‘Deadpool’: not your average superhero


Molly Flinchum

Do you want to see a superhero try to save the world? A moral, uplifting character to inspire young children to be good and care for the welfare of others? I’m sorry, but “Deadpool” is not this character, and this is not that kind of movie.

“Deadpool” is the story of Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds, a mercenary who is diagnosed with cancer just as he and his fiancé start working toward a life together. One day he is offered the chance to rid his body of cancer and make himself into the world’s newest superhero. However, this is not a superhero movie.

Released on Feb. 12, “Deadpool” breaks the fourth wall, where the fictional character is involved in the plot but also acknowledges the audience, and holds a middle finger up at its own production with opening titles that say the film was produced by “asshats” and directed by “an overpaid tool.” “Deadpool” is tied in with the X-Men universe, but filmmakers were not afraid to make jokes about the large number of comic strip superhero movies being released in such a short period of time.

This movie would be nothing without its foul-mouthed, Freddy Krueger-faced frontman Reynolds. He never stops talking throughout the whole movie; he is either bad mouthing the characters around him or talking his thoughts directly to the audience, true to comic book form.

IGN Entertainment’s Daniel Krupa wrote, “He’s charismatic, exuberant and larger-than-life, which isn’t easy considering how much of the film he spent either in a full-body costume or beneath heavy prosthetics.”

Reynolds isn’t all crass humor and foul language though. He brings a genuine hilarity to the movie. He also brings an absurd amount of one-liners and penis jokes, though each one was worth at least a chuckle.

His strongest humor comes in during offbeat situations like taking a cab to the main fight scene or making jokes at a woman as she struggles to build IKEA furniture. Reynolds leaves no moment for humor behind, and he never fails to hit the nail on the head with his jokes and absurd behavior.

The “merc with a mouth” is the newest record-breaking box office hero, according to Entertainment Weekly’s website. One of their writers, Devan Coggan, wrote that the movie brought in about $135 million dollars during its opening weekend. That makes “Deadpool” the first R rated movie to break $100 million in its opening weekend, Coggan said. This surpassed the record sales set last year by the “Fifty Shades of Grey” premiere.

If you feel the urge to check Rotten Tomatoes before throwing your money to the local movie theater, let me save you the trouble: even Rotten Tomatoes thinks highly of “Deadpool.”

The website gave the movie an 84% rating, with 159 fresh ratings and only 31 rotten. The critics consensus said, “Fast, funny and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting ‘Deadpool’ subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining, and decidedly non-family friendly, results.”

I have grown up in a comic book culture. No, I’m not a marvel fan because I saw Toby McGuire spinning webs as a child. On Saturdays, my friends and I would visit our local comic book shop and pick up whatever new comics had arrived to the store. One of those days I saw the red masked man on the cover holding a taco in his hand, which was interesting enough for me to pick up.

I read through the comic and the character cursed when he was punched in the gut, spit out crude humor at every possible chance and spoke directly to me as a comic reader, breaking the fourth wall.

He didn’t pretend he had some divine mission to accomplish or that good always wins in the end. “Deadpool” is so humanistic that I could do much more than look up to him, I could relate to him.

Watching the movie was exactly like reading the comic. Reynolds speaks directly to the audience, pointing out what was important, what was funny and what he was feeling in the exact moment of every situation.

Nothing was sugar-coated in an attempt to make this movie for the whole family. Every lack of political correctness and flip of the bird added sincerity of the movie keeping to its comic predecessor.

This movie was the beginning to what I hope becomes a very beautiful addition to the superhero movie franchise. With the ties to X-Men made within the film, I can only hope to see more of “Deadpool” beyond the sequel that has already been announced. To quote the movie, “’Deadpool’…that sounds like a franchise.” This is only the beginning. We will be seeing much more of this mercenary.

4 out of 5 stars.

By: Molly Flinchum, A&E Reporter