Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Deadpool: The Superhero Flick We Didn't Know We Needed

Remember when Guardians of the Galaxy came out? What a time to be alive, right? A superhero movie starring Chris Pratt that was super self aware, wasn't afraid to make fun of itself and its genre and was just good, old-fashioned, self-depricating humor.

Well then Deadpool comes along.

And while Guardians of the Galaxy is your new-wave family comedy, Deadpool is the adult comedy that we've all been waiting for.

Hi, I'm here to make super hero movies bearable for people your age.

Deadpool follows Wade Wilson, a (sort of?) hit man who now begrudgingly helps the weak. But he's no little bitch (his words, I'm sure, not mine). Life seems to be going pretty well for Wade, especially after he picks up a hot chick at a strip club and they discover that they're soul mates. There's one bummer though: Wade gets cancer. No, this is not a Fault in Our Stars scenario. In fact, Wade tries to think of ways to dodge this illness and comes up empty, until he's approached by a government man who says that he can cure him by causing his body to mutate. (Side note: this story takes place in the X-Men universe, so mutants are a thing.) After abandoning his girlfriend until he can cure himself, Wade goes through an excruciating process that's meant to pump his mutant genes into action. Needless to say, there's a nefarious head doctor. He ends up torturing Wade to the point that he gains insane healing powers, but at the cost of his dashing good looks. Wade then makes it his mission to seek his revenge on the doctor to get his looks back to normal, and ultimately marry the girl of his dreams.

But will he do it!?

So that's the plot, but I feel like I'm not doing justice to the tone of this movie.

It's like Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. The character is such a smart-ass, hilarious, lewd guy, and that is totally unexpected from most of the super hero movies that we're used to. Not to say that we don't get quips from Iron Man and or that most of the superhero movies that we've seen lately haven't stepped their game up in poking fun of the genre, but this takes it to a whole new level. Deadpool slays any expectation that the audience would've had at seeing a decent, upstanding citizen on the screen -- and the audience has been more than happy to root for an anti-hero that isn't plagued by alcoholism or inner demons or other things that bring down the mood (see: Jessica Jones or The Dark Knight).

To add to this unusual bundle of traits, Deadpool also has a tendency to break the fourth wall*. The character reveals plot holes, mentions budgets, and talks to the audience in a way that is so unusual, yet so refreshing. We know he's in a movie -- and so does he! (Side note: Deadpool is also notorious for doing this in the comics, if you care to look up some examples.)

Get it?

Honestly, one of the things that makes this movie so successful is that it's completely self-aware. It reacts to stereotypes in superhero tropes, making fun of them while simultaneously admitting that they're pretty f***ing cool. And it has fun. It's like hanging out with your older brother's hilarious, douchebag best friend for an hour and a half. Like, is he pretty gross and lewd? Sure. But is he real as hell and quick with comebacks? Hell yeah. Do you admire him for reasons that you don't understand? Exactly.

9 outa 10. Deadpool is refreshing and completely current for an audience who's tired of tropes.

Side note: ALL of the 90s R&B in this movie alone makes it worth seeing. That is all.

*Oh hey! Welcome to learning more about "breaking the fourth wall." "Breaking the fourth wall" is a term for when characters address an audience, or otherwise allude to the fact that they're in a work of fiction. This happens a lot in theater, when characters ask audience members for advice, or talk to them directly, before retreating back into the world of the work. Click here for examples.

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