Deadpool had a long, looong road to production. Known for being irreverent, the Deadpool comics break down the walls of comic book conventions and really push the envelope for what is allowed to be shown. It's possible that the movie only got made because the leaked test footage prompted millions of fans to demand a full length film.
[Spoilers ahead for Deadpool!]
So in the run up to Deadpool's release, it was lauded something of a genre-defying game changer, a film to add flavor to the usual superhero fare we're offered. With plenty of fourth-wall breaks, foul mouthed banter, and truly hilarious moments, there's tons of weird things in the Deadpool movie. But considering how convention-breaking we expected it to be, the weirdest thing about Deadpool is...
It's actually not that weird at all.
Deadpool talks a big talk, and we'd expect nothing less from the Merc with the Mouth's big screen debut, but ultimately it is a superhero origin story.
We follow Wade Wilson as he goes from irreverent mercenary to still irreverent super-powered anti-hero. His mission? To hunt down the man who tortured him for months on end (Francis, aka Ajax). But Wade doesn't want to kill him... straightaway. Instead, Wade's goal is to force Ajax to cure him off the mutant side effects: his now hideous appearance.
Along the way we get plenty of opportunities to laugh at the superhero genre, as Wade so gleefully makes fun of it. The best thing about the R rating is the action sequences: unhampered by restrictions, the violence is just as bloody and visceral as we hoped, which is a nice counter to the sterile yet high-stakes action sequences of, say, Avengers 2.
At the end of the day Deadpool might mock superhero tropes, but the film does little to actually challenge them or break them down. There's no big moment when the audience is stunned by a totally unexpected twist, and the finale plays out exactly as you'd expect: guy fights bad guy, guy gets the girl... but not before killing so many people he can spell out the bad guy's name with their corpses. Which was awesome.
Don't get me wrong, Deadpool is absolutely vital to the superhero genre. We need more variety, and R rated superhero movies are a great place to start. The best thing about Deadpool is that he offers a meta, tongue in cheek commentary to one of Marvel's biggest movie franchises. Up until this point, R rated, spoof-like superhero movies were standalones.There's something so delicious about Wade Wilson casually making fun of the X-Men's confusing timelines, and if he ever teams up with more of the mutants in future, awesomeness is bound to ensue.
Yet crude humour and bloody action sequences aren't the only ways to take advantage of an R rating, and it's a shame that Deadpool didn't push the boundaries a little more. Especially considering what we'd been promised...
Deadpool's equal opportunity sexuality.
So let's just make this clear: Wade Wilson is not 100% straight. I could cite so many examples to prove this statement that it almost seems pointless. How about the time Deadpool hosted a Hawkeye fan club meeting just to chat up Clint Barton (Secret Avengers)? Or the time he confessed to Thor that "I find you very attractive"? Or literally every time he teams up with Spider-Man...
The fact that Deadpool identifies as pansexual (ie: attracted to people of any gender) was actually made very clear in the film's marketing, from Tim Miller's assurances that Wade would be...
"Pansexual! I want that quoted. Pansexual Deadpool."
...to this trailer, where Deadpool casually comes on to all the women, and men, in the audience.
And yet, in the film Deadpool's sexuality is not made clear. Sure, he relishes the opportunity to talk about Wolverine's genitalia, but he never obliquely flirts with or expresses attraction to a man. Proving Wade's pansexuality is as simple as having him mention an ex-boyfriend, but according to Ryan Reynolds we'll have to wait until Deadpool 2 for something like that.
Reynolds added that he thought it would be “nice” for Deadpool to have a boyfriend at some point. “I certainly wouldn’t be the guy standing in the way of that,” Reynolds said. “That would be great.”
I'll just go ahead and add this to the wishlist of things we want to see in Deadpool 2 then.
It seems as though for all that Deadpool could have been norm-breaking and subversive, the long awaited movie is just testing the water. We could have had a more obliquely pansexual Deadpool, as well as a Vanessa who was more than just a love interest (in the comics, Vanessa is Copycat, an anti-hero in her own right). And we still might get these things, as the sequel is now confirmed.
Until then, the not-as-weird-as-we-expected Deadpool is still really really awesome. And there are definitely some jaw-dropping moments, like the time Deadpool jerked off a unicorn and it crapped out cash.
...yeah, I'm still recovering from that image. Also, where do I buy a cash-crapping unicorn already?