Deadpool: Not your average superhero movie

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Deadpool: Not your average superhero movie

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When the opening title of a movie informs you that it is “Some Douchebag’s Film” and that it stars “God’s Perfect Idiot,” you know it’s not going to be your typical theater experience.

“Deadpool” broke into the box office with the same vivacious hutzpah characteristic of its protagonist, making approximately $132 million in its opening weekend. This broke the record for the largest opening of an R-rated film, which was previously held by 2003’s “The Matrix Reloaded,” and the record for the largest opening of a 20th Century Fox film, previously held by 2005’s “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.” Directed by newcomer Tim Miller, this movie didn’t follow the standard Hollywood template, taking risks with both its style and humor that absolutely paid off.

Following the transformation of Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) from ex-Special Forces to superpowered ass-whooping machine, “Deadpool” had all the makings of your standard superhero origin story. All of them, that is, except a superhero. Instead, we got Deadpool, a man with a ridiculously dark sense of humor and no qualms about killing anyone who gets in his way. Packed into an hour and 48 minutes of near-complete insanity, his journey for resolution and revenge somehow still worked.

The script, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, was packed tightly with snappy one-liners and moments of humor. Unlike most films, which tend to stick with one or two brands of humor, this movie ran the gamut from slapstick to crass to clever wit. While only about two-thirds of the jokes hit my funny bone, there were enough of them that the film was still significantly funnier than any that I’ve seen recently.

Most of the film’s humor came from its protagonist, portrayed with enthusiasm by Reynolds. Considering that he’s been the character’s primary candidate since the movie was initially attempted by New Line Cinema in 2004, it makes sense that Reynolds was already prepared to give the role his all. His performance was dynamic, ranging from tough to melancholy to straight-up lunacy, all while keeping the consistent undertone of sarcasm that makes the character so compulsively captivating.

No superhero movie is complete without an appropriate supervillain. When there is no real superhero, the supervillain has to be that much worse. Ed Skrein filled the role of Ajax splendidly, stirring up a sincere disgust at the level of depravity that some people can reach.

The cinematography (Ken Seng) and editing (Julian Clarke) worked in brilliant harmony, particularly during action scenes. Interesting camera angles and powerful uses of slow motion gave key moments extra force and focus, and the chosen color palette, which seemed to use “Deadpool’s” own red and black outfit as a base, gave the film a vividly grungy look.

The soundtrack was at points overwhelmingly sassy and sarcastic in tone, particularly during the opening scene, and was full of of songs that embodied the atmosphere of the film. In between the more prominently musical moments, the score (Tom Holkenborg, a.k.a. Junkie XL) propelled the movie through its multitude of different emotions.

As any fans of the comic books know, “Deadpool” treats the fourth wall as more of an arbitrary guideline than an actual rule of the Universe. Unfortunately for movie-goers, many of us have become used to its existence. While it was definitely necessary for this particular film to address the audience at some point, considering its source material, the device was overused. It seems that the writers wanted to overcome the inherently awkward nature of breaking the fourth wall by doing it as much as possible, but it would have worked better to save it for the few moments where it was both a comedic effect and a plot device.

The movie wasn’t rated R only for its moments of absurdly crass humor, although there were plenty of those; Deadpool didn’t pull any punches, and some of those punches ended in graphicly unpleasant mangled limbs. Even then, the movie played up the humor and made the scene spectacularly amusing, but there were a fair amount of gruesome instances that might cause those with a lower tolerance to flinch.

Altogether, “Deadpool” had a style and flair that made it a unique event among my movie-going experiences. Although definitely not for those who like their movies clean, it will offer a laugh (and maybe the occasional cringe) to anyone who’s looking for an irreverent and sarcastic jaunt through a slightly twisted coming-of-kick-ass origin story.

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