2016, Movies

Deadpool (2016, Tim Miller)

I think it’s safe to say that this is the best Marvel film outside of one or two of the X-Men sequels – the recent ones have been shockingly good. This film is funny – it’s not just mildly amusing, like Guardians of the Galaxy – and it manages to preserve the rather elliptical nature of (this particular) comic storytelling rather intact – i.e. it feels more like a comic book movie than a Hollywood blockbuster (and I mean that as praise).  The short version is that it’s entertaining in ways that (most of) the massive Marvel blockbusters of recent years are not – it feels like it was meant for adults. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to see a Marvel film that treats me, the viewer, as an intelligent life-form, as opposed to a drooling fan who hasn’t yet left his mom’s basement.

All that being said, the movie is far from perfect and actually had some pretty weak moments. Here are a few issues:

  • Especially early on, a lot of the jokes don’t land – that’s not the end of the world, because there are more jokes per minute here than most comedies. But I don’t blame Reynolds. Rather I wonder if a filmmaker with a little more experience might have handled the comedy/action tightrope a little better.
  • The makeup to make Ryan Reynolds look ugly does not make him look particularly ugly. In fact, the descriptions of how ugly he is, particularly from TJ Miller’s character, are far, far worse. It might have been better to never show his face…
  • This movie mocks so many Marvel conventions – as well as other Hollywood conventions, tropes, and the like – and that’s great but it also follows them a little too closely to fully succeed as satire.
  • The filmmakers couldn’t resist the current trend to go big or go home and so the final set piece is insanely over the top, and no, that part is not mocked.

But, despite its flaws, I’d rather watch this than just about every other Marvel movie out there (save one or two, as I said) and it’s rewatchability is probably as high as anything that has yet been produced by this crazy comic book blockbuster fad we’re drowning in.


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