Four or five moments…

There are four, maybe five, moments when Deadpool breaks from an hilarious parody of itself into a serious movie where you realize just how horrible people can be to each other. Otherwise, we are laughing and giggling all the way.

Normally, I would go on to comment about the cinematography (excellent) or the acting (well performed) and the script (perfect for this topic). Instead, I am going to compare this movie to other films that wanted to be Deadpool but weren’t.DeadPool - Thumb Up

A previous film tried to make Ryan Reynolds into a superhero; it was saddled with obvious CG, a poor script, and a complicated story. Deadpool shows that Ryan Reynolds was not at fault for the disaster that was Green Lantern.

Hancock tried to show what might happen with a superhero with real world physics. It jumped out of its own reality somewhere in the middle and lost its way. Deadpool opens with a high-speed chase that ends with a high-speed wreck. It ends with a fight in which dead bodies are posed to send a message. The knights of standards and practices have made moviemakers reticent about the violent things that happen in films. In Secret of the Ooze the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles never draw their weapons. Why? Leonardo is armed with two swords! Do you know what happens when a superhero swordsman fights a normal guy?

Deadpool shows you and it isn’t pretty.

Sporting an “R” rating, the movie flaunts it. While there is some gratuitous foul language, violence, nudity, drug references, and close-ups of Ryan Reynolds’s butt, it all flows together organically. Nothing feels tacked on just because they could, but neither is anything off the table because of some misguided attempt to protect children from … I have no idea what actively hiding the extreme danger associated with weapons is supposed to protect against, but Deadpool is not a movie aimed at kids.

Deadpool is also not aimed at serious moviegoers. And by that, I mean: it isn’t trying to be some groundbreaking statement about films, comics, or storytelling. It’s not avant-garde, and it won’t win any (non-technical) Oscars. It breaks the fourth wall (constantly), speaking directly to the audience, about just how silly this spectacle is. In that way, it is a statement about the nature of films in general and superhero films in particular, and that was probably a happy accident, which the filmmakers would deny if asked.

It fills the screen nicely, so it is worth seeing in the theatre. It is funny with a good story that doesn’t rely on big to be good, so it will probably hold up on blu-ray and cable later. However you choose to see it, if you laugh at any of the trailers, you will enjoy this film.

“What am I doing on this page?”

By the way, in case you didn’t get the joke in the header, The Dead Pool was a Dirty Harry movie starring Clint Eastwood. It was slightly less violent than Deadpool.