Deadpool Is the Crude, Crazy, Meta, and Mischievous Laugh Riot We've All Been Waiting For

Saturday, 06 February 2016 - 11:59PM
Marvel
Deadpool
Secret Wars
Saturday, 06 February 2016 - 11:59PM
Deadpool Is the Crude, Crazy, Meta, and Mischievous Laugh Riot We've All Been Waiting For
Deadpool has been a passion project from the start, a love letter to the fans who were directly responsible for making it happen. And ever since the rapturous response to the first trailer at San Diego Comic Con, we've all been praying that it would live up to the hype, that the poor beleaguered fans who were forced to sit through that blasphemous version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine would finally get the Deadpool they deserve. And we're happy to report that that's exactly what they're getting, as Tim Miller's Deadpool is as irreverent, foul-mouthed, graphically violent, and laugh-out-loud hilarious as we were all hoping it would be.



The meta humor is the best part of the film, and is present right from the inspired opening sequence, which credits the characters as "the sexist man alive" (with a picture of Ryan Reynolds' People cover, naturally) "a British villain" (Ed Skrein's Ajax), "the comic relief" (T.J. Miller's Weasel), and "an entirely CGI character" (Stefan Kapičić's Collosus), as well as the writers--"the real heroes here"--and the director--"an overpaid tool." (And did I mention this is all set to Juice Newton's wonderfully overwrought power ballad "Angel of the Morning"? Brilliant.) 

That cheeky self-awareness continues throughout, from Deadpool admitting to "fondling Wolverine's smooth balls" to get this gig to a crack about the fact that we only ever see Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Professor X's mansion: "It's almost like we didn't have enough money to get more than two X-Men!" There are a lot of crass dick jokes, as one would expect, but they're surprisingly clever a good portion of the time, mostly as a result of Ryan Reynolds' and Tim Miller's improvisational wit and impeccable comedic timing.

I have a few small quibbles here and there; Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and Angel Dust were all underutilized to the point that they felt perfunctory at times, and in between one-liners, the plot was as predictable as the most sophomoric superhero movies (but that's not what you see Deadpool for, is it?). Ultimately, my only major complaint was the casual sexism, which was even more blatant and pervasive than I was expecting. In addition to the fact that none of the female characters actually had any impact on the plot, there were sexist, gender-stereotypical lines peppered throughout. Between Deadpool's crack that men should kidnap women to make them fall in love with you and that distasteful line from the trailer: "I wouldn't want to be the guy who pressured [Negasonic Teenage Warhead] into prom sex!", the writers were working overtime to tell women that they were not part of the target demographic. The most egregious example of this exclusion? Deadpool prefacing his assertion that he's "not a hero" with the line: "I know what you're thinking. [mock falsetto delivery] My boyfriend told me this was going to be a superhero movie!"

This is a real shame, and not just because I'm a woman who likes well-done superhero movies. On a creative level, it's just plain lazy writing, and considering how clever the movie often is, it didn't need to use boilerplate sexist humor as a crutch. I realize that Deadpool is designed to be offensive, but the film managed to avoid overtly racist humor, because in T.J. Miller's words, that would have been going "too far." And frankly, with Deadpool's R-rating and niche content, they need all the viewers they can get, so it's not a great idea to alienate half of the audience for the sake of pandering.

The marketing team is well aware of this, so they've been pushing the love story aspect of the movie to their female demographic (because of course, women will only watch a superhero movie if it's really a love story). That being said, the love story is actually a complete success. Morena Baccarin's Vanessa is a snarky, formidable opponent for Wade Wilson, and their sex scenes are surprisingly sex positive and egalitarian, especially in their frank depiction and discussion of cunnilingus. Their relationship is actually based on a meeting of the minds, which is more than I can say for any other superhero romance in recent memory. But then, they had to go and ruin that by making her serve the sole function of being the "damsel-in-distress" that motivated Deadpool to go after the main villain (a man, of course).




But it's a testament to the film that in spite of its sexism, I absolutely loved Deadpool. The audience was laughing out loud throughout the movie, both out of mirth and just the right amount of shock and disgust. Ryan Reynolds embodies the role perfectly; Wade Wilson is for him what Mark Watney was for Matt Damon. And yes, the early reviews were right: the MCU should watch its back, because this was the best Marvel adaptation so far.
Science Fiction
Comic Book Movies
Marvel
Deadpool
Secret Wars

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