So far I have seen this movie twice, and I feel like I haven’t seen it nearly enough times to fully appreciate it. I’m no critic - I’m just a dude who appreciates the finer things in life such as sushi, wine, and ball jokes - so I’m not going to try to tell you whether or not to see this movie because the director (Overpaid Tool) used certain imagery to convey the pain and plight of Australian actors or because the Writers (The Real Heroes) were able to craft a masterpiece with a limited budget.
I’m here to tell you that this is the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a long time, and is one of the better Superhero movies ever made. And it wasn’t even made by Marvel. What the shit!
Note: This post assumes you’ve seen the movie (and a few others), so be warned!
Seriously. In my honest to goodness opinion (which is worth about as much as Vanessa’s engagement ring), the best Superhero movie to date is The Winter Soldier. I still consider Deadpool a close (and I mean CLOSE) second, but that is probably only because I’ve seen The Winter Soldier many more times on Blu Ray. Come May when this movie hits stores (Happy Labor Day!) I have a feeling it may surpass The Winter Soldier in its awesomeness.
Let me back up for a second: I called Deadpool and The Winter Soldier “Superhero movies.” That they are not. “Superhero” movies as we know them started way back in the 70's (Donner, party of 4). Since Marvel started wrecking shit with their properties (thank goodness for that threat of bankruptcy back in the 90's), Superhero movies have turned into movies with superheroes. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, and Age of Ultron are tech/action thrillers. Thor 1 and The Dark World are fantasies. The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier are political thrillers. Guardians of the Galaxy is a space adventure. Ant-Man is a heist movie. Avengers was a goddamn miracle. They just happen to have superheroes in them.
Then along comes Deadpool. It’s a comedy. I mean it’s a love story. I mean it’s a horror movie. I mean it’s an action movie. I mean it’s gore porn. I mean it’s all of those things, and the only reason it’s considered a Superhero movie is because Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warrior are involved. Deadpool is definately not a superhero.
Let me back up for a third: This movie was made by Fox, who made such hits as X-Men: The Last Stand and Fantastic Four and Wolverine: Origins. Ever since First Class, they’ve started to turn it around. Apocalypse looks promising, and we shall see. But they took a chance on Deadpool, and it was the best thing they could have ever done.
Traditionally, Marvel is the studio that makes solid movies. If Spider-Man were a horse, it’d be pure glue given the beatings Sony has given it (What was the last one? Spider-Man: Electric Boogaloo?) As I said, Fox is getting better. Warner Bros’ had a little hiccup there with Superman Returns: For Some Light Stalking, and although the Nolan Batman movies were great (I will defend The Dark Knight Rises to the sewers and back, just like those cops) and so was Man of Steel (again, IT WAS HIS FIRST TIME BEING A HERO GIVE THE MAN A BREAK, just like Zod’s neck). Batman v. Superman: DONK DONK and Suicide Squad look amazing. It’s just weird that one of the better movies just came from one of the redheaded stepchildren of the genre.
Deadpool absolutely needed to be rated R. In the comics, the character doesn’t curse so much (and when he does, it’s *&^%$#^ bleeped) but the books are gory as shit. Hell, in the Duggan run, a mystic reanimated all of the dead Presidents and Deadpool cut through them one by one. I remember seeing guts. So many guts. Making this movie PG-13 would have been a disservice, because its violence alone warrants an R rating. We would have gotten dizzy due to the camera cutting away from the good stuff so often. It’s the Tarantino of the comic book world. How much less fun would the Kill Bill movies have been without any blood and guts? SO MUCH LESS.
1. I mentioned earlier, but I feel like I haven’t seen this movie enough times to truly appreciate it. On the second viewing jokes registered that I completely missed the first time around. My favorite of those second-viewing jokes happened during the sex around the calendar montage. They were - ahem - celebrating each holiday in creative ways: and were reading on Lent.
Oh my god I lost it. I saw it the first time around, but the meaning of that quick cut didn’t hit home until the second time around. Maybe I’m just slow, but I was cracking up. I can’t wait to see this damn movie again, just to see what else went over my head.
2. I could go through and mention the funny parts of the movie, but come on: the whole thing was fucking bonkers. How can I choose the funnier moment between Vanessa telling him he had a face she could sit on (after an adjustment period and a lot of drinks) and Deadpool leaving his Hello Kitty duffle bag in the taxi? Or the fact that Dopinder had his romantic rival tied up in the trunk? Or Deadpool’s whole quest to find Francis (HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?)
It would be unfair to me - NAY - unfair to you for me to try to pick a funniest moment to talk about. Just see the damn movie (again). You’ll be happier because of it.
But that little hand. Holy fuck, my sides.
3. I will, however, explain my favorite easter egg: Bob. Hydra Bob, for those of you in the know. In the comics, Hydra Bob has the best bad luck, in that he’s just a dude trying to make some money and climb the corporate ladder, and Deadpool always seems to cross his path. Hydra Bob is Marvel’s Kenny, except Deadpool never kills him. He just knocks him out or injures him greatly. Hydra Bob just can’t catch a break. At least his wife makes a killer casserole.
Which, was my second favorite easter egg: Bob’s wife is Gail. As in Simone. She writes some of the best comics out there today (check out Secret Six and her runs of Batgirl and Deadpool (collected in Deadpool Classics Vols. 9 & 10)). Gail Simone’s run on Deadpool was classic (get it?) HE BROKE HIS WINKIE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
4. This had to be my favorite cameo of Stan Lee out of any of the movies he’s had cameos in. Not for the obvious reasons (OONTZ OONTZ) but because it was just outrageous. You can’t buy love, but you can rent it for three minutes.
Some say Weasel is still in that club, to this day.
5. I think the non-linear story telling helped this movie, and would only work with this character. Think about it: If you get too heavy with the flashbacks, they start to get ham fisted (like Francis’ Saturday night) and too on the nose (HERE’S A GUN I BET IT’S IMPORTANT HMM). My favorite use is in Man of Steel: They inform the character. We started the movie with Clark all growed up, on the road, trying to find the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Throughout the movie, as he embraced being a hero, we got quick glimpses of his past to show how he got where he was: lost.
Deadpool’s flashbacks work because he breaks the fourth wall, another trap movies tend to fall in to. Deadpool is crazy enough that he realizes he’s in a comic (in this case, a movie), and he uses that power (really, his second power behind his healing abilities) to tell his own story. We were just along for the ride.
It’s sort of amazing: Most of the movie takes place in the past, and the present action is that bonkers highway scene (that really gave Fox the smooth criminals to get this movie made), Cleaning Detergent and Angel taking Vanessa, and the fight at the Helicarrier. The rest of the movie was learning about Wade Wilson and his journey to becoming
Captain Deadpool. It was cut just right, so even though the present action was so short, it felt much longer.
6. Speaking of: I can’t believe they snuck in a fucking helicarrier into this movie. Hot damn that was amazing. It didn’t look like any of the Helicarriers used in Avengers or The Winter Soldier or Agents of SHIELD (IT’S IN THERE GO LOOK) or Age of Ultron, so I guess that’s what got them clearance: It’s ambiguity. It’s obviously a carrier, but not obviously a Helicarrier.
And it was just sitting there, getting scrapped out in the open. What kind of world is this. I’ll tell you: A beautiful one.
7. Continuity. Marvel has the continuity game on lock. Even though each movie stands on its own, they all build to the same thing: The next Avengers movie. You don’t need to watch The First Avenger and Avengers to get The Winter Soldier, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to.
Fox looks like it’s pulling a J.J. with Days of Future Past acting as a soft reboot, bridging the old with the new. It is a little confusing with Stewart and McAvoy both being Professor X, but they seem to be getting it all straight.
First Class took place in the 60's, and Days of Future Past took place (mainly) in the 70's. When Wolverine got back, he was in our future, and had a lot to learn about what he missed. Apocalypse takes place in the 80's. Deadpool took place in 2016. Deadpool takes place in that purgatory between Apocalypse and the future as seen at the end of Days of Future Past. In Days we saw a baby Colossus, and I could see that kid growing up to be the chivalrous big brother we all now love.
Some would say that the fact that Deadpool takes place in the same continuity as Apocalypse kind of takes away from the threat that is Apocalypse. I say FOOEY. We all know that the heroes are going to save the day. The true fun is the journey. I knew Deadpool would save Vanessa, but felt like a little girl watching him get there. We all know the X-Men are going to stop Apocalypse’s plan. The fun is watching them do it.
Also, I have read that Deadpool’s place in the X-Men continuity is somewhat in the air still. I guess Fox wasn’t so sure this would be such a box office record smashing good time. If it sucked, they could say it wasn’t the same universe (the same universe Fantastic Four is allegedly a part of). Now that it did so well, I bet he’s more solidly in the main universe. This ain’t no multiverse, yo.
The best use of Deadpool is sparingly. Have him pop in like Quicksilver in Days of Future Past. The X-Men want him to join, but he only agrees to help because it helps him in some deranged way. Save the main hi-jinx for Deadpool sequels and team ups. It will make X-Men that much better.
8. Speaking of: Holy shit I just had an epiphany. My favorite Deadpool story is Hawkeye vs. Deadpool. Look it up. You will be amazed. The long and short of it (mostly short) is that Deadpool and Hawkeye team up to solve an espionage mystery. The world isn’t in danger. Galactus isn’t getting heartburn from Saturn. It’s just a small jaunt into the life of Hawkeye, that is rudely interrupted by Deadpool.
Make his movies like this. Cable vs. Deadpool. Beast vs. Deadpool. Fantastic Four vs. Deadpool. WOLVERINE VS. DEADPOOL. Quick absurd hits that don’t implicate worldwide apocalypse, but give us a smaller scale looks at the overall X-Men Universe. What would happen if Quicksilver had to ask Deadpool for help because he had certain contacts or information? HILARITY. That’s what.
9. If you’ve been reading about the movie and what it took to get it made, you’d have read that right at the last minute, the studio asked them to cut about $7,000,000 from the budget. That necessitated cutting a few scenes, including a motorcycle chase and a large gun battle.
If you’ve seen this, you’ll notice that instead of chasing Francis on the bike, Deadpool simply threw a katana at the bike, causing it to crash. And you’ll also notice that instead of a large gun battle, Deadpool left his bag of guns in the taxi. HOW FUCKING GENIUS IS THAT? One of the best parts of the movie was because they had to maintain a smaller budget. Please don’t give the sequel a big Marvel-style budget. Keep it small. Improvising is the best.
Deadpool is gaining speed and very well may be my favorite movie with superheroes in it by the time I get it on Blu Ray. It has fantastic rewatchability potential, and is a good fucking time. But hey, I haven’t seen Civil War or Batman v. Superman: DONK DONK yet. Only time will tell, and I’m already planning my third viewing of this goddamn delight.
If you give up anything for Lent, follow Wade and Vanessa’s lead, and don’t give up on the movies. You’ll be missing out.