Deadpool makes up for its problems with humor

Movies haven’t been made to be watched, recently. It seems that the late past of cinema has been serious films that almost nobody watches or bad movies made to make money. Then came Mad Max: Fury Road, followed by The Martian, and most recently, Deadpool. Mad Max was neither of these things. It was fun to watch for everyone. Film snobs and Transformers fans both found enough to like in it. Yet it wasn’t the same kind of art that films like Birdman are and French filmmakers are teased for.

Next came The Martian, and it was an adaptation on the theme. Mad Max was a perfect balance of fun and meaning, and was carried by some of the best action put to film, as well as by masterful performances, both of which made it more than a collection of scenes. The Martian tended more towards meaning, but successfully kept the idea of fun in mind. The plot and writing of The Martian outmatched Mad Max, while the production fell behind. The Martian was the next generation of drama films in the way Mad Max was the next generation of action movie. Both were dangerously easy to watch, to the point that they were hard to watch critically – hard to decide why they were so so good and easy to watch. Where, then, lies the future of comedy movies?

I’m not sure I’ve seen a movie with more jokes and less time in between them, but it wasn’t abusive to the audience, because they didn’t stop being funny.

— senior Evan Frook

Deadpool, however, was more than good – it was a step forward, and hopefully a cornerstone in the production of movies. It wasn’t the perfect movie by any means. It lacked any significant thematic purpose – it’s no art house film, but that isn’t always bad. The plot was thin, and, despite its insistence otherwise, very classically “superhero.” Nothing viewers haven’t seen before.

The villain was shockingly boring, he seemed more like a right hand man than a supervillain, the kind of character that the hero barely beats halfway through the story. The various powers were also poorly defined. It seemed like most of the characters in the movie shared a few similar powers, making it hard to follow who was winning and why during the action sequences. These sequences were also fairly pedestrian. They pale in comparison to a movie like Mad Max, but Deadpool is not, first and foremost, an action movie, nor a superhero movie. It is a comedy movie, and it’s most important facet was its comedy.

It shone in that regard. All the jokes were genuinely funny, and not always derivative, as many comedies are. The movie’s opening credits were a shining example – instead of the classic “starring: Ryan Reynolds” we were met with a collection of one-liners like “written by: The real heroes here.” It immediately set the tone and got people laughing. I’m not sure I’ve seen a movie with more jokes and less time in between them, but it wasn’t abusive to the audience, because they didn’t stop being funny. This helped to distract from the faults like the less than original plot and only-average action scenes.

There were a few “in” jokes, about Deadpool’s past portrayals, adaptations, and films (one in particular,) but they don’t pander to an audience that gets it – some people in the theater don’t get the joke, but they’re on to the next one so fast it doesn’t’ take anything from the film. Deadpool also spikes the lens and directly addresses the audience several times, but that’s always been a part of his character, and there’s no sense of “this is funny BECAUSE I’m addressing you, audience” it’s more “this is FUNNIER because I’m addressing you, audience.”

So yes, it’s good in it’s own right, but more importantly, it’s a perfect example of the kind of movie that can continue to be made in the future. It’s made for an audience, it is made to be liked, and, while monetarily successful, it was successful because of merit, not because of studio micromanagement and marketing. to this, I think, we owe a debt to Ryan Reynolds. By the time he was filming this movie, he was a big enough star that he could go toe to toe with the people paying for the movie in a way that Tim Miller, the person mainly in charge of making the movie, could not. To assume that Reynolds was just an actor would be foolish – he has always had an interest in superhero movies, he just got the short end of the stick in them. He helped the movie be what it is. Not a cash grab capitalizing on established iconography and name recognition, but a movie made with purpose despite the fact that that purpose is just to have fun. Oh – and it’s so vulgar, it’s Parent’s Guide page on IMDb was locked by administrators.