I finally got around to catching Deadpool on the weekend.
It has been out for a while, and although I had not stumbled across any spoilers, I had heard enough about it to approach it with an idea or two of how it might pan out. Even so, there was stuff that wrong-footed me and stuff that surprised.
I won’t spoil the plot – but let’s be honest here, even an anti super hero movie, which is kind of how Deadpool was received, is still going to nod to the genre, even as it subverts it, so if you have not seen it, and really don’t want to know, then stop right now.
Similarly, the movie contains violence and foul language, and although I won’t be using any here, if that is likely to offend, then the movie will not be one for you.
I remember a few years ago when I saw Guardians of the Galaxy. My first experience of it was in a cinema, when I watched a trailer before another film (can’t remember which one). The trailer stood out because it was in 3D, even though I was in a 2D screening. As I watched a blurred red/green trailer, I remember thinking, ‘No one is going to want to watch this!’ Because I had not realised the mistake and was getting a headache. Whatever happened to change my mind, I am glad it did, because it became one of my favourite films of that year. It had great a retro soundtrack, it had humour and it had heart.
I watch some of the MCU movies, but not all of them. I loved the first Avengers Movie, watched the second one and my response was to come home and watch the first one again (even though I am a fan of Joss Whedon). I have seen some of the Captain America ones, all the Iron Man ones and that, I think is it. Oh! Ant Man, I watched that. I have not read any of the source material.
So the first thing that grabbed me was the narrative structure. If you have seen the trailer there is a scene with a big shoot out with cars on a bridge. I had assumed that would be the climax we were heading too, seeing as all movies seem to insist on trailing their third act, which is insane.
Not so, this set piece is right up at the front of the movie, but narratively towards the end of the first act, so we have that scene play out, with the fast-talking, wise crackling smart alec super hero, and then in the middle of this, we track back to an extended back story of how he got here, during which time we found out that the smart-mouthed, potty-mouthed Deadpool, was just as annoying before he donned the red suit. I liked that, even if I did not like the character so much at first. I slowly warmed to him. His relationship with his mate at the bar is fun – some of those lines are in the trailer and while foul, are funny. Actually, that deadpan-humour-in-the-face-of-the-apocalypse stuff reminded me of Buffy – although Buffy was never quite that explicit.
At the centre of the story, though, is a relationship and so it is a story about love, so while the violence and the mayhem reign, this helps to keep it flying off too far like a ricocheted bullet. There is nothing too unusual about the love story, but I did particularly like one scene in a back street with the girlfriend who has a line that sounded like it was lifted straight from its comic book source – a nice nod.
And it was maybe because I had heard an interview with Ed Skrein that I was watching and thinking too much about the villain’s character. He was convincing enough as a bad guy, it was a bit of a thankless role.
My favourite character of all of them actually, was Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Despite having few lines, she held her own by playing to stillness, not movement.
This film was going for it in a kind of, ‘let’s throw everything at the wall. And see what sticks’ kind of way. It was fast paced, had a lot more funny moments than many ‘comedies’, played around with narrative structure to mix it up a bit and on the whole, did not stick around too long doing anything to risk allowing you to think too much. It was a fairground ride of a movie – maybe with a few too many pop culture references to mean it becomes a classic, but then who needs classics? It was fast and fun and entertaining. It is not going to change my world, but it certainly made me laugh.