Deadpool: On Second Thought Thursday

In a screwed up way, Deadpool’s kind of a cute movie.

What was the hype all about? I kid you not, the first time I saw it, I shrugged it off. I’d seen and read so many reviews praising Deadpool as the next Iron Man and when I finally saw it, I couldn’t understand where that praise was coming from. Deadpool’s humor is very childish and meta and while it works for some scenes, there are many other moments where the humor comes off as annoying. Thankfully, we have Ryan Reynolds to make it tolerable.

For all its faults, Ryan Reynolds was not an issue; in fact, he holds this all together like Gorilla Glue. Every once in a blue moon, you get that match made in heaven like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and Heath Ledger as the Joker. Deadpool is the role that Ryan Reynolds was born to play. Ryan Reynolds seems to be best utilized when he’s allowed to be a little obnoxious rather than a straight-faced action star which is why Deadpool was such a logical fit for him. Reynolds still gets to play the superhero, but Deadpool is much more sinister than the traditional clean-cut protagonist and it works seeing a conventionally handsome actor like Ryan Reynolds embracing his edgier side even if it’s edgy in a juvenile way.

Even so, no matter how hard Reynolds tries to sell the humor, I never burst at the seams laughing. It’s a unique take on the genre, but there’s only so much meta you can dish out before it starts to get annoying. Calling out a villain for a “superhero landing” doesn’t mean much if you still end up doing the superhero landing anyway and Deadpool is full of tropes that it openly mocks. There’s a lot of shiny exterior to conceal an interior that doesn’t always work well.

Once I got over the dated jokes made for eighth graders, I thought it was pretty fun! Deadpool is a live-action Looney Tunes character written for adults and once I understood that, everything fell into place. The humor still isn’t as funny as it thinks it is, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I got a few chuckles here and there. Ryan Reynolds is still a joy to watch onscreen and I don’t know if he performed any of the stunts, but the action is pretty tight.

That opening sequence on the highway is bonkers and even though it looks artificial, the energy I felt was anything but! It’s a funny sequence that effectively sets the tone for the rest of the film and it’s easily the best moment in the whole movie. The violence lives up to its R-rating and every punch and kick landed had me wincing. While the meta humor didn’t work for me, the slapstick humor did. Everytime Deadpool loses a limb or breaks a bone, I laughed and groaned from how funny it was to see our antihero being put through so much punishment. It’s nice seeing how far they could push the envelope with the violence and gore. Amidst all the blood and gore, it also somehow manages to be kinda sweet.

Deadpool and Vanessa’s relationship is so cute despite how fast those two seem to move. A one-night stand suddenly becomes true love and if it weren’t for Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin’s chemistry, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. Of course, the third act turns Vanessa into the damsel in distress but the first act injects her with enough personality to make her memorable. There’s also some great chemistry with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead and they play off great with Deadpool’s obnoxious sensibilities. Gotta give a shout-out to Dopinder whose few minutes of screen time are memorable and actually aids in the theme of the film, which leads us to…

Deadpool’s a superhero film about how good looks aren’t everything; all you need is love and it’ll triumph over everything else. When Deadpool’s hanging in The cab with Dopinder, Deadpool explains that his motivation is to get his good looks back to win back Vanessa’s heart. Dopinder’s also fighting for the affections of a woman but his competition is his much more attractive cousin. As these two converse, both come to an understanding that looks don’t matter. Well, at least Deadpool gets it. It’s such a simple message but in a genre that’s always casting supermodels as superheroes, it’s a welcome shock to the system.

Deadpool’s humor hasn’t aged well and it goes for the cheap gag when it could go for the intimate character moments, but it still manages to deliver a crowd pleasing superhero movie that does have some unique qualities.

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