This review is either pretty late or still early depending on where you live. If you are in the US or most other countries Deadpool came out months ago. If you live in Japan, like I do, it still isn’t out in theaters. It was actually quicker to wait for it to be released on iTunes and purchase it than to wait for it on the big screen. It was also cheaper. Ain’t that a kick in the pants?
director: Tim Miller
writer: Rhett Reese
Quick review: There was a time when I was pretty sure that only Marvel understood how to make a fun, quality superhero movie. This flick shows that good movies are not limited to one studio. It was delightful. Lots of action, lots of fun. Some good laughs. Much of the movie relies on the sheer charisma and charm of Ryan Reynolds and he delivers in a big way. It earns the R rating, so if you are squeamish you might not go for it.
Analysis: This movies success can be credited to a lot of things. Above I mentioned Reynolds being a mass of charisma. But there is also the talent of the supporting cast. Moreno Baccarin will be you new crush (again) and T.J. Miller is perfect as Weasel and as a weasel. The script gives everyone plenty of meat to work with and director Tim Miller assembles a fun bit of action.
And lets not forget that this movie is fun. And a bit dirty. But it is that good kind of dirty that features clever wordplay and a good dose of innuendo and not just straight up foulness. Well, foulness is still present but it comes off as smart rather than just delivering to the lowest common denominator.
But here is the thing I’m starting to realize. The best superhero movies are the ones that do not limit themselves to being a “superhero” movie. For so long, and in many ways still, superhero based movies and Tv shows were given lower expectations. How many times have you heard a thing described as “good for a superhero thing”? Or have criticisms dismissed because “it’s a superhero property, so what do you expect?” As if for some reason superheroes and quality writing and storytelling are mutually exclusive. (For example, I feel the first Thor movie has the stink of “just a superhero movie” all over it)
Deadpool, like Winter Soldier, does not seem to be limiting itself to being just a superhero flick. This is a well written revenge vessel with plenty of humor spliced into it. These characters are well written and fully realized. Its a journey picture. It just so happens that the main characters tend to wear costumes and have powers. This is the key to a good superhero movie. Write a good normal movie, but let characters have special powers.
Now, if I were to have a negative, it might have to do with Colossus. This is probably the best version of Colossus I’ve seen, but it also feels like it dips a little too close to the big-dumb-sensitive-Russian trope. There are some great Colossus moments, but he might be the character than feels the thinnest written.
Wrap up: At its heart Deadpool is a revenge flick about the main character wanting to punish those who did him wrong. But it is treated with with such fun and charm that it doesn’t feel heavy and comes off as infinitely rewatchable. Just writing this makes me want to turn it on and give it another watch.