Trump as ‘the Deadpool of national politics’? In many ways, yes

Deadpool Ryan Reynolds

Donald Trump has dominated news cycles for months, but perhaps the most apt description of the man came yesterday in a piece by The Federalist. Author James Poulos writes that cultural shifts, like the one that burst the “celebrity bubble” in the 90s, claim more than just the careers of actors, writers, and musicians. Politicians, too, he argues, can be crushed within sudden societal churning. That is why, he argues, we are now seeing the emergence of “the Deadpool of  national politics” — Trump.

Poulos writes:

How is it that others, but not you, know Trump perfectly inhabits the form of leadership that naturally emerged from our cultural moment? Even deeper and broader than the issue of the GOP base becoming completely disenchanted in the established party leadership is the problem that so many Americans (who are not senior citizens) just have zero respect for old-style politicians.

Even a young guy who’s auditioning for the part of tomorrow’s old-style politician — Marco Rubio — just doesn’t pass the derisive laugh test among the most culturally consequential Americans, whatever their class. Trying to reduce this situation to class makes as much sense as trying to decide whether “Deadpool” is highbrow, lowbrow, or middlebrow.

There was a moment when expectations shifted about what it was to be a real human being in politics, too, and the only major figure to apparently intentionally catch that wave was Trump. He is the Deadpool of national politics. You can agonize over this fact or you can deal with it.

Think about it:

  • Trump says whatever he wants — he’s completely unfiltered, like Deadpool. They both hate political correctness.
  • When Trump is damaged — even by self-inflicted wounds — he heals incredibly fast, like Deadpool.
  • Deadpool was created by unprincipled goons. Likewise, the creation of Trump in many ways hinges on the unprincipled goons of the Republican Party. They promised one thing, delivered another, and then laughed in the faces of those who expected them to live up to their word.
  • Deadpool lets the audience in on “the joke” by breaking the fourth wall. Likewise, Trump exposes “the joke” that is Washington, D.C.’s political class (on the left and the right).

It appears, unfortunately, as though the Republican Party will not listen to Poulos’ advice, but instead will continue to “agonize” over Trump. Meanwhile, Democrats like President Obama continue on their quest to “fundamentally transform” America. It’s a recipe for disaster.

America needs a Colossus in the White House, but perhaps it deserves Deadpool at this point. If nothing else, perhaps real-world Deadpool (and, sadly, the body count his administration will be responsible for) will show people that politics isn’t a joke. Maybe then the next cultural shift will attract serious men and women to the nation’s capital. Or not, and America will usher in its own “Age of Mephisto.”

 

Deadpool: Reynolds scores big, ‘Zamboni’ death scene a classic

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.

‘Deadpool’ trailer released — but will fans get the cinematic equivalent of ‘Chinese Democracy’?

Deadpool Ryan ReynoldsFor those who have been waiting for Ryan Reynolds to play Deadpool on the big screen since 2004’s Blade: Trinity — or perhaps even as far back as the late-90s sitcom Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place — the good news is that the first trailer is finally here. A red band trailer has been released as well. The bad news is a.) some of the jokes may have been sitting on the shelf since the late 90s, and b.) Fox may have set Deadpool up for failure with an extremely low budget. Right now it’s time to strip out the raw emotion of seeing the “Merc with a Mouth” in his own trailer and determine what looks promising and what does not.

Colossus DeadpoolIt seems undeniable that Ryan Reynolds has put in 100 percent effort into the role. The guy was basically born to play Deadpool, and since he’s in shape — and finally has a worthy costume — it’s hard not to smile whenever he is on screen. (I would still love to know the name of the Fox producer who gave Deadpool a generic costume and sewed his mouth shut for 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.)

With that said, there are some question marks raised by the trailer. Does it take place in the late 90s or early 2000s? What was the production budget? Can Deadpool succeed if Fox technically green-lighted the movie while simultaneously setting it up for failure?

Consider this: Why are there “Posh Spice” and “Rosie O’Donnell” references? Unless part of the movie takes place well over a decade ago, those jokes seem incredibly dated. Is the DMX music and the Salt-N-Pepa reference another movie flashback, or are the writers just letting Generation X Deadpool fans know that this movie is primarily for them?

Part of the problem with finally seeing Ryan Reynolds in the merc’s costume is that he’s been playing watered down versions of Wade Wilson on television and film for almost 20 years. On some level the new Deadpool movie has the same vibe as Axl Rose’s 2008 album “Chinese Democracy.” The album was actually pretty good — but it still felt like a product that was released too little, too late.

The other potential problem with Deadpool is its budget. Mr. Reynolds told MTV in January:

“We don’t have the kind of money that most superhero movies do, but that’s great, actually. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s why we get to make the movie we want to make.”

Ryan Reynolds gets an ‘A’ in Diplomacy 101, but at the end of the day one can’t help but wonder if Fox kneecapped Deadpool’s creative team and then said, “Okay, now go make a hit movie!”

Whether Deadpool is good or bad when it comes out in 2016, Ryan Reynolds and everyone who believed in this film should be given credit for essentially willing it into existence. They moved a creative mountain (or two) just to get the fools at Fox to allow the movie to be made. For that the writers, director, actors, and crew deserve a round of applause.