Review: Deadpool not for Kids

Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Jacob Jardel
Sports Editor

“Deadpool” may not be for children, but it certainly delivers for adults.

The latest “X-Men” movie from 20th Century Fox and Marvel hit theaters on Feb. 12. Curious moviegoers and comic book fans made their way to cinemas enough to make the film the highest-grossing domestic “X-Men” release. The movie is also on track to become the most financially successful R-rated film ever.

The question as to the movie’s rating has been causing a stir since before the premiere. Fans of the series hoped for and received the R rating they felt the movie deserved, but many parents have clamored for a PG-13 version to take their kids to see it.

However, a look at the source material will show that “Deadpool” is not for children. His profane nature and proclivity toward general vulgarity make the character as inappropriate as he is witty, and the movie amplified that on the big screens.

This crudeness turned off some reviewers like Anthony Lane of “The New Yorker,” who felt that the nastiness of the movie had no use other than shock value.

“Watching the film is like sitting at dinner with a teenager who believes that, if he swears long and loudly enough, he will shock the grownups into accepting him as one of their own,” he said.

David Blaustein of ABC felt differently, though.

“Groovy non-linear storytelling and Reynolds’ frenetic energy and comedic timing will keep the most superficial fans entertained,” he said.

Peter Travers of “Rolling Stone” offered similar sentiments.

“Deadpool has no off-switch. This dude keeps cracking wise even when he’s plotting vengeance,” Travers said. “Sure it goes on too long and repetition dulls its initial cleverness. Still, ‘Deadpool’ is party time for action junkies.”

However, Manohla Dargis of “The New York Times” felt as if the repetition made the movie fall victim to a series of cliches that started from the opening sequence.

“Yet to laugh (as I did) at [the] self-mocking credits is to give in to a somewhat compromised pleasure,” Dargis said. “Because, among other things, you are also laughing at your willingness to settle for the same old, same old, which suggests that the joke is on you.”

She also critiqued that Deadpool the character is more psychotic than heroic. However, as the character himself professes profusely in the movie, he is not a hero. Sara Beth Lowe of “Salon” noticed that facet and appreciated how they approached a certain plot point.

“Deadpool doesn’t reject being a superhero because it’s cool not to care, but because the meaning of ‘hero’ has shifted,” she said. “Wade Wilson got handed a raw deal, and now he’s got to put up with scars for the rest of his life.”

Much like the after credits scene in the movie, there will be spoilers ahead.

“Deadpool” follows the title character in his search for vengeance and for his estranged fiancee. Amid gunshots, katana slices and gratuitous amounts of violence, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall to provide the audience with backstory in a frenetic frame narrative style.

The film introduces the audience to former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson after completing an odd job helping out a teen with a stalker. He soon encounters Vanessa, a woman with just as seedy a past as his, and falls in love with her.

The movie showed their love story through various forms of adult holiday celebrations up until they get engaged and Wilson finds out he has cancer. He makes a deal with a man who promises to cure him, leaving Vanessa at their home.

However the “treatment” left him physically deformed but immortal, giving him the ability to regenerate lost body parts. After escaping the facility, his search for Vanessa and Ajax/Francis (the man who gave him the treatment) begins.

Overall, the movie made the absolute most of the R rating it received. There are copious scenes of gratuitous violence and near-excessive profanity with bits and pieces of nudity sprinkled throughout. This may encourage some and turn others away.

For those who stayed, they received a depiction of the character true to his comic book nature thanks to the acting of Ryan Reynolds. He was pretty much perfect for this role from build to mannerisms and everything in between. It was like he took his role from “Van Wilder” and turned the dial to 11.

Morena Baccarin also did fantastically portraying the equally troubled and equally well cast Vanessa. She balanced a sympathetic nature with a sultry personality right out of a comic hero’s dreams.

The rest of the cast did a good job in their roles, from Ed Skrein as Ajax to Stan Lee’s token cameo in the movie. Truly, the best part of the movie was the acting.

The action sequences and special effects were also fantastic, from great slow-motion scenes to jump cuts to wounds almost too bloody for the rating. That said, the soundtrack also shone through, equal parts well timed and completely fitting – even in its dissonance from the on-screen action.

The writing was the most hit-or-miss part, as seen in critical reviews. For some, it was excessive; for others, it was perfect.

Regardless, it provided the movie with the right atmosphere to deliver this story and the entertainment surrounding it.

As a whole, “Deadpool” was definitely worth all the hype and the clamor. While it may not be appropriate for children or right for those who do not enjoy this particular brand of crude humor, it hit every button for both comic book fans and action fans.

It can work without the vulgarity, but it would not be the same. So leave the kids at home and give this one a watch. – 8.5 out of 10 chimichangas.


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