For those of us that prefer their superheroes to bow to moral ambiguity instead of towards traditional cookie-cutter, good guy molds, there seems much on offer today. It’s now almost di rigueur to ensure that we trawl the psychological depths of our heroes, giving them a healthy dark side of which to ruminate.
Deadpool has less of a dark side as much as being a twisted pervert. Early on in the film, we see him being penetrated from behind by his prostitute girlfriend (presumably with the aid of a sexual device)—later, when a friend sees his intense facial disfigurement, he is described as looking like “the inside of other people’s assholes.” Deadpool is not a movie for kids.
Though the plot is formulaic (our protagonist seeks out to save his kidnapped girlfriend), it scarcely matters due to the slick dialogue, relentless pace and perpetual gore, all spinning across the screen in rapid-fire moments. Deadpool is a wisecracking, gun-toting, sword wielding anti-hero that was a former special forces operator, turned mercenary, then later tortured and finally, mutated to gain special healing powers.
Exactly mirrored in the comic books, Deadpool realizes that he is a fictional character and frequently breaks the fourth wall, telling—asking, even—viewers exactly what they should expect in a superhero movie; some might find this cool, clever and wittily satirical, but for others, it might come off as a nuisance—a smug meta device for the hip and stupid. I’m inclined to the latter.
The jokes are good, too, such as the constant trolling of one of his allies: the excellently named Negasonic Teenage Warheard. The character looks like a goth Sinead O’Connor and Deadpool refuses to let her forget it.
A cocky, punky, spunky superhero film that received near universal critical acclaim as well as smashing box office records for an R-rated movie. It is remarkable to consider that the director, Tim Miller, is primarily a visual effects artists and that Deadpool is his directorial debut. It seems unlikely that anything quite as good as Deadpool is going to come out of the Marvel Universe on the big screen anytime soon, but the film’s success makes a sequel a certainty. If that hits the high notes of this film, fans are in for a treat.