For Reel

Deadpool (2016)
February 25, 2016, 1:31 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Tim Miller
3 Stars
DeadpoolFrom the opening credits on, Deadpool engages in a game of genre-criticism, arriving in a year that will undoubtedly provide both the most profitable and most exhausting spread of comic book movies to date. Marvel has mastered this game before–Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man both battled audience cynicism with their outlandish concepts and a willingness to joke–but Deadpool doesn’t even seem to have the same irreverence for the genre. Even if it opens with the Marvel logo, it is brilliantly designed as an outsider, an antidote to the superhero genre rather than the solution. If audiences are bound to feel a little silly watching a movie that openly mocks the very fact that they’ve bought a ticket to another one of these things, the film also learns from Ant-Man by scaling down the plot into basic, identifiable conflicts. The Avengers universe grows ever-more complicated with the intrusion of intergalactic baddies, but Deadpool ultimately has more at stake by simply allowing the character to show his vulnerable side. The one thing the film never jokes about is the genuine romance at the center of it. Despite its refreshing nature, Deadpool is a comedy that is never particularly funny (referencing pop culture is not a joke in itself), and having such a bare-bones vigilante plot would have been more effective had audiences felt invested in anyone other than the brash central figure. But, as this year promises several larger-than-life superhero vs. superhero spectaculars, Deadpool arrives at the perfect time, allowing us all to reflect on our willingness to continue indulging these admittedly irresistible entertainments.

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