Following immense pressure (harassment) from fans worldwide thanks to a test footage leak, Fox studios finally greenlit production for the fourth wall breaking and borderline insane 'Merc with a Mouth' and f*ck a duck, did it deliver.
Deadpool is arguably the most faithful comic book adaptation ever and an exceedingly unique film with praise worthy performances, efficient directorial work, over the top violence, and a perfect script.
Let's talk Budget:
The choice of an R rating meant that the production of the film was allowed a $50 million budget which is an amount significantly smaller than most major studios' comic book adapted productions (Dawn of Justice apparently spent over $300 million). Most likely due to the fear that an R rating could risk box office failure and ironically (for Fox, ofcourse), Deadpool broke records for the biggest box office opening for an R rated movie ($200 million), a February film and currently holds a $600 million worldwide gross revenue (far exceeding the PG-13 $200 million Green Lantern that made $219 million worldwide).
Obviously, this result has studios' eyes wide open and are consequently considering R ratings for their comic book adapted properties BUT is that really the lesson to be learnt?
Let's review Deadpool and then get back to this subject.
A Film's Live Action Integrity and The Cancer to Cinema:
Upon viewing the much anticipated Age of Ultron, I was thoroughly disappointed by how formulaic, CGI-heavy and story-dense the film was and the grim influence this could leave on superhero films (AOU still grossed a $1 billion worldwide). A recurring complaint I have for these unecessarily expensive films is how glaringly CGI-reliant they are.
Take Man of Steel's latter half and Age of Ultron's action sequences (which is most of the film) for example and compare them with Bryan Singer's X-Men DOFP and now, Deadpool (and unrelated but relevant, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes). The difference especially between DOFP (similar budget) and the rest being the usage of CGI as a tool rather than the very skeleton of your film. I could rant on and on about Zack Snyder's unreasonable usage of greenscreen and dull sense of color grading (I'm looking at Age of Ultron too) that a majority of the unedited, raw pre-production shots would be predominantly occupied by trackers and green screens.
Compare Zack Snyder's idea of a good shot to Christopher Nolan's:
Obviously such films require an amount of CGI usage but my complaint is to do with the excessive. Why is this relevant to Deadpool, you ask? It's because Deadpool managed to be better looking stylistically and visually on its limited $50 million budget as did X-men DOFP; which concludes that the scale of such a film's destruction or far fetchedness doesn't necessarily result in eyesore visuals, but the decision to maximise practical work. Which is why Tim Miller's work in Deadpool especially deserves praise (usage of slow motion, well directed action, and an understanding of tasteful color usage).
A Brilliant Script and The Approach to a Cliche:
Some have criticised Deadpool for being as formulaic as the movies it tends to mock for having simple, predictable and cliched plots but while this is true, only the former succeeds in being different and entertaining because of the writers' approach to the narrative. While the antagonists are cliche, the exchanges of dialogues between the protagonist and the villains are not. On a side note, a critic that battled cancer praised the film's realistic portrayal of surviving cancer and the guilt that ensues because of the emotional damage done to friends and family.
You could argue that what makes the film so effective is exploiting Deadpool's fourth wall breaking ability and insane arsenal to a gimmick (like Zack Snyder and CGI) but the film minimalises its usage enough that it isn't under or overused (to the extent that one can't take the film seriously). Arguably being the best written superhero film ever (The Dark Knight trilogy isn't a superhero trilogy), thanks to Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.
Oh, and the movie is f*cking hilarious.
So Hollywood, is Deadpool the Batman Begins to your 2016 superhero movie industry?
Did Richard Donner's Superman, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, Bryan Singer's X-Men, Tim Burton's Batman and James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy need an R rating? Such movies should be made with originality in mind rather than the intention to milk them for profit, Deadpool succeeded because it's so different; because the film makers worked passionately on their project. Otherwise, within the next decade or so, the superhero movie bubble will burst and given that Zack Snyder intends to become DC's Kevin Fiege, I'm counting on it.
Thanks for reading.