DEADPOOL REVIEW: Schlock And Gore Disguise A Resoundingly Conventional Superhero Movie
Look, I’ll be honest. I’m extremely tired of the pompous, cape wearing superhero yawn-fest that has been dominating mainstream cinema for the past few years. I was quite keen to see to what extent Marvel’s latest offering Deadpool would do to change it up.
I’m in two minds about the whole thing. When it hits it’s mark Deadpool is clever, funny and energetic, cutting the legs out from under the lumbering Marvel/DC beast with a tirade of self referential humour and fantastically inventive swearing.
However, beneath the tawdry veneer of dick gags lurks a resolutely conventional superhero movie. Yes, it breaks the fourth wall, Woody Allen did it in Annie Hall in 1977 and Edwin S. Porter did it in The Great Train Robbery in 1903 so let’s all hold off on the raucous applause for now.
It’s also disappointing that the filmmakers didn’t further explore Deadpool’s pansexuality. The protagonist’s diverse sexuality is a well documented feature of the comic books and yet it was barely referenced at all in the film.
Here’s a thought: Instead of yet another joke about jizzing cocks, why not take that allocated time and flesh Deadpool’s character out with a non hetero-normative relationship? What’s that? You’re too afraid of alienating your key demographic? Well, maybe 14-year-old boys need to have their narrow worldview shaken up from time to time. And another thing: despite calling out the genre on this very problem numerous times, Deadpool’s female characters are still woefully underdeveloped and caricatured. No Marvel, kicking ass does not equal well-written female.
Ultimately, despite promising to be shocking and controversial, Deadpool fails to push any real boundaries. All conventions are left intact and all envelopes are left un-pushed. What you do get from Marvel’s newest screen adaptation is an entertaining, refreshing action flick with enough genuine laughs to fill out the forgiving 108-minute run time.
One thing is certain: after the huge success of Deadpool at the box office we should all be preparing ourselves for several years of sequels and copycat franchises as Hollywood pathetically flails around trying to catch lightning in a bottle.