We’ve finally reached the last of the movies I watched on the airplane coming back from England. I’d been really excited to finally see Zootopia, and I’d felt a completionist’s obligation to finish up the Hunger Games movies, but Deadpool…I don’t know why I didn’t see it in theaters. I was pleasantly surprised to see it on the options of in-flight movies, but also a little shocked. And let me tell you why.
If you’re not a comic book nerd person, or weren’t paying attention to trailers and ads around the time Deadpool was in theaters, you may not know a lot about who Deadpool is. Yes, he’s a superhero. He’s in the same universe as the X-Men (both cinematically and in the comics), and has an origin story not too dissimilar to that of Wolverine. But that’s where the similarities end. Deadpool started out as Wade Wilson, the mercenary for hire with a dirty mouth and a dirty mind. Our initial encounters with him in the movie are with this dark and dirty person as he falls in love with Vanessa, a hooker/stripper with a heart of gold.
But then Wade gets cancer. He decides to undergo an experimental therapy that ends up healing him, but also destroying his body and crack his mind in the process. But he gains a healing ability, and enhanced athletic ability in the process. Combine that with his past life as a special forces guy-turned-enforcer, and you’ve got yourself a super hero! Except that’s not the life he wants. Wade, who is now calling himself Deadpool, is more interested in revenge and killing bad guys than he is in making a difference. No matter that the X-Men keep calling. He wants to go out there and kill some bad dudes who wronged him.
So – apart from the slightly darker tone implied in my introduction, why is Deadpool awesome? Well, it’s hilarious. The entire movie has a twisted sense of humor. Additionally, Deadpool knows we’re watching, and breaks the fourth wall on a regular basis to explain or chat with the audience. It’s also not a movie for kids (did you not know that this was a hard-R movie?). There is some pretty serious sex that happens early on, and the blood and guts that come from fights with baddies are more brutal and graphic than you’ve seen in any recent super hero movie. It’s macabre. It’s twisted. It’s hilarious.
It’s amazing to think that Ryan Reynolds campaigned so hard to get Deadpool made that he may have been the one that leaked the test footage that got people excited about getting the movie made in the first place! The movie is darkly charming, and as long as you are fine with a preponderance of f-bombs and more creative swearing, you’ll be OK. If you’re queasy of stomach and don’t think that looking through a bullet hole in an arm is an interesting camera angle, this might not be your movie. Personally, I was amazed that the version I watched on the airplane wasn’t watered down – or if it was, I can’t imagine was the uncut version would be like. All in all, if you like superhero movies, but are looking for something a little different, and a little darker, Deadpool is your movie.