Genre: Comic Adaptation Comedy
Runtime: 1 hour 48 minutes
Rating: R (SVNL)
Director :Tim Miller
After a decade in development hell the movie Deadpool is finally available in cinemas. I didn’t intend to see this movie, keeping with my policy of not watching Marvel stand alone superhero films because they are often little more than something to see as we wait for the next Avengers movie. My reluctance to see Deadpool is also somewhat affected by the once bitten twice shy fear that Antman created, that it was going to be a mindnumbingly dumb movie. I was actually at the cinema to see another movie, but a series of circumstances just made sure that Deadpool was the movie I saw. So the following are a few thoughts of mine on it
After more than a decade in development hell and as a reviewer describes it “more studio backing outs than diaper changes for a baby that ate Indian food” it is obvious that this movie had become an albatross like the one in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner around Marvel’s neck and they had to just find a way to release it. In fact one suspects that it is the reason why it was made a comedy, in order to be able to mask what would have been an otherwise forgettable and extremely boring movie. Tyrion Lannister tells Jon Snow in Game of Thrones “wear your deficiencies like an armour and it can never be used to hurt you.” That was precisely what Marvel did with Deadpool and it works, giving viewers a good, genuinely funny, but in the end eminently forgettable movie. It is almost as if Marvel just said, “if we are giving people a movie with a stock screenplay, a weak plot, over the top acting, campy dialogue and flat as a table top characters (more on that later), we might as well make them laugh while we do it right? at least the people are not going to think our movie is amateurish if they think it is funny.”
The movie is a comedy, and it is supposed to make us laugh, but Marvel, what happened to subtlety eh? Breaking the fourth wall and generally being on the nose about your own movie’s weaknesses can be really funny if used right, but use it too much and it becomes boring and irritating. The movie does have its really funny moments several even, the acting is over the top which makes it even more fantastically hillarious, and the running gag of Collosus as a noble hearted superhero caught in a crapsack world, gets the viewer laughing continuously, but the dialogue often flips from genuinely funny to obnoxiously campy, like someone forced to crack jokes at a funeral. We get it that Ryan Reynolds can’t act and Deadpool wasn’t treated well in X-Men origins, but we did not pay money to watch stuff like that being shoved down our throats every two minutes. Much of the movie, especially a large chunk of the parts where Reynolds is not wearing a mask is personified by Weasel (played by T.J. Miller), terrible, unfunny and on the nose dialogue copied straight out of an Adam Sandler movie (that is not a compliment). And someone tell Marvel that the main character’s gutter mouth and the movie’s R-rated dialogue is not a substitute for good comedy either.
As for the characters, that Ryan Reynolds cannot act to save his own life, is a known fact, the titular hero even wisecracks at it, but it is still a damning fact in a movie where Ryan Reynolds has his mask off most of the time. His Wade Wilson flashback scenes are boring, full of bad acting and mechanical dialogue, but he puts in a surprisingly good performance in his Deadpool scenes. The movie is about him and he carries it surprisingly well so maybe it does live up to the billing as his redemption from the turd called Green Lantern. It is a good thing he does that too, because it seems he is the only one who is genuinely interested in the movie, the other characters are just phoning it in, putting in deliberately weak efforts in order to avoid upstaging the star of the movie.Even when it seems they are not, they just do not have enough character development to make any appreciable impact in the movie (the weak plot may have something to do with this) Ajax/Francis Freeman, is an unmemorable villain and Ed Skrein didn’t help his character’s cause either, putting in a sub par performance. Angel Dust (Gina Carrano) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) were so wooden, dull and interchangeable, clichéd emo females, that you could swap them out and replace them with wooden poles painted purple and no one would notice a difference. And seriously have you ever heard a lamer superhero name than Negasonic Teenage Warhead? Marvel is really scratching the bottom of the barrel here, again maybe that is the essence of the movie, one that is trying to not take itself too seriously and thus even the characters’ names must be played for laughs.
To the movie’s credit though, the special effects are very good, and are used in a way that makes the movie even more hilarious. This is perhaps a lesson to Hollywood, that special effects budgets need not be the size of the GDP of a small country for a movie to be nice. The camera did a fine job too, like that cut away gag, where the camera makes it look like Wade and Vanessa are in bed having sex when they are actually standing upright at the Skee ball arena. Thus even if the movie suffer from a unconvincing plot, the production much more than makes up for it.
All things considered Deadpool is a okay movie, compared to some other big turds that Marvel has shat recently (Antman and Avengers: Age of Ultron I’m lookin at you) but it is undercut by Marvel’s policy to announce their movies years in advance, because then they barely have time to work on production and it affects the quality of the work. In the end, even though mediocre would be too stronga word to use for it, it is only just better than the run of the mill Marvel stand alone superhero movies. In other words don’t take it too seriously, because it is just something to watch until the next Avengers instalment.