By Jessie Kuenzel
Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about the merits of the breakout box-office hit “Deadpool”:
“Mom! I just saw ‘Deadpool,’ and you and Dad should go see it!”
“No, I don’t think so. It just doesn’t sound that good.”
“I don’t like horror movies.”
“What? It’s not a horror movie. It’s a superhero movie.”
“Hmm…well then what’s the ‘dead pool’? That sounds pretty scary.”
“Nooooo, Deadpool isn’t a thing, it’s his superhero name!”
“Oh … no, I don’t think so. It just doesn’t sound that good.”
My mother is, much to my chagrin, almost always right about everything, but in this instance she is utterly and completely wrong. Don’t listen to her. “Deadpool” is amazing, and even if I couldn’t convince her to see it, hopefully after this article I’ll have convinced you.
(Please note: For the sake of simplicity, clarity, and because I didn’t feel like explaining the whole thing to her, I was a horrible child and lied to my mother. Aside from being the main character’s superhero moniker, the dead pool is also an actual thing in the movie. It’s just not, as she believed, a pool where people go to die.)
For those who may not know because they have been living under a rock, or more likely because they don’t follow the latest trends in the entertainment world—which is generally a totally valid lifestyle choice—“Deadpool” is the most recent installment in the seemingly endless assembly line of Marvel-universe superhero movies being churned out by Hollywood over the last few years. Unlike its cookie-cutter Avenger and X-Men counterparts, “Deadpool” completely shatters the superhero movie mold.
There is an important point that should be cleared up before we go any further for the sake of comic book fans, sticklers for proper usage of literary terms, or people who like the most accurate information in their articles: while “Deadpool” may be technically classed as a superhero movie, Deadpool himself is actually anything but “super.” He is a classic antihero—moody, exceptionally crass, violent, and generally every other quality that is the exact opposite of those possessed by Captain America.
The film, which hit theaters on Feb. 12, was produced by 20th Century Fox (owners of the X-Men franchise) and features the iconic, irreverent comic book character Wade Wilson—the special forces operative, turned mercenary, turned science experiment, turned revenge-seeking superpower-possesing antihero.
Over the course of 108 minutes, the audience is taken on a wild rollercoaster ride of emotion, action, and comedy, with a side of excessive swearing, blood, guts, sex, and awesomeness.
If excessive violence or crude humor is a deal breaker—the movie definitely earns its “R” rating, and then some—this is possibly a film that should be avoided. Although on the whole the directors and writers did an exceptional job of toeing the fine line between (very) explicit comedy and insensitive obscenity, there are a few brief moments that push right up to the limit of distasteful.
However, if you’re not turned off by its crass jokes or graphic violence, “Deadpool” really shines through as a one-of-a-kind frontrunner amongst a pack of comparatively bland box-office contemporaries.
Because of this, it’s tempting to give a blow-by-blow rundown of what will undoubtedly be one of the most unlikely top-grossing movies of 2016 (think the same status as “Mad Max: Fury Road” in 2015), but “Deadpool” is a wholly unique cinematic experience that really can’t be accurately be conveyed through paper and ink.
If you are still the type that’s looking for answers, here is a quick breakdown of the generic “movie review” facts about the film that you’ll want to know:
• Grossed 132.7 million in its first weekend
• Directed by Tim Miller; this was his first time lead-directing a movie
• Stars Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Morena Baccarin as the obligatory “love interest” character, T.J. Miller as the “comic relief,” and Ed Skrein as the “British villain”
• Officially renewed by 20th Century Fox for a sequel within its first 48 hours in theaters
• Reynolds, as Deadpool, breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience. Often.
• The film takes place in the X-Men universe, and features the lesser-known X-Men characters Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead
• Reynolds briefly introduced the Deadpool character in the 2009 film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and was well-known for frequently pushing movie producers to consider a full-length “Deadpool” film
• Currently has an 83 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes
• It’s really good
But none of this, nor anything else you might find written elsewhere, will ever be able to add up to give you an accurate concept of the outstanding, brilliant, bloody, hilarious, wonderful whole picture that is “Deadpool.” You should really just go see it.