In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There is actual death in Deadpool, which means it has actual stakes.”
“Crime’s the disease, meet the cure. Okay, not the cure, but more like a topical ointment to reduce the swelling and itch.”
I should be suffering from super hero, comic book movie overload by now. And to some degree, I am. I never bothered with the Zack Snyder Superman movie, and I can’t imagine I’ll find time for its Batman aided sequel. But I’ll be buggered if I’m not totally in the bag for the Marvel movies. Captain America: Winter Soldier was somehow one of the best political thrillers in recent memory. Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man were great fun, The Avengers movies are pure spectacle, but spectacle done well. And Fox studios has do a great job with their Marvel property, The X-Men. Which is why despite imminent superhero fatigue, I still knew I would inevitably see Deadpool.
Kicking off with the beginnings of a major action sequence, the red suited, titular hero (Ryan Reynolds) kicks the asses of a dozen bad guys on a busy freeway before the fight is broken up by X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). While they try to convince him to use his powers for good, Deadpool is out for revenge. Cue the flashback to show us why.
Before he was Deadpool, he was a regular gun for hire named Wade Wilson. Between extortion gigs, he meets and romances hooker with a heart of gold, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Their storybook romance is interrupted when Wade comes down with a bit if the ‘ol cancer. A cancer that can be cured by an experimental treatment offered by super soldier, Francis Freeman (Ed Skerin). The treatment works and the cancer is gone. It also comes with the added bonus of making Wade pretty much invincible. It also comes with the downside of hideous disfigurement. Cue the red suited, titular hero out for revenge.
The entire marketing campaign leading up to Deadpool has been built around its R rated violence and jokes, and its self aware sensibility. It’s also a rare occurrence where the marketing and trailers accurately sell exactly what the movie has to offer. The jokes are blue, the violence is hyper and the self awareness is off the charts. Which, based on those trailers, was the one thing I was worried most about. Deadpool just seemed a little too in on the joke. But for me, it got that balance just right.
On the surface, its flippant approach to violence should make Deadpool more nihilistic than its superhero movie comrades. But it’s that flippant attitude that makes the violence hit harder than kit does in those other movies. People don’t get conveniently knocked out so they can be taken in by the authorities later. The bad guys aren’t soulless robots that the good guys can destroy conscience free. There is actual death in Deadpool, which means it has actual stakes.