the Comic Books of. But with an R Rating, the film is very brutal. It is the violence some Fans wanted for other franchises, for example for the Frank Miller inspired A man dressed like a bat. I for once wasn’t bothered by the plenty of on-screen violence. I think it wouldn’t have been necessary, but with a PG-13 Rating, some of the languages would have been cut, too, which would have watered down the experience for sure. It was a nice cherry on top but nothing more.
So we established that the humor and the horror were good, but what’s about the story? Well, it is not more than the classic Origin-Story, like Ant-Man, Iron-Man etc. before. But it doesn’t want to be more. It doesn’t want to sell us the plot as something new or brilliant, it’s just the vehicle to have fun with Deadpool. The back and forth between the current events in a short period of time and the backstory over a long period of time gives the movie a simple but clean structure. The events in it are densely packed so it never gets boring. The supporting cast is also good, but Morena Baccarin fell a bit behind with her given only the role of the damsel in distress at the end. Ed Skrein gave his best version of a two-dimensional psychopathic killer, but it didn’t need more to get sympathy for Deadpool in his fight against him. Like the plot in a whole, Ad Skrein’s Ajax was forgettable Marvel Villain #2335, but this time, they were aware of it.
In the End Deadpool is not the deepest Comic Book Movie, the story is plump, the villain is run of the mill. But all these things which would have made a bad movie, makes Deadpool great. Because you feel, that the actors and the writers wanted to have fun, wanted to have the audience have fun with one of the goofiest characters in the Marvel Universe. It’s not an X-Men DoFP, with it’s big story, grave characters, and the wide universe. But if you liked GotG and some macabre comedy, you certainly will like this movie.
Vía Letterboxd – Christopher van der Meyden