Deadpool Challenges Marvel Model

Cole Mier, Staff Writer

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As many critics have said, Deadpool is a game changer. The film has accomplished something that no other movie, superhero or otherwise, has been able to accomplish: complete and utter individuality. It is a Marvel movie starring a pansexual protagonist who is aware he is in a movie, has the comic sensibilities of a 15-year-old boy (perfect for me), is invincible, and takes great joy in killing people. Yet, at its heart, Deadpool is a love story.

While not given ample time to develop, the romance between Ryan Reynolds’s Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool) and Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa Carlysle is a real highlight of the film. It is these two actors, along with the other excellent performances, that take a smart script and turn it into a fantastic movie. In my opinion, Ryan Reynolds has never been a good actor. He is handsome, but never outstanding. Yet the moment Deadpool began, all of my preconceptions about his acting abilities were wiped clean. His sarcasm and crassness, mixed with the immense glee he takes in messing with his blind roommate decapitating a bad guy, make him an incredibly likeable, while simultaneously obnoxious, star character. Morena Baccarin as the leading lady exudes personal and sexual confidence that make her very amicable; besides, anyone who can go toe to toe with Ryan Reynolds in offensive humor is a winner in my book.  T.J. Miller and Leslie Uggams’s performances as the supporting comedic characters Weasel and Blind Al add tremendously to the charm of the film. Ed Skrien and Gina Carano as the villainous Ajax and Angel Dust do serviceable jobs portraying their characters, but they are not the focus of the film. In fact, the plot, quite intentionally, is the part of the film least emphasized.

Ryan Reynolds stars in the new movie Deadpool, released February 12th.

Ryan Reynolds stars in the new movie Deadpool, released February 12th.

The majority of Deadpool takes place on a highway overpass home to a fantastic action scene. Throughout the action, there are flashbacks to Deadpool’s past life. Wade Wilson is a mercenary in a long-term relationship with Vanessa Carlysle until he is diagnosed with cancer. Upon realizing the disease is too extreme to cure, he joins an experimental program to remove his cancer. Instead, evil scientists torture him until he becomes a “super-slave,” a person whose underlying mutation materializes under extreme duress. His new powers came at a cost; his boyish good looks are destroyed and he is covered in scars and lesions. Now he wants revenge. This clichéd and conventional plot is merely the backdrop to the creativity and craziness portrayed in the picture.

Deadpool is a game changer. It has the quirkiness of a Wes Anderson film, the violence of a Michael Bay picture, and the humor of a Judd Apatow movie. In one scene during the climax, when it seems that all is lost and our valiant hero is going to lose, animated unicorns prance on screen and their presence revives Deadpool and enable him to continue fighting. Why did animated unicorns appear? I have no idea. No explanation is offered, and that is what makes the film so good. However, it is unique on a different level as well. The movie clearly shows that there is a solution to the oversaturated nature of the superhero film market. While I do love Iron Man, there are only so many times that I can see the same movie churned out with a different title. Deadpool proves that quality R-rated movies can make a lot of money, and greater diversity of these films, especially with characters like Wolverine and Batman whose themes better fit that of an R-rating, are needed greatly.

While Deadpool’s inappropriate, violent, and sexual nature may understandably turn off some audience members, those with moderately thick skin will adore the picture. It is not a movie I would watch with my grandmother, but it is a film I recommended to her.

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