Throwback Article:

Deadpool is Waiting for You

Time for a stupid question, is there anybody out there who hasn’t watched Deadpool? Well, is there anyone out there other than my dad who didn’t watch it? Even he intended to see it until he learned it was not, in fact, the sixth installment of the Dirty Harry franchise. So is there anyone who actually knows how to use the internet that didn’t see it? I didn’t think so.

Well, humor me for a second. Maybe you live under a rock and don’t know who Deadpool is? Or maybe, unlike me, you actually care about other people — and spent your Valentine’s Day catering to them instead of sitting through a particular comic book flick with your man crush Ryan Reynolds for the third time. Either way, instead of wasting your time (and more importantly, mine), I am going to provide the top reasons why you should have seen Deadpool. Or possibly, why you should see it again.

The first reason Deadpool is nothing like the “previous attempt” at Deadpool. Any dedicated comic book fan would rather spend a frigid weekend at the Weapons X facility than relive Wolverine Origins’ ending. This film is nothing like that… in any way. One of the original’s fatal flaws was to sew the lips of the self-titled “merc with the mouth” shut.

As a comic book fan, my stomach churns when presented with an origin story. On the one hand, it is great to witness the birth of characters I love and painful when revisionists attempt to reinvent them. Yes, I had issues with the accuracy of Wade’s origins — and the origins of other peripheral characters like Ajax and Angel Dust — but for the most part, these were tolerable and entertaining.

Deadpool is one of the few comic book-inspired films to boldly be made “for adults.” As a comic book fan, this can be a refreshing thing. Yes, I understand that there have been other R-rated comic book films, and some of them are pretty good, in fact, but there have been far too few of them made. Studios seem to have been under the impression that comic book films are for kids — and without a PG-13 rating, a whole twelve people will see them. Hopefully, the film’s $135 million opening weekend will break that mentality. Fox now plans to release Wolverine 3 with an R rating, meaning that the film should hold nothing back.

As the X-men franchise and characters’ owners, the Deadpool film shows Fox’s recommitment to making the comic book thing work. Instead of replicating Sony — practically rolling over dead and begging Disney to bring them back into the fold; it is excellent the Fox is committed to getting the most of the franchise. Much like Days of Future Past, Deadpool shows Fox’s willingness to rectify their mistake and redeem themselves with their fan base. I believe that good things are in store from the upcoming films — X-men: Apocalypse, Gambit, and Wolverine 3.

The film is a beautiful mix of comedy and violence, which every teenage boy dreams of, but we rarely see it in practice. This might even be my most significant criticism of the film, as I felt I had to choose between focusing on the jokes and focusing on the action. I decided on the action the first go around and watch the film a second time to go back and fully appreciate all the jokes.

Fox does the exact opposite with this film, as Disney did in Age of Ultron. We have heard how the studio demanded that Whedon “change” the movie to appeal “less to comic book fans, and more broadly to wider audiences.” The honest interpretation, designed to appeal more specifically to the fans, seems to have worked, as the film has been a success in the box office and fanboy chat rooms.

Finally, Deadpool 2 will be amazing. Now that all the “boring” origins components of the character are out-of-the-way, we get to see a whole movie about Wade being Wade. Plus, the teaser at the end of the film confirmed something fans have been screaming for, a movie with Cable. With more rumors buzzing about Stephen Lang’s interest in playing Cable (you would be hard-pressed to find a better fit in Hollywood), I really can’t think of a reason why you could ever miss that film.

Deadpool’s first feature is a comic book film for comic book fans by comic book fans. It has all the humor we have come to expect from “Mr. Pool,” with all the violence. The nerd references and Easter Eggs hidden throughout are abundant enough to placate the most diehard of fans. It is apparent that Director Tim Miller and Editor Julian Clarke knew and loved this material. The writing was consistent with some of the best of Deadpool’s comic books, and it was terrific that Ryan Reynolds was able to reprise (and rectify) his role as Deadpool. As we have to remember more than a decade ago, the character of Deadpool considered himself to look something like Mr. Reynolds.

My only fear is that Big-Hollywood will once again misinterpret the writings on the wall. Instead of understanding that the film’s successes result from an honest interpretation of the source material, they will foolishly look to replicate. Does this mean we are in line to see the next Captain America film with gratuitous Punisher-like-violence and Cap’s near poetic streaming together of curse words? I certainly hope not.

There is only one Deadpool, and it was great watching him come alive on the big screen.

This throwback article originally appeared at smashcutculture.com on February 18, 2016.

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