Deadpool takes tongue-in-cheek to a whole, other-worldly level. Instead, it takes the tongue, attaches a samurai sword to it, gouges it through the cheek causing blood to spray everywhere and then laughs gleefully, skipping down the lane. In short, Deadpool is one crazy-f***ing movie that doesn’t give two s***s about anyting.
And it’s all thanks to the spandex-laden man himself. Known as the Merc with a Mouth, there’s nothing sacred that comes out of this guy’s mouth. He’s slanderous, nasty, bipolar, witty, referential, profane but always hilarious. Not to mention he slices, dices, decapitates, impales and kicks people’s heads off their shoulders and into the face of another person. I mean, there is not a single frame of this movie that’s not either absolutely filthy or gleefully violent. Genius.
Mind you, he’s not just a silly, dirty little man. What’s unique about his personality is that he embodies the type of modern day persona that audiences today find most compelling and even aspirational, as horrifying as that sounds. People would kill to have the way with words and aptitude for silliness that Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) possesses, being able to whip out the perfect response in any scenario, be as self-referential (mostly done through fourth-wall breaks) and be able to insult anyone with a combination of filthy words and inanimate objects. People today would rather be like Deadpool than the president. The personality he brings to the scenes makes it all the more special when he blows peoples heads off.
But it’s not just his crassness that makes him the beloved “hero” he is. It’s that through it all there is a certain innocent depravity to him that is almost childlike—like what Garbage Pail Kids were in the 80’s. He uses every dirty word in the book but also gets bursts of excitement like a kid on Christmas when he sees something extraordinary or squeals in fear like an infant when a hero friend rockets him upwards in a fiery explosion. He’s like a puppy…a murderous, humping-everything-that-moves puppy.
Like Robert Downey, Jr. before him in his ground-breaking role as Iron Man, after seeing Reynolds as Pool I can’t imagine anyone else doing the role. All his work in comedies—making use of his devil-may-care snark—to his roles in complex thrillers and decent action flicks have given him all the tools to make playing Pool as natural as a New Yorker insulting an elderly woman on a bus. More fun than work was had here and, in a sense, his performance makes Pool seem like a living-breathing person who exists among us.
It’s great too that he’s so accessible and goofy, because the movie he inhabits is hardly anything special. The love story is ordinary; the villain, though roguish and charming, is uninspired; and the story itself has been done a million times. I mean, I get that its necessary to tell the origin story, but after a certain point you can’t help but mutter the plot points under your breath like the lyrics to a song you can’t get out of your head. As well, it’s hard to imagine a sequel that will be much different, as the character himself is more entertaining than complex, making it seemingly impossible to delve deeper into him as a person.
No matter because, as I’ve said in previous writings, sometimes the job isn’t to reinvent the wheel but to simply tweak it in a way that allows you to remember why the wheel is so fracking awesome in the first place. Deadpool is a by-the-numbers superhero flick at its core, but is infused with foul language, buckets of blood, naked people, references galore (some most people won’t get and some that will cause the theater to erupt in laughter). The result is a movie that doesn’t care if you think its original or not; its too focused on not giving a s*** about anything.