Deadpool

It took roughly a decade for pinheads at Fox to give Deadpool the green light, and now Ryan Reynolds and Co. can officially have the last laugh. The “Merc with the mouth” crushed records over Valentine’s Day weekend for an R-rated movie: $135 million in North America and $125 million overseas.

The plot of Deadpool is fairly straightforward:  Wade Wilson loves a girl. Wade Wilson gets terminal cancer. Wade Wilson opts into an experiment he thinks will save his life and inadvertently gets duped by some nasty characters. Then, it’s time for revenge. Along the way he is aided by Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic).

In short, director Tim Miller makes sure that fans of Wade Wilson get everything they wanted from such a movie and more for 108 minutes. It’s witty, it’s raunchy, and it’s got plenty of action and even heart. There is also a death-by-Zamboni scene that is an instant classic.

Perhaps most surprisingly was the extended screen time for Colossus. I feared he would be in the movie for about one minute due to budget constraints, but that was not the case. He even was crowned the film’s moral compass.

At one point in the film he says to Deadpool:

“Four or five moments. Four or five moments — that’s all it takes to be a hero. Everyone thinks it’s a full-time job. Wake up a hero. Brush your teeth a hero. Go to work a hero. Not true. Over a lifetime there are only four or five moments that really matter. Moments when you’re offered a choice to make a sacrifice, conquer a flaw, save a friend — spare an enemy. In these moments everything else falls away.

What happens after this speech completely sums up who Wade Wilson is and why it would be best if he never joined the X-Men.

With that said, it must be stated that Deadpool is not for everyone and it is certainly not a movie for kids. More socially conservative viewers will certainly be disappointed with Stan Lee’s cameo (I laughed, but thought he probably should have passed on the offer for that specific scene), and anyone who is offended by sexual jokes or nudity should save their money.

There is no doubt that a sequel for Deadpool is already in the works — and this time Fox will put it on the fast track. The creative team that takes on the project would do themselves many favors by keeping a character like Colossus, an angel over Wilson’s shoulder, nearby. If they put the same amount of love and effort into the follow-up, then the sky is the limit for the Deadpool franchise.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

24 comments

  1. I’m certainly a Marvel fan, but I can’t bring myself to see this one. As a Christian, I don’t feel that I could enjoy a movie so jam-packed with vulgarities in good conscience. I guess it comes down to personal conviction. It’s a shame, because I championed Ryan Reynolds getting this movie made for years.

    On a happier note, I’m really looking forward to Batman v Superman next month, as well as Civil War. Both look excellent and decidedly more family friendly. I look forward to reading your thoughts on them!

    1. “I’m certainly a Marvel fan, but I can’t bring myself to see this one. As a Christian, I don’t feel that I could enjoy a movie so jam-packed with vulgarities in good conscience.”

      I totally hear you on that one, Grant. I am typically not a fan of anti-heroes, which is why I don’t collect Deadpool or The Punisher comic books. I’m in a tough place with reviewing the films because the material naturally lends itself to darker fare. If the director wanted it to be a hard-R, then I would feel awkward reviewing from the point of view that it should have been PG-13. I’m not opposed to the R-rated material, but I do think any parent who would take a 10-year-old kid to see it has some problems. I didn’t see that at the showing I went to, but there have been movies in the past where that kind of thing happened and I just have to shake my head.

      I think if Colossus was not in this movie then it would have possibly drowned in its own darkness. Having Colossus as that moral compass…calling Wilson to the light — even if he refused — was the right choice for the film.

      “On a happier note, I’m really looking forward to Batman v Superman next month, as well as Civil War. Both look excellent and decidedly more family friendly.”

      Agreed. There will be some fun times at the theater in 2016. 🙂

  2. My dad keeps asking me who Deadpool is. I just smile and tell him to go see the movie. 😉

    “There is no doubt that a sequel for Deadpool is already in the works”

    I believe Fox already scheduled it. ‘Course, they had also scheduled a sequel to Fantastic Four for a while, but unlike that little project, “Deadpool” is dominating the box-office, so it’ll actually happen. Initial reports say Cable will appear (and that Reynolds will appear in the X-Force movie).

  3. I enjoyed the film and agree with Doug that without Colossus being in the film it would have had no moral compass and would have been far darker. I hope they bring back Colossus in the sequel but if they go the Cable route that may be unlikely.

    The Zamboni scene had the audience in stitches.

    Deadpool offers something different to the Superhero film market while also being reliably recognisable. In the UK it is a 15 certificate and nobody under 15 is allowed into the cinema. This will appeal to people who may not like seeing their superhero movies surrounded by families where the kids chat or constantly need toilet breaks if bored.

    Of all the Stan Lee cameo’s I have to ask why he was even invited. He had nothing to do with the character. His constant cameos are beyond a joke now.

  4. I think a cameo by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza would of been more appropriate, they created the character. At this point I am finding the Stan Cameos to be distracting instead of fun.

    I’m a longtime fan of the character and enjoyed the film immensely. I think the marketing was right on and they never lead anyone to believe this was a typical superhero movie. No one should wander into this film and not know what they’re getting into.

    Deadpool as a character has really worked well when playing off another hero. This gives the writers a chance to poke fun at the superhero genere through Deadpool. Deadpool’s redeemable qualities are also given a chance to shine. Naturally I loved the inclusion of Colossus, he let movie goers know Wade is more than crazy, funny and ammoral.

    The movie also has to be one of the best translations of a character from page to screen. The translation is something I think Fox and Sony have struggled with consistently. Fox seems to be getting better with the X-Men soft reboot. Sony has always been off with Spider-Man to me.

    1. I didn’t know, and usually I don’t pick up on all the little stuff the first viewing unless I am looking for it. I will look out for it when I see it again on home release. Thanks.

    2. “The movie also has to be one of the best translations of a character from page to screen.”

      How does it compare to Sir Patrick Stewart as Professor X, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, and Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man? (I understand they’re considered the benchmarks for perfect casting/bringing comic book characters to the big screen.)

      “Sony has always been off with Spider-Man to me.”

      How so? I always thought the Sam Raimi trilogy was pretty faithful to the source material (and, for what it’s worth, the second one is considered one of the greats in the genre). I though the Mark Webb movies were “off,” but I think it was bad writing and over-emphasizing specific traits of the character, more than anything else. Webb at least understood the character, unlike Marvel’s current comic creators, even if the delivery was botched.

    3. I should of been more clear, I mean the movie as whole and not just an actor. But I would like to offer some response.

      Sir Patrick Stewart perfectly captured Professor X, I don’t think the first three X-Men movies did a great job of capturing the X-Men franchise as a whole. I think Jackman and Sir Ian Mckellen did a good job with their characters too. I’ve read some of the Claremont run and most of the 90’s X-Men.

      I don’t have enough experience with Iron Man comics to judge Robert Downy Jr’s interpretation of the character. The first movie is excellent and I find him very entertaining as Stark.

      J.K. Simmons is J. Jonah Jameson come to life. He was perfect, one of my favorite comic to screen characters. I’ve read a large chunk of Amazing Spider-Man from the 60’s to today.

      One of the impressions I took away from the Stan years was that the young Peter Parker could be angry. It was an anger born of frustration, nothing evil, just normal young person stuff. This is the kid that told off the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. I always felt Tobey Maguire came off too wimpy at times in the Rami movies. I could go on for a long time on this, I tried to be concise.

      I agree with you on the Webb movies.

  5. I was worried they might water the character down, but these worries proved to be unfounded. Deadpool was hilarious and was everything you’d expect from this raunchy character.

    I was alarmed at the amount of VERY young kids at the showing I went to, though. WTF is wrong with parents? This is certainly not a kids movie.

    1. “I was alarmed at the amount of VERY young kids at the showing I went to, though. WTF is wrong with parents? This is certainly not a kids movie.”

      When my wife and I were in line for tickets there was a little kid (maybe 8-10?) on his cell phone looking at Deadpool stuff and I wondered if he would be in the theater or if his parents were taking him to see something else. It was a strange thing to see.

      Side note: Why does some little kid need a smartphone, anyway? Get off my lawn!

  6. “…anyone who is offended by sexual jokes or nudity should save their money.”

    Rats, when the movie was first announced, I thought it sounded interesting. I really hope that the material was there because the story they were telling needed it and not just because they wanted to make an edgy movie. I also really hope you don’t have to see this to understand what’s going on in the future movies (the way if you skip any MCU movie not called “The Incredible Hulk,” you’re going to be a little lost).

    I’m a little confused, is “Deadpool” supposed to be a part of the “X-Men” film series continuity, or is it a standalone movie (like how Aang Lee’s “Hulk” and “Big Hero 6” are Marvel movies, but not part of the MCU)? I only saw one trailer and heard a few rumors, and it sounded like didn’t fit in with the canon as established by the rest of the movies (especially “X2” and “Origins: Wolverine”).

    Along similar lines, is this version of Deadpool “accurate” to the comics? I recall that the “Origins: Wolverine” version of the character was not well received because of liberties taken. (In fact, I remember discussing this elsewhere on this website; I took the unpopular opinion that the fourth-wall-breaking, comic accurate version of Deadpool wouldn’t have worked in the grounded approach the “X-Men” films have, and so the changes were needed for the character to be part of the world. I also thought that the pre-Weapon XI Wade Wilson was pretty close to the comics counterpart, so I saw him becoming Weapon XI was less of a betrayal of the character and more of them giving him a different life course. Your millage may vary, of course.)

    1. Without giving too much away, he gets help from certain X-Men, and there are several snide references to how the “Origins” version of the character was received. That said, they didn’t try to tie this take in with that version at all story-wise.

    2. So, are we talking like “Jurassic World”/”Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” where the unpopular movies (“The Lost World”/”Jurassic Park III”/”Star Wars” prequels) aren’t referred to, but there’s nothing in the current installment that would conflict with them? Or does the movie just assume that “Origins: Wolverine” is non-canon (which leads to problems, since “The Wolverine” and “Days of Future Past” tie into “Origins”)?

  7. Best death scene? (by zamboini) Heck this movie had the best OPENING CREDITS ever.

    There is no doubt that a sequel for Deadpool is already in the works — and this time Fox will put it on the fast track. The creative team that takes on the project would do themselves many favors by keeping a character like Colossus, an angel over Wilson’s shoulder, nearby.

    Somebody didn’t stay after the credits…

    (where deadpool told us they’re already trying to cast Cable – I haven’t read the original run or anything, but going by what I know of him, I’m guess he’d be the angel to deadpool’s devil)

  8. I love Colossus, so I can’t wait to see this movie…which will be a while because I always watch movies with my kids, and I won’t take them to see Deadpool in a theater.

    That said, I rarely hide anything from them, I explain everything and push hard the differences between fantasy and reality. Some of my peers are critical of my approach, but the kids rarely take TV violence seriously while at the same time take real life violence very seriously.

    Anyway, I had some things to say about anti-heroes and heroes, but I think that’s more appropriate in the thread about the Daredevil season.

    1. “That said, I rarely hide anything from them, I explain everything and push hard the differences between fantasy and reality. Some of my peers are critical of my approach, but the kids rarely take TV violence seriously while at the same time take real life violence very seriously.”

      My parents were pretty cool about letting me see action movies when I was fairly young, although for the most part my entertainment consumption included healthy doses of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The Goonies. 🙂 I don’t have kids at this time, but it seems to me like the culture doesn’t allow them to actually be kids these days. When I was little there seemed to be a window of time where I was just allowed to be innocent, and it doesn’t seem to be that way anymore. Maybe I’m wrong.

  9. It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie and the right kind of tonic I needed after sitting through so many never-ending cookie cutter family friendly shlock from Marvel which barely ever holds up after ten minutes. I’ve seen it twice now and aim to make it a third going soon. Skyfall, DKRises and Spider-Man I are the other three I’ve seen three times.

    Colossus was a highlight, a nice wholesome moral centre that didn’t become disillusioned at the end. Even though Wade does horrible things, by the end of it he is still convinced he will make a great addition to the X-Men team. The Zamboni scene was hilarious, as was the jabs taken at SJWs when he attacks the females (is it wrong if I hit you, is it wrong if I don’t?), loads of laughs. #driveby.

    1. “It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie and the right kind of tonic I needed after sitting through so many never-ending cookie cutter family friendly shlock from Marvel which barely ever holds up after ten minutes.”

      Now tell us what you really think of the Marvel movies, zariusii. 😉

      I probably should have mentioned the jokes at feminists’ expense in the review, huh? That was pretty funny!

    2. I’ve just not been impressed with the last lot of Marvel films. I sort of liked Ant-Man but given that film was in development hell since 2008, it’s had time in the oven and thus doesn’t come off as poorly thought out and as rushed

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