Title: Deadpool

Rating: 4 Stars

OK, I admit it. I’m a white male that enjoys action movies but doesn’t really enjoy superhero movies.

I used to. Specifically, I remember enjoying Sam Raimi’s Spiderman reboot.  The CGI was dazzling (for the time) and you got the sense that actors were actually acting in it. To this day, The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies. I couldn’t tear my eyes off the screen when Heath Ledger’s Joker was on. I appreciated the snarky anti-hero persona that Robert Downey Jr brought to Iron Man.

It just seems played out now. First of all, how many times do we have to destroy the metropolis that the superhero is trying to save? The CGI is so ubiquitous now that it’s lost its value. Oh look, there’s a skyscraper falling. Oh gosh, another bridge is collapsing.

At the end of the day, where’s the dramatic tension? How much peril is the protagonist even in? Does anyone really think that Batman is going to die? Can anyone even kill Superman?

Maybe it’s always been this way and I haven’t noticed, but the snarky charm that I so appreciated in Iron Man now seems to be the lingua franca of the genre. Everyone is now a smart-ass.

Not to mention (warning, old fogie alert) the impact that video games have had on action movies in general. The movie itself is now essentially a series of set piece action scenes that are linked together via the flimsiest of plots and character development defined by who has the wittiest banter (end old fogie alert, sorry).

So, at least for me, superhero movies today are more of an exercise in going on a carnival ride than a cinematic experience.  Carnival rides are fine, but I get bored pretty quickly of them.

So, Deadpool…

It pretty clearly suffers from everything that I just dismissed. Deadpool is the ultimate snarky smart-ass. Apparently, he quite literally cannot be killed, which kind of makes action scenes where he is in a mano a mano street fight somewhat ridiculous. And yes, an entire what appears to be an aircraft carrier is destroyed.

However, it does have some things going for it. First of all, Ryan Reynolds. He brings the same effortless charm / snark that Robert Downey Jr does. This is such a better vehicle for him then Green Lantern, and he hits it out of the park. He makes it appear effortless.

The movie has a high level of self awareness of itself. The audience is brought into the joke and the joke is actually quite funny. The fourth wall is broken regularly. It knows what it is and it stays contained within that.

In short, it was an enjoyable way to spend an hour an half or so. Negasonic Teenage Warhead really is a great name for an X character. There were many parts that were hilarious and the crowd at large all seemed to have a great time. I left smiling and feeling happy.

It’ll probably be a while before I feel the urge to hop on a carnival ride again.


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