Since 1991, Deadpool has been a character that stood out from the rest of the Marvel crew. His sense of humor and lack of sympathy and heroic characteristics make him more of a psychotic mercenary than a super hero. For someone who isn't always into super heroes and comics, like myself, Deadpool is the perfect protagonist for a movie that is something different. I'm honestly sick of any and all of the X-Men movies, and I'm beginning to feel that way about the Avengers as well. Tim Miller's Deadpool is a spectacular change of pace for Marvel movies, yet still retains the same high quality as its more heroic movie counterparts. Aside from a few small annoyances, I felt that Deadpool is leading the way in a new direction for Marvel, and I'm looking forward to at least one more movie to solidify the character as a major part of Marvel's universe.
For some, Deadpool may be a bit too eccentric, and I can udnerstand that. Some may find his R rated humor a bit too much. But I personally feel that in order to have a great movie that meets the character expectations of Deadpool, the movie HAS to have a field day with vulgar humor and violence and sex. Without that, Deadpool just isn't Deadpool; he's just another Marvel "super hero" in a bright suit who kills bad guys. Deadpool is defined by his breaking of the 4th wall and lack of restriction. What else would you expect from someone who had been tortured and left for dead? There is even a specific line from the movie that addresses Wade Winston Wilson's humor before he proceeds on with the tortuous process of gaining his abilities. Wade's torturer and nemesis, A-Jax (Francis), retorts to Wade that he doubts his sense of humor will survive. Wade takes this as a challenge, and that's why I believe he portrays his humor so often, so as to cope with his life's stresses and to show Francis that he can't be beaten down. Some others seem to take Deadpool's humor as a personal attack, but they just don't understand his character development.
Ryan Reynolds was an excellent choice for Deadpool. Reynolds makes the humor flow effortlessly (most of the time), and I felt that he's a lovable enough guy that he'll appeal to the young adult audience that is being hardcore targeted with this movie. Although he is 39, which is old by some standards, he still looks like he could be fresh out of college. Similarly, Chris Pratt is only three years younger, and his roles in Guardians of the galaxy and Jurassic World were widely appraised in the same fashion as Reynold's roles. Reynolds is a near perfect fit, in this sense, as he's old enough to look like a cool college guy role-model to teenagers and seem like the funny best friend to their parents. Even with the movie being heavily catered to a teenage audience, there was plenty of 90's culture thrown in to appeal to some older audiences that want to be relevant too. Besides Reynolds, the rest of the cast played their roles effectively enough. Deadpool was the star of the show, and none of the other characters detracted from Deadpool's humor or impact, so I feel that the cast did their job. Also, Deadpool's budget wasn't exactly generous, so other than Ryan Reynolds and T.J. Miller, all of the cast had little to no acting experience. But as you can read with the above article, there were plenty of pros that came from having a lower budget movie. Plus, I personally like seeing some new faces in a movie so I'm not just racking my brain the entire movie trying to decide where I know them from.
I guess to fit in all the humor you possibly can, you sometimes have to cut out some unimportant epilogue details, like where does this movie take place. After digging through some online resources, I discovered Wade Wilson/Deadpool was born in Canada and was enlisted in the Canadian Special Forces before becoming a mercenary. The entire movie was shot and takes place in Vancouver, which is not mentioned what-so-ever, but it doesn't come as a huge surprise since Vancouver never plays itself in movies. It was somewhat annoying to get very little epilogue from Deadpool, but it did leave more time for better story build-up later on, such as how there was a good chunk of screen time dedicated to Wade Wilson and his girlfriend Copycat (she's also never given the name Copycat in the movie, but is credited as such in accordance with the Deadpool comics).
Aside from the actual film, I think it's important to note the cultural significance and build up of anticipation for the movie from the world-wide fans of Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds. Something that was a huge challenge for the Deadpool team was getting the name out there. There's plenty of socially aware adults out there who didn't know what the heck a dead-pool was until these last few months, and that would seem like a huge marketting obstacle for any normal marketer. But like with everything else about Deadpool, this movie is anything but normal. Marc Weinstock, head of Deadpool's marketing team, took the movie's major obstacle and made it their biggest asset. Sometimes, you just have to take the lemons life gives you and make lemonaide. Having a very undefined and unrestricted character allows for a very unique marketing campaign. Weinstock and his team spammed social media with Deadpool and did whatever is would take to just get his name out there, and make it crazy. Maybe some people out there didn't like the hilarious facebook videos, tweets, or overall Deadpool take-over, but I myself and most people of the internet seemed to have loved it. With a crappy Valentine's day weekend release and a mere 58 million dollar budget, you might need to resort to some creative trickery as well. By far my favorite ads for Deadpool were the Valentine's Day posters. Basically, the marketing team decided that in classic Deadpool fashion, they would release a few posters that made Deadpool seem like a Rom-Com so that they could possibly lure a few more ladies into their extremely violent and sexual action movie. I admit, there is a good bit of love in the movie, but it's probably not at all what you think of when you imagine Valentine's Day. Ryan Reynolds also did his part (and continues to do so) by making funny videos on his facebook page. A link to one of his recent interviews in character can be found below. It's honestly a genius technique, and the movie wouldn't have been nearly as much as a success without the advertising.
Aside from all the funny business, there's some serious special effects work that went into the making of Deadpool. The opening scene of the movie features some sarcastic credits floating within a car tumbling in slow motion. Eventually the credits end and the camera slowly zooms out to show the entire car, and the level of detail is incredible. The audience then sees the entire car chase leading up to the fli, all of which was done entirely with a green screen in a studio. No highway could be cleared for a long enough time to smash and flip a few cars, so the director imrpovised. This costly decision proved to be entirely worth it, as I couldn't even tell that any special effects were used until I found out online. Jack Carr on Movie Pilot describes how, "Real footage of a Detroit freeway was projected with LED light boxes against the green-screen backdrop, and details of the city skyline and freeway traffic were later added digitally". Deadpool's eyes and the entire body of Colossus were re-created in CGI to ensure that their facial expressions were properly captured by the camera. Colossus, meant to be a lame X-Men charicature, was made to render entirely metal. This also meant that the lighting on set had to be constantly adjusted to ensure that light would be reflected off the metal in a very particular way. It also took five different actors to get enough coverage of Colossus's body for editing. One 6 foot 9 inch tall actor covered most of the large moving Colossus does, while another actor modeled for his face, and three more covered the dialogue and further facial recognition. All of this may have been a very tedious, but it paid off with the result of two outstanding characters. For some more details on the movie's speecial effects, check out this Wired.com video that covers some more technical details that may appeal to my fellow movie tech nerds.
Now to really sum up Deadpool for all the potential viewers who may be reading this, you should listen to Salt-N-Pepa's 90's hit, "Shoop". I don't think any song better captures the Deadpool vibes. "Shoop" is played during the opening scene along with Juice NEwton's "Angel of the Morning". I think Tim Miller tries to bring the audience back to the vibes of the early 90's, when Deadpool made his first comic debut. There are also a few techno-dubstep songs thrown into some of the action scenes which help amplify some of the violence, as if it already wasn't crazy and bloody enough. "Calendar Girl", "The Punch Bowl", and "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" are a few other older songs that make their way into the Deadpool soundtrack, which can be found in full on Spotify included with the cinematic background music.
Deadpool is the perfect antithesis to Marvel's recent failure that was Fantastic Four.Deadpool was a bold move by Marvel, considering it's R rating and little known protagonist, but it also pulled through to be a near perfect bullseye. I'm very excited to see how much money Fox will be willing to pour into the sequel now that the debut movie of the proposed series made $135 million opening weekend, the highest ever for an R movie. Myaswell hop aboard the Deadpool bandwagon now before there's four movies and a TV show out and you can't possibly keep up; get in on the fun early on.
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