Oh, Deadpool. It’s hard to say anything about the Merc with a Mouth that hasn’t already been said. Today, just about everyone with a pulse knows who he is, a trained killer with the sense of humor of an unloved, prepubescent 13-year-old. But I remember when Deadpool was a name which was only uttered in the nerdiest of social circles, usually in conjunction with the phrase “breaking the 4th wall” to describe Wade Wilson’s knack for addressing his audience directly, sometimes even to comment on the lazy writing of his own dialogue. It’s a storytelling technique that has become so synonymous with the Marvel character that a crayon drawing of Deadpool fondling Hugh Jackman’s ball bag while blushing like an anime schoolgirl would be an appropriate substitute for a standard dictionary definition. But until only recently, Wade Wilson and his 4th-wall antics belonged to the nerds arguing over whose turn it was to play as Deadpool in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance or having in-depth debates about how Deadpool is secretly the most powerful hero in all of the Marvel Universe.
Evidently, Ryan Reynolds was one of those nerds. Never before has a Marvel superhero (cue Deadpool giving air-quote fingers around the word “superhero”) been so perfectly cast and written to resemble the original comic book character. To think that any other actor was ever even considered for the role of Deadpool is practically unthinkable. From his smart-ass humor in the face of brutal violence and death to his knack for stopping the action dead in its tracks to address the audience, Deadpool is perfectly encapsulated and represented on the silver screen.
It’s hard to understate just how rare it is for this to happen. With a new superhero movie being pumped out every three months, complaints about film studios’ inability to stay true to the origins of the characters established in the original comic books is fuel for fan boy rage. But I have yet to hear a single complaint about Deadpool, and I’m not remotely surprised. The writers didn’t give it the Christopher Nolan treatment or completely abandon the origin story of Deadpool altogether to fit a Hollywood-born narrative (ahem, X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Everyone involved with this film, from Ryan Reynolds to the writing team to director, Tim Miller, was clearly a fan of the source material and equally dedicated to bringing the original comic-book experience to life on the silver screen.
But here in lies the inherit problem of the film. You are not going to like Deadpool the movie unless you like Deadpool the character. I quickly realized (while watching the film with my girlfriend) his extreme personality does not appeal to everyone. And even I’ll admit, Deadpool can be a bit exhausting, even for me, as the humor can crossover into obnoxious territory fairly often. The punchline of the joke can only be “fuck sticks” or “shit licker” so many times before the the law of diminishing returns goes into effect. But alas, Deadpool, at his core, is obnoxious and annoying, so the film can’t be faulted for this. Especially since Deadpool the movie went on to break several box office records, becoming the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. A stat like that is evidence enough that Deadpool is well worth the price of a pair of movie tickets. Just make sure your significant other knows what they’re getting into if they don’t already.
Enjoy the trailer courtesy of 20th Century Fox