That guy from Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place has really made a name for himself, and for once I’m not talking about Nathan Fillion. I’m talking about Richard Ruccolo of course. I can see I’m getting some blank stares on that. I’m kidding. No one is talking about Richard Ruccolo. Congrats to him for finding this review when his Google alert for his own name points him here.
We’re talking about Deadpool, right? Yes but go back and watch reruns of TGGPP. It was a highly underrated sitcom.
No one on a comic book website cares about that. They care about the Merc With a Mouth unless you don’t and you find Deadpool annoying. In that case, go watch reruns of TGGPP and we can talk later. You really won’t care about this review.
First though, here is your 100% spoiler free plot synopsis on the Deadpool movie:
Set in a small coastal, Massachusetts town called Capeside, Deadpool tells the story of four teenagers as they struggle through adolescence. This is particularly true for 15-Year-Old Wade Wilson, an introspective dreamer and Joey Potter, a precocious tomboy unaware of her beauty. Best friends since childhood, they are about to enter that confusing time in life where nothing is the way it was and nothing is as it seems.
That’s pretty much it. Think “The English Patient” if Ralph Fiennes brutally killed everyone after he was badly burned. If you haven’t seen The English Patient put that one in your Netflix queue right after TGGPP. The English Patient is like Deadpool if he didn’t kill everyone after being horribly disfigured.
I should start giving some inclination that I’ve actually seen this movie.
Deadpool feels like an apology letter from Fox. Apart from maybe The Wolverine and X2, I’m not sure Fox has made a comic book film that tonally fits with the comic and is true to the characters. Even X2 to more hardcore X-Men fans doesn’t work. Deadpool is an apology for all the other X-Men, Fantastic Four, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to comic book fans. Before you say that the last two X-Men films were good, they were okay movies, but almost entirely ignored who most of those characters ever were in the comics. They were superhero movies, but not really true to the comics.
Deadpool is true to the comics. Through some amazing act the filmmakers involved in this movie were allowed to actually bring Deadpool to life in the manner which the fans really want to see him, and it seems like the studio let the filmmakers do that completely. From the opening credits of the film you immediately know someone somewhere finally gets that if you honestly translate a character comic book fans love to the screen, there’s a reason he’s loved, and even non-comic book readers are going to fall in love as well.
The true tone of the film and most of the characters and plot feel straight from a Joe Kelly issue of Deadpool. While the subject matter and dialogue sometimes far outstretch anything Joe Kelly would’ve probably written, overall it really does feel like it was pulled from his run on the series. Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience several times, which was an established joke point after Joe Kelly’s run, but the very heavy meta references feel right in line with the sort of material that writer established with his stamp on the character.
The action in the film is really pretty incredible. It is extremely violent (only part of the reason for the R-Rating kiddos), but there is a cartoonish factor to it which allows it to not feel gory. It is definitely gratuitous, but Deadpool would want it that way. The CGI in the film isn’t always the best, but in a way it helps lend a feel that this is a comic book translation and comic books are ridiculous and can’t always be translated perfectly to real life. If you loved or even liked the VFX reel that leaked onto the internet and actually caused this film to be made, then it probably won’t bother you at all. If you didn’t like that, then don’t even bother going to see this movie.
Just because something feels like a perfect translation doesn’t mean it is a perfect film. It definitely has its flaws. The largest one I felt was the damsel-in-distress portion of the film. Deadpool is the one character that could’ve completely flipped this plot line somehow on its head and really had fun with it, but didn’t. This is not just some pro-feminist point, it is also the tired trope and cliché in too many movies. The latest Mission Impossible was one of the first and best action movies to really reinvent and rethink that and do it well, and I would’ve just liked to see this movie really take it a step further. In no way does that mean there aren’t strong female characters. In fact, the strongest characters in the movie are literally female.
This isn’t a complaint by me but this is not at all a movie for kids. There are a lot of adults that probably don’t need to watch this movie either. The best way to put this is “what if Kevin Smith infused his humor into Blade II?” I think that about accounts for most of the violence and inappropriate humor in this film. Seriously, if any Kevin Smith film or if the Hangover films were borderline you walking out on, then don’t waste your money on this film. Personally Kevin Smith has made some of my favorite films, so I put this comparison in the positive column. You can make your own judgement on that (and on me, mom). If Blade II was too violent for you, this may not be a movie for you either.
All-in-all, the best way to look at this film is through the marketing, which has really been done perfectly. Everything is there to tell you everything you need to know about making a decision to go see this film. If you’re on the fence or concerned about whether this movie is right for you, I really think if you watch the red-band trailer or the original VFX leaked footage from over a year ago that’s a telling summary of the movie. If that makes you excited, then go see this movie. If that makes you want to go to confession, don’t see this movie.
This is definitely one I’ll probably see again in the theater and I’ll be pre-ordering the already announced unrated Blu-Ray as soon as it is available.