Thursday, June 23, 2016

Deadpool and Loving It

Like all right-thinking people, we're loving the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the great things about it is the way they switch it up. Deadpool (2016), like the recent Ant-Man, it is silly, not serious like the X-Men and Avengers are.

It starts with a brilliant and beautiful set piece: a scene of frozen chaos, in the middle of a fight in a car going off a bridge. There are blood, bullets, Starbucks, and the credits. "Some Douchebag's Movie ... Starring God's Perfect Idiot ... " and so on. All set to Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning". Then we back up to see how Deadpool got here (taxi). Then we back up further to get his backstory.

He starts out as Ryan Reynolds, a goon for hire who seems to mostly protect teenage girls from stalkers (what a Marvel occupation). He hangs out at a mercenary's bar, where he meets Morena Baccarin, a whore with a heart of gold. They have a torrid affair - this isn't a kids comic movie. And then, cancer strikes.

This setup reminded me of John Wick. Mercenary, hangs out in mercenary bars, falls unironically in love until cancer intervenes. But here, it's Reynolds who gets the Big C. He tries an experimental cure, which works - gives him superpowers in fact - but turns him hideously ugly.

Since I've really never read a Deadpool comic, I didn't mind having to sit through an origin story. In fact, I think it was really well done.

The key to this movie is "meta" - if the credits didn't clue you in. Deadpool talks to the camera, and other characters wonder why. When the X-Men show up (two X-Men, all the producers could afford) and say they are taking him to see Professor X, he asks, "Stewart or McAvoy?" And so on and on.

This kind of thing can go wrong pretty easily, but I'd say they got it just right here. It's weird and funny and engaging. It's also a great modern action film, but I suppose those are a dime a dozen now. We expect no less from a Marvel movie.

Soon, it'll be back to the serious Avengers and X-Men (and Superman and Batman, I guess). This was a nice laugh.

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