Like so many others, I was riding the tracks of the hype train leading up to the release of this new Marvel feature. After my first viewing I decided not to write anything on it as I didn’t want to give an over-excited portrayal of the film. (Especially as I watched it on my birthday, within it’s first week of release. The hype was too real.) Giving myself the chance to watch it again, this time with the intention of being critical, I feel confident that I won’t simply be fondling the bollocks of it’s creators simply from the enjoyment of my initial viewing. So, what did I think of it?
It. Was. Awesome.
That’s not to say it’s without its flaws – no film is flawless. However, I believe -without a doubt- that this is one of Marvel’s best releases in years. It’s clear that the writers (the true heroes, here) really understand Deadpool as a character and wanted to convert him (in all his witty, violent, Chimichanga loving glory) as best they could, without sacrificing the plot. While comic book characters are open for interpretation when adapting them in whatever form of media you’re creating (whether that be your own comic on a pre-existing character, a movie adaptation, or even a fanfiction to be posted online), there is one thing undeniable and unchangeable about Deadpool: his comedy. He is “the merc with a mouth”, having his humour being a large part of his personality. It’s clear that he uses his wit to add to the ‘I don’t give a fuck what you think’ attitude constantly shown throughout his behaviour over all comics he’s featured within. So for anyone who enjoys Deadpool as a character who hasn’t seen the new release yet, you’ll definitely enjoy this.
Having said that, I do appreciate that his humour isn’t everybody’s taste. So if you’re unfamiliar to his character and are still undecided to whether you want to watch it, I’d recommend doing a little research into his usual behaviours and jokes; while I enjoyed the film a lot and want the studio to gain a lot from what I think is one of their best features, there’s no point in you spending money on something you won’t be that into.
Now let’s get to the fun part: violence!
I for one was just as excited as the next nerd to hear Deadpool wasn’t going to be censored, landing an age 15 rating in the UK (an R rating in the U.S), meaning his potty mouth and violence wouldn’t be hugely held back. Of course, this isn’t a film made for the shock value of seeing a decapitation or bodies being splattered – it has a plot and well written (and well acted) characters; the violence isn’t something that should be solely looked forward to, or singled out for anticipation. It’s simply something that, like the humour, goes hand-in-hand with Deadpool as a character. He’s a mercenary by trade when he lives as Wade Wilson (before gaining his healing powers), and has no reason to stop killing for personal gain (and partial enjoyment) when Wade becomes Deadpool.
Alongside that, I think a little added violence with our action makes it easier to digest. If you’re not a fan of violence in cinema then that statement may seem like an odd one to you, but hear me out; I think it’s really great to see action in a film that genuinely pulls a whole audience in (including myself – someone who usually avoids films that have a high amount of action as I never find it engaging enough, and usually quite predictable). In a time when most action in film and television is very contrived, it’s refreshing and reassuring to see films that are willing to put in the effort to not dull down the violence that inevitably comes with action sequences. Of course, some of the action in this film, like any, will look very rehearsed. That’s not my issue with most action in movies – I simply can’t stand when all of the action looks staged, bloodless, and overtakes the plot of the film. My main example of this would be in the series of Avengers movies that have been spawning over the last few years. I find the action in these films (and each of the heroes’ individual counterparts) are over played, making the actual plot underwhelming and (seemingly) less important, and to top it off the action has been purified to welcome a family-friendly audience. I call that bullshit.
In my opinion, if you’re going to shove so much action in our faces that the plot is down-played because of it, you should at least make it realistic and show the violence that would, really, play out if this were a plausible scene to occur in real life.
While the action isn’t too heavy in this film (as it serves as an origin movie, over anything), it is something to expect and something I think was well played. It wasn’t over the top, it only added entertainment to an already enjoyable movie, and the pacing was on point throughout.
There were a few little things that bothered me, (action spoiler coming up!) like how a bullet that was shot at about 2ft distance from someone could build enough momentum to pass through three skulls; or how he lit a match stick that had been laying in his mouth for at least 5 minutes. There were also some parts that were a little too predictable, and some lines you knew were coming before they’d been spoken but these are all minor issues that, while I won’t ignore, I can forgive, as they’re not too common and don’t ruin the overall enjoyment I found in both viewings of the film.
The last thing I want to talk about is the breaking of the fourth wall. It wouldn’t be Deadpool without the occasional comment addressed to the consumer, or nod at the fact that he either realises -on some level- that he is a work of fiction, or simply that there is something much larger than he and those in his world that can see his actions. Much like in the comics, he not only addresses the audience in several points, but also makes knocks at the tropes that come with the superhero genre, as well as the acknowledgement that he’s in a film (as he sometimes does in the comics, too).
Like the action, I didn’t feel that they over played this part of him, and found a good balance of how often to add a breaking of the fourth wall and in what scenes it would be necessary.
Overall, I’d call it a success of a Marvel film. The pacing was great, the portrayal of his character was perfect, and it was all around an enjoyable film in my books. There were a few things I think were nothing to write home about – namely the directing/lack of creativity used for shots in many scenes (this video by YMS explains in more detail what I mean about creative shots), but I don’t feel that lowers the overall quality of the feature – it’s simply something that makes it very clear to be following Hollywood norms.
I personally feel it’s worth the money, but definitely look into him a little if you’re new to his character, in case he’s not up your street.