Monday, March 14, 2016

Deadpool (2016)

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Shortly after the Avengers movie (is it really already four years?), I decided superhero movies were not for me. I loved comic books when I was a kid and I probably would love these blockbuster franchises too, maybe. Also Harry Potter, while I'm at it. Where's my second childhood?! My point is, I went to Deadpool based on word of mouth, and also because it was a big hit so I was curious. And found that, except for a bad case of having its cake and eating it too, it's a likable enough warm and fuzzy acerbic black comedy. Yes, the main target is easy: superhero movies. I don't know the Deadpool comic book at all, but this movie is two things: funny and action-packed. I suspect, on the latter point, it's nothing special these days. The Avengers was full of these balletic fight scenes. Still, Deadpool seemed entirely sufficient to me, and I was downright impressed with the freewheeling POV and the way it slows, speeds, or even stops the action at will. Cool beans. But it's best, I must say, at skewering the enterprise. Deadpool is a superhero—or, well, he's a mutant, so we are in the X-Menny corner of the Marvel universe. Some of their names are dropped, but the only two who appear—Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (yes, that's what she goes by)—are more like mutant back-benchers. Deadpool is a little bit nutty and a little bit sadistic. This is his origin story, so you'll find out all about that. In fact, it's a point of honor to him that he's not a hero, by his own repeated declaration. Whatever. He wears a costume so that answers that question, although, in fairness, in his case it looks like for once the costume helps more than hinders, and there are reasons for things like it being red (although I don't understand the eye holes). His mutant "power" is that nothing ever kills him, along with possessing a real sharp set of reflexes. Obviously immortality comes in handy, and there are larger questions beyond if someone ever has a mind. It's a Frankenstein movie in many ways, though more often playing by familiar superhero movie rules, which it calls attention to, all brat style, as it goes. As for the origin, it's the usual radioactive spider kind of deal, but there are some surprises, such as a type of torture that takes waterboarding to its next logical level. Yes, I should warn, there's torture, but it's more militarist, in the James Bond / Cold War vein, helmed by a mad scientist—more efficient, less pornographic. There's some pathos here too, as the love story is reasonably tender and believable. But more than anything it's funny, sending up the whole gig even as it indulges it shamelessly. Definitely worth a look.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, very big w/ high school boys has been my impression.