By: Kevin Jordan
Holy S#!@ was that !$#*^&% (or Cussing up a storm).
It’s been awhile since I discussed audience reaction at a screening because there usually isn’t much to talk about. At most of the movie screenings I attend, regardless of how good or bad the movie is, the audience claps. Why? I don’t know, but I’m guessing large of amounts of sugar from the three gallons of soda pop they just drank forces their bodies to do something energetic when the credits roll. I distinctly remember the audience giving an ovation to the final movie of The Hobbit trilogy and that was one of the worst movies made that year. How else to explain such a reaction other than an involuntary spasm of the hands? I also don’t understand who those people are clapping for. The movie can’t hear you; it’s not a stage play. But, then I remembered something while watching my friend lose his mind for four hours during the Super Bowl – sometimes people just need to release their own excitement. I’ve certainly done this while watching sports on television, I’ve just never been moved enough by a movie to elicit applause. That is, until I watched Deadpool. I’m not sure if it was 100% my own reaction or partially because of the uproar in the theater, but I found myself clapping along with rest of the audience in what is easily the best reception I have witnessed to a movie. And, I didn’t even drink any Coke first.
Before we get into Deadpool, it’s important to remind you that Fox Studios tried a movie with Deadpool a few years ago with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Deadpool was the villain and was played by Ryan Reynolds. Everyone thought this was brilliant until they actually watched the movie and stared in horror when Deadpool emerged late in the movie with his mouth sewn shut. What dumbass writer thought it was a good idea to silence a character whose nickname is “the merc with the mouth” and what dumbass producer (among others) okayed that idiocy after casting Reynolds, a guy known most notably for his mouth? Yes, I’m still mad that happened. Luckily, someone decided to give Deadpool and Reynolds another shot and, even luckier still, did not employ that same dumbass writer or producer.
Okay, now the movie you’re here to read about. Deadpool was fucking awesome. Yes, cussing is required to adequately describe how fucking awesome it was. See – I did it again. And, if you think F-bombs are inappropriate in a movie review, you really shouldn’t see this movie. I don’t keep track of the number of times certain words are used in a movie (I’m too busy watching the movie to waste my time doing that), but I’d guess ‘fuck’ was used somewhere north of fifty times. I’m sure that contributed heavily to the R-rating this movie earned, but that is far from the only thing. There is also bloody violence and plenty of nudity (both Reynolds and Morena Baccarin show off their spectacular bodies), so if you are one of those uptight conservative puritans who think all movies should be family-friendly, you are going to need some therapy after watching Deadpool.
For everyone else, the film includes every element of Deadpool comics that you hoped would be there. The plot is very straightforward and simple – Deadpool (a.k.a. Wade Wilson) is trying to find Ajax (Ed Skrein), the guy who ruined his face and nearly killed him while trying to unlock Wilson’s mutant genes – so the writers were able to focus on jamming in as many one-liners and fourth-wall breaks as they possible could. Unlike in the Origins movie, these writers (Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese) understood that Reynolds was born and bred to play Deadpool and made sure to give him everything he needed to succeed. The entire movie is quotable, my favorite is a scene in which Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) is dragging Deadpool and telling Deadpool that they are going to see Professor X. Deadpool responds with “McAvoy or Stewart?” and I almost pissed myself I was laughing so hard. As an added bonus, T.J. Miller plays Wilson’s best friend (Weasel) and the two of them have a banter in their scenes that plays up both of their strengths as snarky, witty comedians. Again, I almost pissed myself when Deadpool is getting ready to go kill everyone and Weasel says “I’d like to go with you. But, I don’t want to.” Just, wow.
The other great element they kept intact is that Deadpool is kind of an asshole and a little bit of a murderer (though he only murders bad guys). A subplot of the film is that Colossus is continually trying to convince Deadpool to join the X-Men, and Deadpool responds with ridicule and barbs aimed at both Colossus and his trainee, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Instead of joining them, Deadpool ditches them and kills more bad guys in his quest to catch Ajax, all while delivering F-bomb-laced witticisms.
The last couple of years, I haven’t been able to identify a truly great movie until well into the fall, but this year is different. I hoped that Deadpool would be a good movie, but I never expected a February release to be so phenomenal. Like I said, the audience reaction was easily the best one I’ve ever witnessed at a movie. But, there was one guy who hated the movie and the screening representative was kind of enough to share what that man said (to be clear, we only got the quote, not the man’s name) – “it was filthy ass trash.” As we all reacted with disbelief, my mind went to a random thought. Did the guy say “filthy-ass trash” or “filthy ass-trash?” I guess I just have Deadpool on the fucking brain.
Rating: I cannot wait to see this movie again. The ticket-counter clerk (or is it ticket counter-clerk?) could ask me for thirty dollars and I wouldn’t even blink while handing it over.