Blockbluster: Deadpool

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Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Dr. Ambiguous » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:49 pm

Quick Summary: It’s a movie that is very much Deadpool, and makes good use of its R rating. It has blood, violence, sex, strong language, and plenty of jokes. However, it’s not a perfect film, and it does blow its load early.
Score: 6.5/10
Genre: Action / Comedy
Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand
Length: 108 minutes
Release Date: 2016-02-10 (UK), 2016-02-12 (USA)
More Info: IMDb

Deadpool – Official Trailer (Minor Spoilers & NSFW Language)

After many years of lingering in development hell, Deadpool finally managed to get a movie. I was hesitant after the first trailer I saw: though it showed potential, I was pretty apprehensive after Fox’s terrible handling of the X-Men franchise. The second trailer managed to make the movie look like utter shit, though thankfully that proved not to be the case.

The movie opens up with the title credits set to a backdrop of a still-frame action scene, as the camera swivels around and up over the frozen fight. But to properly open a Deadpool movie, it needs an irreverent humourous touch to it as well. This is accomplished using jokes for the credit’s, such as “Fox presents some douchebag's film.”

The film then flashes back to just before the fight began, with Deadpool taking a ride in a cab, where we get our first gleams of humour from the merc with a mouth himself. The movie’s off to a good start, and once it returns to the actual action, we see that this film has more than just a sense of humour. The action is well done, stylized like a proper superhero film, and successfully melds the fight with the funny.

The opening scene with the first fight of the film is a strong one. Sadly, after it’s done devoting 20 minutes of its runtime to it, the film takes a bit of a nosedive, and waivers up and down from there. Quite simply, it suffers from premature ejaculation before a proper climax.

This is where the film gives us its first real flashback, detailing Wade Wilson’s life shortly before he donned a red suit, and leading up to the present day. The film flirts back and forth with past and present, which helps keep things more interesting as it moves along (a technique used much more successfully in Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix last year). While I applaud the storytelling mechanic used, its greatest faltering is that the movie is an origin story. We’re plagued by origin movies in superhero movies, when most of the time it isn’t necessary. And when it is, it’s best when the time spent on it is kept to a minimum. Deadpool may have a strong following, though he isn’t as well-known as a character like Batman or Superman, so it does make sense to allot some time to his origin, but focusing almost the entire runtime of film to it is far too much (personally, I’d have preferred about 20 minutes, 30 at most).

As for Deadpool himself in all of this, the character is as he should be, and Reynolds does a great job playing him. Despite the utter clusterfuck that was Wolverine: Origins, Reynolds did well with him in that movie for the brief period of time they actually allowed him to play him (that bullshit at the end of the movie doesn’t count). As such, it’s not surprising that he performs so strongly. It’s kinda funny that I’m even typing that, as I’ve never felt that highly about Reynolds acting ability, and that he got roles more for his looks, which the film even jokes about. However, Deadpool shows this to not be the entire case (and I’m sure I’m not judging him too fairly, given that all I have to work off is a pair of superhero trainwrecks).

Image

Being that this is set in the same universe as the X-Men movies, it’s not surprising that we get a pair of them in this movie, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (named after a Monster Magnet song). While I like Colossus, and was pleased with his portrayal in the film, he still felt severely out of place. I have less praise for Warhead, as she’s not a very interesting character in the film, nor does she manage to be compelling in any way. On the bright side, Deadpool himself is at least able to play off her to humourous effect. It doesn’t quite manage to justify her inclusion, but at least it’s not a total waste.

On that note, the film delivers the humour it should for a Deadpool movie. Jokes abound, many infused with pop culture references. However all that would be incomplete without breaking the 4th wall, which of course this film does. Sadly, the 4th wall breaking doesn’t garner as many chortles as the rest of the jokes; nonetheless, this film is fucking funny at times, so it works out in the end.

The film isn’t without its missteps, though. I covered the largest one already: focusing too much on the origin story. The next main issue is the love interest. I’m aware that his comic book counterpart had one as well as part of his backstory, but it’s just not very interesting or compelling. Sure, it has parts that are played for laughs, and manage to work at that even. But, and without getting too much into spoilers, it's still a cliched love story that serves as a weak catalyst to certain parts of the film. You'll see where most of it is going before it happens, and it'll be just as unimpressive as this sort of story always is.

Image

Deadpool has also been a massive box office success already: in just its first weekend it managed to smash a number of records, and it's now holding the highest February opening and highest R-rated movie opening in the US.

This success hasn’t gone unnoticed, leading to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to predict that news outlets and Hollywood would try to proclaim why Deadpool is a hit, and how upcoming movies are drawing influence from it. He has some point in that Deadpool is a relatively fresh breath of air in the superhero genre that crowds theaters (even if it does suffer some of the same common shortcomings). However, I think he underplays the role that its raunchy nature had in creating its success. Yes, people clearly want a superhero film (as much as you can call Deadpool a superhero here) that isn’t just “good guy(s) beats bad guy(s)” (though granted, it doesn’t stray too far from that). But people also want a movie that’s geared more towards a mature audience, and has fights that are more gritty and violent. Heroes where the world is a little darker, and the situations more mature. That isn’t illustrated just in Deadpool, but we can also see it in the success of Daredevil and Jessica Jones that Netflix created last year.

Hopefully this means we’ll get more superhero fare of this nature, though I echo Gunn’s concerns that some people may misunderstand things and make a movie that is “mature” for the sake of being “mature”, instead of making one that is mature because that’s the nature of the story and characters. We’re already starting to see this, as less than a week after Deadpool’s release, Fox announced that the 3rd Wolverine movie, and final one to star Hugh Jackman, would feature an R-Rating. Given the myriad of problems with the first 2 Wolverine movies, I’m wary that this film is going to be “mature” instead of mature. That being said, Wolverine is one of the more violent characters in the Marvel universe, so creating a movie that does him proper justice would necessitate the R rating. We’ll have to wait until 2017 to see what the case is, but hopefully the success of Deadpool bodes well for R-Rated comic book and superhero movies.

Nitpicking, and theorizing about the future of comic book movies aside, Deadpool is strong enough to stand on its own legs. We’ve been gifted with a film that is very much Deadpool, and it’s what many fans have been waiting for for a long time. The sequel is already greenlit, and it’s bound to be even better, which helps make things exciting not just now, but also moving forward.
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:46 pm

That poor unicorn plush.
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Beernpotatoes » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:27 pm

Excellent article. Thanks.

Now, about Deadpool.

"But people also want a movie that’s geared more towards a mature audience, and has fights that are more gritty and violent. Heroes where the world is a little darker, and the situations more mature."


These are strange times from someone of my age and this comment is going to sound a lot more harsh than it is intended. I don't mean to criticize; I just want to point out what a massive gap there is between Generation X and Millennials.

A film like Deadpool makes me wonder if my generation was the last one that will ever grow up and become adults. When I was a child, we had superhero movies and superhero tv shows and superhero comic books. And they were big hits, albeit, not like they are today. But they were fundamentally children's films. The idea of a guy in a colorful outfit running around punching bad guys was silly, but highly satisfying to kids. As we grew older, though, our tastes changed. Just as we no longer wanted to eat cotton candy for every meal, we lost our interest in child-oriented films and tv.

You can track the aging process of generation X through our favorite shows. In the late 70's and early 80's, we watched ultra-clean sitcoms and action tv shows where the good guys were always good, never killed anyone and always said please and thank you (Buck Rogers, the Six Million Dollar Man, Dukes of Hazzard, A-Team, MacGiver, etc.). When we wanted something smutty, we tried to sneak in an episode of the Love Boat without our parents finding out. But as the 80's turned to the 90's, our tastes changed. Our sitcoms featured young adults being quirky-cool (Seinfeld and Friends), and our cop and medical drama shows turned gritty (NYPD Blue, ER).

Contrast that with the millennial generation. Instead of growing out of childish things, there seems to be a demand that the childish things grow up with them. Instead of no longer being interested in Superfriends and switching over to Seinfeld and NYPD Blue, millennials want the Superfriends to become gritty and adult oriented. The same is true across the entertainment spectrum - Harry Potter starts out as a wide-eyed wonderboy in a magical kingdom and, instead of leaving him there in his world of magic and turning to other stories, the HP story evolves into a dark, gritty drama about death, love, betrayal and other adult themes.

Deadpool appears to be the next logical step. Rather than admit that costumed superheros are for children, the entertainment world continues to serve the demands of a generation that can't let go of its childhood heroes in much the same way that Linus can't put away his security blanket. Deadpool has sex and violence because of course it does.

Will this trend continue? Thirty years from now, will there be films featuring superheros bitching about social security and complaining about low back pain?
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Macready » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:59 pm

haha, a 6.5 rating! You amuse me.

Also, excellent post Beernpotatoes! I agree!
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Matthew Notch » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:43 pm

I am a little of both with Beernpotatoes, I guess. I mean a lot of these superheroes have been getting gritty since back in the 80's, and I mean when Batman first debuted back before either of our times, he carried a gun and straight murdered people. Truth be told, if you really stop and think about it, Batman West even stopped the bad guys by beating the snot out of them, and while it's stylized and mostly toothless to the point that you can watch reruns on the Family Channel or whatever its modern equivalent is, the fact is that immobilizing your enemies by delivering vicious head trauma is a pretty messed up way for a "hero" to dispense justice. So if Frank Miller started making the bone breaking and joint dislocating and bleeding and mental scarring more apparent, that's just because it was always sort of there, below the surface, and was ready for an enterprising writer to take advantage of it.

And yeah, Deadpool has always been ultra-violent and smutty and obscene.

I do think, though, that Beer's point particularly holds when you look at other children's entertainment that is enjoyed by adults. Cartoon Network has a whole segment for grownups, but to be frank a whole wrath of those young adults are rabid fans of the shows meant specifically for the younger children. There are these extensive discussions on the sexuality of characters and fandom conventions for adult fans of these shows, and never mind the comprehensive collection of related pornography, both in written form and as visual art, easily available on the Internets.

When you look at it from the perspective of an older person (and in this case I'm pretty sure I DON'T qualify as one), then yeah, it looks a little infantile sometimes. I don't know if I'd call it harmful or destructive, necessarily, since societal progress is all about customizing the environment to better suit its denizens, and the "millenials" or whatever are most of them now. It only stands to reason that their entertainment would be suited to them. I don't know if I wouldn't call it harmful or destructive either, because it's maybe too early to say.

TL;DR: Good point, but maybe not in the context of Deadpool itself.
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Piter Lauchy » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:07 pm

Speaking as a Millennial (born in '91), I don't think Beernpotatoes hit the nail quite on the head.
I'm pretty sure that liking stuff that's considered to be for children is not exclusive to us; it's just that in the past it was heavily discouraged to do so. There was this expectancy to "grow up", to become a responsible adult that scoffs at anything that could be considered childish. The idea of an inner child isn't exactly a new one and with (Western) society becoming more and more tolerant, embracing said inner child instead of letting it show once in a blue moon becomes more and more acceptable.
Then there's also the fact that the best media for children contains stuff that flies right over children's heads and can only be fully appreciated as an adult. I don't know if those existed in the past or if it was more black and white back then.
But take The Neverending Story, for example (the book; never the movie). I've read it three times in my life so far. Once as a kid, once as a teen and once just recently. As a kid I liked it because it's a fantastic story, as a teen I started to see the deeper meaning and themes it contains and when I read it not long ago, those became even clearer to me. I'm sure that when I read it in maybe five years, I'll see even more stuff.
So in that case, the childish medium didn't grow up with me; I grew up to appreciate it in an entirely different way.
And why does it have to be one or the other? I can giggle about Deadpool's shenanigans and still be amazed by "grown up" shit like, I don't know, Breaking Bad? Is that considered adult? I don't even know, because I don't give a shit. I only give a shit about "Is it good?"
As a whole, I'd say that yes, my tastes have changed over my lifetime, but they mostly became broader, not suddenly excluding childish stuff, but including adult stuff. And I'm convinced there's nothing wrong with that.
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby LegionofShrooms » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:43 am

Hmm... I suppose I'm a bit on both ends of the divide myself. I can see BeerNPotatoes point in that it does seem like we're more inclined to take our childhood tastes with us well into adulthood these days, but I think that I'm largely with Piter in that I think there's a bit of a point missed.

There's an inherent difference to me between something containing fantastical elements aimed at children and something fundamentally childish. To me at least, the former marks a difference in narrative devices used, the latter marks a difference in either values or execution (or both).

There is no reason why something marked towards children cannot be, at its core, profound, witty or clever. If you dismiss an entire genre simply because it has silly elements in it, that's a complete discounting of any such genre that requires a willful suspension of disbelief, such as fantasy, most sci-fi and a good chunk of horror. And not to put to much of a point on the matter, but a good deal of adult oriented media popular at that time you reference-such as Twin Peaks, or Stark Trek TNG, or the X-Files-are founded on some incredibly ludicrous concepts when you stop and examine them too closely.

But we overlook that because they are vehicles for exploring some rather interesting themes, examining issues within society and weaving a tightly written and captivating story. Genres evolve with time and new stories are not always bound to the confines of their previous limitations.

I can't really say what causes the divide or if there's any right or wrong answer on the subject, but I can say this. I honestly could not be bothered to care much about the demographic something is targeted towards (provided it's for my own entertainment, not that of a child), as long as it's executed well and-should it choose to incorporate any theme or mantra into it's essence-has a solid set of values to it.

I don't know if that's a matter of values dissonance as a result of me being a Millennial (although I'll be honest, I rather detest trying to categorize people socially among their time periods, as that barely even scratches the surface of who an individual actually is and often has very little bearing on the people themselves) or more a matter of me being rather a lover of stories.

Deadpool, admittedly, is probably not the movie for me to be having this debate on as it is rather childish at its core, but it was more the matter of the dismissal of an entire genre due to (supposedly) childish elements I took exception to rather than the specific example of this movie.

That said, I also don't think it's a necessarily bad thing to indulge in a bit of childishness now and then provided one knows when it is appropriate and recognize when the necessity for maturity to take back the reigns occurs. We all have the marks of childishness in us now and then, although they might manifest in a variety of different ways, but that does not make them properly unhealthy things in moderation. I still like to indulge in the occasional tour of the breweries with my siblings when I know my child is taken care of and there's a sober and safe ride waiting for me. I will sometimes sit with my child and watch what is, to whit, a child's movie and if it is well written properly enjoy myself because it was a good movie. Does that make the strides I've made towards being a good father and husband, to planning towards the future and being someone others can rely on, to paying my dues to those that have brought me this far in my life null and void as signs of maturity?

Do not misunderstand-I am not trying to come off as accusatory or claim that you were trying to insinuate any of these things. I'm merely pointing out what I perceive to be flaws in your logic-that is, that one cannot indulge in childish things while still properly being considered an adult. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, "to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish... These are the marks of childhood and adolescence... When I became a man I put away childish things, including the desire to be very grown up."

Admittedly, the irony of carrying on a debate regarding the nature of maturity and narrative and the way that those concepts are similar and dissimilar across separate generations on an article about a movie that was 80% smut, violence, dick jokes and fan service does not escape me, but I'm admittedly one that can never leave a good debate dangling in the wind.
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Taluun » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:02 pm

Beernpotatoes wrote:
Will this trend continue? Thirty years from now, will there be films featuring superheros bitching about social security and complaining about low back pain?


I mean thats pretty much what Watchmen did and thats from the 80's so its hardly some new thing.

I also agree with Piter in that I tend to not stop liking different media. Whether it be music, video games, tv, movies whatever. I listened to smash mouth and greenday and linkin park when I was like 10 and even though most of what I listen to now is squarely in the metal genre (prog, power, melodeath being the 3 main ones) I still enjoy that older stuff. I loved playing Mario, zelda, pokemon, etc when I was really young and I still do now even though some of my favorite games are Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

I don't see why I should arbitrarily stop enjoying what I used to enjoy.
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby sunglasses » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:20 pm

Yeah, not to be a complete and total bitch here but I think you're wrong Beer.

I was born in 81. I have no idea what generation that puts me in. My father was a boomer. That man is the definition of a man child, for the record.

That being said, I've enjoyed comics and other visual art since I was a child. Comic is an art medium and the idea that it's only for children is pithy and misguided. There are plenty of "adult" comics that are quite amazing. See: The Sandman series, Fable, Saga, Watchmen, Preacher, Hellblazer, etc. And trust me, I have grown up. When I was an actual child, I read such comics as Ewoks. I am not clamoring (oh god no) for an Ewok movie.

You may as well be saying well "you read books when you're a kid, so why make a movie based on a book?" Which is just as silly. Yes, I know that's not what you said but this is how my brain translated it.

As for the younger generation constantly seeking nostalgia-many of us are hopeless. We have horrible amounts of student debt, the future does not seem bright, and we're wondering when everything is going to collapse upon itself. Sorry that some of them seek comfort in reminders of the one time they might have felt safe (childhood).
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:05 pm

"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."-C.S. Lewis
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby Jack Road » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:20 pm

Spoiler: show
Image

Image
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Re: Blockbluster: Deadpool

Postby iMURDAu » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:36 am

Ericthebearjew wrote:"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."-C.S. Lewis


"Every book is a children's book if the kid can read!" - Mitch Hedburg

I've read what Beernpotatoes has said and I have to disagree. I guess I'm a Gen Xer because I was born in 1980 but everyone has different labels for different times, whatever.

We now have a reality based Transformers movie franchise featuring cities being destroyed and robots peeing on other robots. People have always wanted to see movies based on things from their youth. Explain my father who was born in 1950 wanting to go see that incredible Piper Perabo vehicle "Rocky and Bullwinkle" or his brother who eagerly awaited not one but 2 shitty Flintstones movies.

Deadpool is a specific character. There isn't an R rated Superman or Spiderman movie. The reason is that their source material wouldn't warrant an R rating. Deadpool isn't a superhero. The Suicide Squad aren't superheroes. If I put on a tough looking outfit and shoot people I'm not a soldier I'm Rambo so its not a war movie but a killfest. Its not a genre evolution its just one character getting a spotlight.

And on the flipside what about Birdman? Nominated 9 times and took Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Cinematography all while
Spoiler: show
the plot revolves around the past portrayal of a superhero and how it weighs on an actor
Being rated R it had plenty of bad language and violence because of course it did.
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