I resisted reviewing this the first time around because I had little to say other than “I had a damn good time”. Is this a guilty pleasure movie? Is it just an exercise in bad-taste gags and pointed digs at our comic-book-dominated movie landscape? Well upon rewatch, I’m happy to say “no”. It’s not just that.
Whichever way you cut it, Deadpool is just a really entertaining movie. It’s dumb and immature but it speaks to a temperament we all have inside of us. It is absolutely a film of its time. You can’t help but see it as a response to the kiddie-friendly Marvel machine but the harsh-tongue, excessive violence and adult edge make it a very refreshing experience. The reliance on pop-culture references might date it in the long run and it will no doubt feel less relevant as the landscape progresses and evolves but when enjoyed in its moment the gags are relentless and razor sharp. It pretty much takes the template set by Kick-Ass a few years back and packages it into an even juicer burger. The film also benefits from having its nastiness inherent to the source-material. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT A DEADPOOL MOVIE SHOULD BE! By taking what works about the character on the page and rendering it in brilliant reality for the screen with a lead actor born to play this role (let’s be honest, Ryan Reynolds fucking smashed it) you have something of a slam dunk.
You know what else is cool? Most of this movie unfolds on a single stretch of highway! I’m aware this is a result of the budget being severely snipped prior to shooting, but the small-stakes and minuscule focus work to its advantage. It’s great to see a so-called superhero blockbuster with such small square footing. It forces the filmmakers to be more inventive and go big with small things. Whereas The Avengers can lay waste to entire cities, Deadpool has to make do with a single car-crash (which also doubles-up as a great title-sequence) and a finale in a scrap-yard. That’s about it. Nevertheless, director Tim Miller (Fincher’s go-to guy for cool title sequences) works overtime to make sure the film doesn’t disappoint visually. You’ll squirm, you’ll laugh…you might even get a boner or cry. This is one of those movies that elicits all sorts of responses and all of them are valid. Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love. We’re all in this together.
I never felt like Deadpool was missing anything. I liked the characters, even the nasty ones, and found its penchant for horrible humour a blast for Friday nights. I had very low expectations the first time around and the film really won me over. Second time, my fondness remains. Ryan Reynolds and co. deserve all the success in the world for believing in this for so long and finally getting it in front of us. I suspect it won’t take long for the knock-on effect of Deadpool‘s success to be the next cliche, so let’s all sit back and enjoy it while it lasts. Underdogs like this don’t come along very often.