The underdog of Marvel movies finally gets his own moment… and it’s a little odd.

  • What is it?

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There are two sides to this movie. There is the story, which is mostly irrelevant: a mercenary gets cancer, is duped into a program that cures him and turns him into a superhero, then sets out to avenge his makers after they screw him over. The other side is a rollercoaster of slapstick, toilet humour and outright ridiculousness. That is the reason why you will or won’t want to watch Deadpool.

  • I would like it if I like…

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Fans of Deadpool are going crazy with glee for good reason, because this movie is fan-service with bows on. But if, like me, you aren’t familiar with the comics, it can be a little jarring and even childish. There isn’t anything quite like this, but if we were to rely on Marvel comparisons, Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy come closest. Movies such as Scott Pilgrim and Kickass also come to mind. If you want a real stretch, Deadpool is a little bit to comic books movies as Jackie Chan has been to the martial arts genre.

  • Is it good?

Deadpool is a very fun character to watch (especially his awesome facial expressions). But the origin story lets him down: there is little to explain his gearshift from wise-cracking mercenary to a person with clear mental problems. The movie just expects you to go with it, which frankly is not fair on people who aren’t familiar with the comics. It is gloriously filled with action, violence and all kinds of movie tomfoolery, so Deadpool offers a good action experience. But it does sacrifice mainstream audiences in a bid to keep fans happy.

  • Should I watch it?
Read  Your guide to the current state of Wolverine

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Most of Marvel’s movies are overdone and melodramatic. Not all comic book movies need to be like that. If you agree with that statement, go see Deadpool. It’s fun. But if you feel that the genre has devolved into a geeky boys club pandering to childish nostalgia, don’t watch Deadpool. It is the zenith of that culture.

Last Updated: February 12, 2016

Summary
7

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it’s something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway – even video nasties need love…

  • To be frank Deadpool would no0t even have been made if not for those so called fan boys so pandering to them is not a mistake.

    • True, but the purpose of this review is to inform audiences outside of that group. I never called it a mistake, just that it has a possible alienating effect on outsiders.

      • I agree it is alienating but if they were working with the lowest common denominator this movie would have been pg13 and his mouth would have been sewn shut… oh wait. 😛

        • I don’t agree. Numerous movies have adapted hardcore content without failing fans and at the same time also including mainstream audiences. There is a middle road here, which Deadpool finds some of the time but wanders away at other moments.

          Guardians of the Galaxy walked the line quite perfectly, but Deadpool’s geek colours hold it back a bit. I’m very keen to see the sequel, but to quote Deadpool, I think they took maximum effort a little too far on his first solo outing.

          • And this is where I have to disagree.

            Firstly Guardians op the galaxy wasn’t a well known comic back in the day where as Deadpool had a decent following. And I am not necessarily speaking of hardcore content either. Movies that try to push to a much much wider audience than it has almost always seem to be bad. Here is a few examples.

            Star Wars:Episode 1
            Fan4Tastic

            Any Spiderman
            Any Transformers
            Any reboot of any movie in the last 20 odd years.
            Any sequel of any cult classic (Really worried about Blade Runner on this one)
            The Ninja Turtles.

            In the end movie Studios are for profit businesses and care little about the movies themselves. They just want to make as much money as possible so they tend to pander to whoever will go watch it and making it more accessible is the best way to do that. Case in point Transformers.

            Some do however turn out awesome like the Lego movie though.

          • Some movies that translated their source material brilliantly for fans without alienating audiences:

            American Psycho
            Perfume
            300
            The Godfather
            Trainspotting
            No Country for Old Men
            Akira
            Persepolis
            Old Boy
            Battle Royale
            Men in Black
            Hellboy
            Conan the Barbarian
            V for Vendetta (despite what Alan Moore says)
            Heavy Metal
            Blade Runner

          • Blade runner was a commercial failure. 300 did not pander. Trainspotting was never mainstream. Akira is an anime that only years after release got a surge in western interest (also no pandering in that movie). Battle Royal was a cult classic but only when they added a love story and called it something else it spiritually became a massive success.

            In fact what would you rather watch. Battle Royal or Hunger Games?
            If the former then you actually enjoy the movie for what it is and if it is the latter you are most likely girl between the age of 8 and 21.

            OH and heavy metal just proves my point.

          • I’m not sure where you get your information: Trainspotting was a big hit, as was Battle Royale and Heavy Metal. They all made substantially more than their budgets and also garnered huge critical success. I think Battle Royale was even the most successful movie in Japan that year.

            But you hardly touched the rest of my list and I can provide many more. The point is that it is very possible to make a movie that is both appealing to mainstream audiences and still keeps it real. Deadpool could have done that better if it had a stronger story. I have no problem with the fan pandering – I just would have liked if it created a little more context for everyone else.

          • We are on the wrong wavelength here. I am talking about movies made mainstream and movies not made mainstream garnering mainstream success. Also if making money is the only measurement of its success then Micheal bay is a genius who has not made a single movie that was not true to its original nature and Spiderman 56789 and 10 will most likely once again just be an origin story.

          • Okay, fine. But Deadpool cost $58 million, excluding its marketing budget. It’s not an art house or niche production. It’s mainstream. Its Fox’s last hope to retain the value of its Marvel licenses. Tank Girl – now that is niche, cult stuff.

          • Fine but the first Iron Man was 140mil and Avengers 1 was 220mil. For a superhero movie it had almost no budget considering the costs of special effects. Hell they even made a joke about it in the movie itself.

            Also Tank Girl – Nice name drop. 🙂

          • That is some creative reasoning, but doesn’t change the fact that $58 million is a lot – more than what a studio risks on a cult project.

          • The only movies with budgets less than that these days are spoof movies. I heard How to be single cost like 64 million and that caters just for one group of people.

            Unless we talk independent films but they generally have no sfx at all and sfx take most of the money. Well that and A-list actor salaries.

          • Tell me – did you research that answer at all or are you now just trolling?

          • I suppose you can call it trolling but I did read it somewhere that spoofs cost average about 5 mil a movie.

          • Well, that’s just plain wrong. Meet The Spartans and Superfast! both cost way more than that. Scary Movie, made 15 years ago, cost $19 million to make ($26 million today, adjusted for inflation).

            But your mistake is really that you assume a studio would make a cult comic book movie just for the fans. That doesn’t happen – even Punisher: War Zone was meant to be a mainstream hit. Hell, even Dredd (which cost $49 million) was meant to hit it off with more than 2000 AD fans. Fox greenlit Deadpool because FF was a total fuck up. It needed a strong hit to keep its Marvel licenses on firm ground. Sure, if FF was a big hit and they still made Deadpool, I’d agree that maybe it’s for the fans. But Fox is in a hole and Deadpool is there to dig it out.

            Deadpool does a great job also catering for fans, but Fox simply saw a good pitch and went with it. I’m certain it hopes Deadpool will crack the $500 million earnings ceiling, which will give it some clout in negotiating his inclusion in the Marvel Studios films.

            This one wasn’t just made for the fans. It would translate to a terrible decision, because fans alone are not enough to float comic book movies – even at an admittedly lower budget. $59 million is not a lot, but it’s not lunch money either.

            But let’s just conclude this. Here’s a quote from Deadpool himself:

            Q. You’ve had a cult following since 1991. Are you prepared for mainstream fame?
            I am. I just had my lips done.

            http://www.ew.com/article/2016/02/05/deadpool-speaks

            Even Deadpool sees this as his mainstream breakthrough.

      • Lardus-For the Chimichangas!

        Francis…*snigger*

  • Lardus-For the Chimichangas!

    Took friends with whos only exposure to Deadpool has been the mouth-wide-shut version, and they LOVED this movie without any fan boy knowledge or context. Did not hear a single negative comment or complaint (and trust me, this bunch can complain for any national team). Main stream have enough movies, so they can suck it and watch some other PG movie and leave this for those who like it. Francis…*snigger*

    • The film doesn’t outright alienate mainstream audiences, but it can have that effect. I felt it was worth just pointing that out to people planning to see the film. Denying that would be arrogant.

      But stop seeing Deadpool as not a mainstream movie. It is too expensive and broadly marketed to not be a mainstream movie. The mere fact that it is Fox’s attempt to revitalise its Marvel branch after FF’s failure shows that it doesn’t want a cult hit, but a broad one.

  • Dud

    “But it does sacrifice mainstream audiences in a bid to keep fans happy.” I sat in a cinema mostly filled with a mainstream audience. They loved it, even applauded afterward.
    You have it wrong, but when bitching starts being your niche…

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