Off VidAngel, of course. And I didn't really want to, but my brother did, so I kept him company, figuring that at least it would give a little more credence to my already-expressed low opinion of this film.
|I'm very glad I saw it; now that I know how dumb it is, I can forget all about it. And it only cost me 2 dollars! (I am not sponsored by VidAngel, but dang, I could be!)|
When the trailers came out, and the film released in theaters, this movie's existence made me mad. And sad. At first I thought it was a purely selfish reaction; that because I wouldn't allow myself to watch a film with content like that (but would have been very interested otherwise) I was annoyed that they didn't cater more to my preference. And while that is a little true -- obviously I'd wish all movies to be exactly my kind of movie -- I slowly realized, and have now confirmed the bigger truth behind the matter.
The truth is that I have never predicted a movie with such pinpoint accuracy as I did in February's Upcoming Movie post. Now I have seen my success.
Deadpool made me angry from the very beginning by exploiting its content. It seemed to exist only to be inappropriate. I didn't think that a movie like that could possibly be faithful to a comic book, so I did the only thing that could settle the matter for me, and started reading Deadpool comics. I've been reading them since before the film released, so I've got through a decent amount of them, and therefore had established an understanding of Mr. Pool's character all on my own before ever seeing this film. And I'm really glad I did. Not just because the comics are very entertaining and commonly hilarious (which they are) but because I now feel qualified to hate this film's rendition of the character to my heart's content (which I do).
|Don't worry buddy -- after this I love and appreciate the comic character even more!|
I'm not sure yet if I want to make direct comparisons between the comics and the film, but let's start out with a very broad statement on the subject: the only way the film could be less faithful to the comics is by changing its lead's name to Captain Mossbeard and having his superpower be an uncanny ability to completely avoid all injury with no effort at all. Okay, maybe not quite; comic Pool does have a penchant for babes (which never goes anywhere) and swearing (which always comes out like "@$&*$," even at a PG-13 level) and violence (which is directed way more towards him than his victims) and wacky jokes (which are original, funny, and comparatively quite clean). But in this movie's eyes, that's all there is to him. (I guess I did want to do some direct comparing.) And while I'm on the subject, the scene with the pizza delivery guy was pulled right out of the comics. Just sayin' -- that why it was cool. If only they'd done that for the rest of the movie.
Now on to the film. We set the VidAngel filters so that the film was basically rated R for violence (if we cut that out there wouldn't be anything left to watch), and PG for everything else. Oh, we left the S-words in -- but I soon regretted that. And you know, I don't mind sitting through language if the movie is worth it, but I didn't think this one would be worth one single F-bomb, and it turns out I was right. Watching this film was... an interesting experience. With all the sex, nudity, language and crude humor out of the way, all that was left to notice was the story that was under it all.
|At heart, Deadpool is a romance. One of the most typical and distracted romances I've ever seen.|
This is my overall impression of the movie: Dude falls in love with woman. Contracts cancer. Pushes woman away. Gets a cure which messes up his good looks. Tries to get his good looks and his woman back. On this base level, it's just drivel. Minus the good looks bit it's nothing more than a Hallmark movie -- and even then it's typical. But it doesn't matter that the basic plot is what lonely women paint their nails over on lazy Saturday afternoons, right? Because it's just a platform for everything else; a blank canvas to splash blood and gore on.
I guess everything that filled up the run time in between the plot was meant to distract so well that no one would ever notice. Extremely epic and violent superhero battles! Endearing romance! A non-stop onslaught of the most brilliant comedy you will ever see because you will die of laughter after you see it! Plus that one thing that's so unique to Deadpool that makes everyone love him; breaking the fourth wall! At this point who remembers that plot anyway? The movie's originality and brilliance is in those things, right?
Short answer: No. Long answer...
Noooooooooo. Let's start with an easy one; those fourth wall breaks -- one of my favorite things about Deadpool. (Besides the yellow and white thought bubbles that he has full conversations with, his random obscure references, and the plot twists that is.) They were made super easy by having the movie be narrated by Deadpool. So he'll just look at the camera while doing it every once in a while. I know. Riveting stuff. It was better when he did it more casually, like acknowledging the existence of Ryan Reynolds (even though he is Ryan Reynolds!), but the worst was the fourth wall within a fourth wall bit. "That's like, sixteen walls!" Um, no, it isn't. It's still just one. Apparently the movie's writers don't know what a fourth wall is. Or how to break one without ripping off Ferris Bueller.
|"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it." -- not Deadpool.|
On to the comedy. This will be quick because practically half of the punchlines were muted. Of what was left, most of the jokes didn't make sense (sixteen walls) or were just too immature to be funny. I counted about four moments total that I considered funny. Two of them were related to Megasonic Teenage Warhead, and one was the Hugh Jackman mask.
The romance was too closely connected with the plot to be any good. It was so typical and cliched it was ridiculous! I'm wracking my brain for one thing that was even slightly original and the only thing I can come up with is that the romance was between a prostitute and a mercenary. Even that sounds trite when I say it out loud.
Acting wasn't terrible. This kind of movie doesn't need it to be exceptional so it worked, but there was nothing noteworthy. I'd heard that people were impressed by Reynolds' performance, but it's really only good in comparison with Green Lantern, which is arguably the worst thing he's ever done, and also arguably the worst thing anyone has ever done. In comparison with his endless stream of dumb rom-coms, it was par for the course except with a hardcore haircut, and then uglifying prosthetics -- wait, forget that one... Just Friends. Personally, I was much more impressed with him in Safe House, and when he steers clear of any kind of comedy altogether.
|Certainly not the definitive Deadpool.|
Now the biggest disappointment: the action. And this was the one thing that I was expecting to actually be able to enjoy, but man, it was all pretty pathetic. And that really surprised me, especially considering that the action was completely unedited for my viewing. There were the parts that were R-rated, mainly on the bridge, totally only there to be R-rated, and nothing special besides having extra gore and unrealistically sized bullet holes. And then there was the stuff that was the action; fighting, running, spinning jumps, dodging bullets and mowing down the faceless extras. And guys, it is with a shaking head that I write this: That stuff was boring. I kid not. I exaggerate not. It was completely lifeless. I guess that's what I get for expecting DisneyMarvel-quality action out of a FoxMarvel movie, but there were no cool stunts, and almost no choreography at all let alone good choreography. And everything looked very cheap. They spent their whole budget on strippers I guess.
One more thing to rant about and then I'll wrap up. The ending. The ending is where all the terrible elements previously mentioned come together and really let loose with their cheap boring terribleness, but it also reminded me of how no effort was put into the plot at all. The romance side of it was a Hallmark movie, but the action side? Nonexistent. I was honestly expecting a neat plot twist wherein Deadpool actually had a plan and saves the day is classic Deadpool fashion, but nothing happened! He saves his girl from falling off the cliff by throwing her off the cliff, and then kills the bad guy is a completely unsurprising move. And that's it. Someone flips the channel back to Hallmark where the plot's drama is resolved out of nothing, there's some kissing, and then you just kinda sit there wondering what the takeaway is supposed to be.
I need hardly tell you that in this film, there is not positive and/or moral takeaway -- of any kind. You may be interested to know, however, that in the comics, there often is, because in the comics, though Deadpool kills people (bad guys) he also always does something noble and heroic too. So there's a balance. Here; none.
And please, riddle me this: Why, when your superhero can get shot an unlimited amount of times and still be fine, would you still think it necessary to have him fight through raining bullets from multiple gunmen and come out miraculously unscathed? WHY?? Why did that happen in an R-rated DEADPOOL movie? What excuse could possibly be given? Did they forget who their main character was? How could they overlook such a shining opportunity to riddle Deadpool with bullet holes? It actually makes me mad how many opportunities for quality this film tossed away, like an ignorant kid who eats the rat-poison cherry off the top of a milkshake, and refuses to even taste the rest.
Of all the stupid things this film does, my favorite was how they couldn't think of an extremely graphic way to kill the alien from Galaxy Quest, so they just had Deadpool tell us to look away. And that basically sums up the problem with this movie; they couldn't be bothered to be original, so they just covered it all up with cheap cop-out distractions. And if any superhero deserves originality, it's Deadpool.
I detest this movie because the goal of it was to make a shocking movie, not a quality one. I hate it on a personal level because I would have loved to see a good, faithful, and original Deadpool flick, but it also offends me as a movie lover, and as someone who understands -- at least a little bit -- what a good movie is. Because that is the last thing this cinematic trash is. I can thank it for one thing: being so pathetically terrible that it drove me to the comics, where the true Merc with a Mouth thrives.