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Thoughts on the Deadpool Movie

Some thoughts on the Deadpool movie that you might have heard came out this past weekend.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

-My wife was not the slightest bit interested in seeing the movie until Friday came around and suddenly every reviewer she pays attention to was gushing about the movie. This film had some amazing word of mouth attached to it.

– The pegging scene? That was a pretty early sign that this was going to be a unique superhero film.

– However, what really amazed me is how much a little weird went in this film. The film was, like, 90% of a generic action film. The villain’s motives were practically nonexistent, the ending mostly would not be out of place in a bad direct-to-DVD action film, and yet that 10% of weirdness really makes the film stand out.

– Come on, film executives, PLEASE take from this film’s success that it makes sense to not mess with the comics that much. Fox, to this point, seemed to be looking at their source material and say, “How can we make this different?” This film did not prove that that is a bad thing, but it has to at least suggest that you should maybe try it. Please DON’T have the take away become “Just make comic book movies dirtier!”

– Man of Steel was such a poor adaptation of Superman. And I’ve read a couple of Superman comics in my time. That’s neither here nor there, but it just kind of irks me that freaking DEADPOOL was more upbeat than a Superman movie. And I can say that, as I’ve read at least three Superman comic books.

– Ryan Reynolds did a great job. I love his devotion to the film.

– Blind Alfred was great.

– Wade and Vanessa had great chemistry.

– Imagine an X-Men movie where they were just superheroes!

– X-Force might seriously work now. I did have my doubts.

– Anyhow, the main thing is that I really enjoyed this flick.

42 Comments

I’m curious to see Deadpool, but man, I can’t think of anything I’d be less interested in seeing than an X-Force movie. Oh wait, aren’t they making a Legion TV show? Okay, I guess I might be a little less interested in that.

Hollywood taking the right lesson from something? Fat chance. Get ready for R-rated Shazam!

I agree so much in hoping that this paves the way for Fox to have a more open mind about the comics they’re adapting and more thoughtfully consider what works about them in the first place.

In the case of X-Men, it seems like Singer and company zeroed in on the human rights angle early on because that was their “in” to the concept, what they felt would legitimize it in the face of all the silly superpowers and costumes. Which, sure, that is a good and important aspect of a lot of X-Men stories, but even more central to the appeal of the X-Men to me is the camaraderie among this band of outsiders, the dynamics among an ensemble that includes such diverse personalities, powers, backgrounds. That’s largely been lost in the X-Men series, along with all the color and personality from their costumes and powers, and the tight focus on the Xavier/Magneto dichotomy has given a weirdly paternalistic bent to the Marvel series that had the richest history of female friendships, women in leadership roles and with diverse personalities.

I feel like the MLK/Malcom X comparison was always a good standby for explaining X-Men to outsiders if you were feeling self conscious about the soap operatic superhero stuff, not something worth basing six movies on; but then again, all the movies seem like they ARE an overly self conscious packaging of the X-Men for a perceived “mainstream audience”… an audience who actually, if not in 2000, is certainly today primed to handle a full blown Claremontian superhero take. OK, maybe not FULL Claremont for the masses, let’s say Claremont/Byrne to ease ‘em in. ;)

Also, who wouldn’t love a Fantastic Four movie that tried to be smart AND fun and optimistic? It’s like the producers are making it unnecessarily hard on themselves, because I would think if they used the tone of say, the Waid/’Ringo run as a starting point, it would be almost hard to mess up.

“The lightning strikes and explodes my body. I feel man-muscles bursting through the ribcage of a child. Every organ of my body is screaming as the lightning burns the boy into a blackened husk that crumbles around the hero within. And those organs are screaming: ‘Shazam!'”

I was struck by how cheap the movie looked. Colossus looked like he belonged in a Shrek knockoff that your grandma buys for you from Walmart. It kinda worked though since the movie itself embraced a sort of fly-by-night attitude. I was a little weirded out by Deadpool “getting the girl” at the end, too. It was like I was watching a really violent romantic comedy.

I did like the movie, though.

I was struck by how cheap the movie looked. Colossus looked like he belonged in a Shrek knockoff that your grandma buys for you from Walmart.

And I believe that the Colossus that they used in the final film was an UPGRADE from their original CGI Colossus. But yeah, their budget was so low that I didn’t begrudge them too much for it.

Your thoughts thrilled me as much as any movie. I hope the right people are taking heed.

Not that I’m opposed to more gratuitous sex and violence in Batman v Superman.

I’m not sure people would accept that much screen time for Pennyworth, though.

Great, now I’m imagining Billy Batson transforming by shouting “FUCKER!!!!”

I thought Deadpool was good, even though a lot of the good stuff wound up in commercials and trailers, and Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead felt tacked on. Also, Colossus came off sounding like a Russian mobster. Maybe we’ll get to see Magik in the sequel.

I sincerely hope Fox learns from this movie to stay true to the roots and heart of the source material. It would do them a world of good if they try to make another Fantastic Four film.

Doom does not get powers from an accident. The Thing wears shorts. The Thing is missing a finger on each hand. The FF is NOT DARK AND ANGSTY.

What’s with the anti-X-Men comments? They’re great films, which is pretty impressive considering I really hate the source material.

And yeah, the bad CGI for Collosus was the worst thing in Deadpool.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

February 18, 2016 at 12:18 am

Some friends more or less dragged me to see Deadpool, and much to my suprise I really enjoyed it – and normally I can’t stand Ryan Reynolds. The lesson to learn here should be “let your movie adaptation be loyal to the tone of the original works, and let people who actually care work on it -> you get a successful movie”, but Hollywood’s modus operandi suggests that the lesson they actually take from this is “blood and dick jokes = money”. Which is probably also true, but still…

Also, I enjoyed sort-of-crappy CGI Colossus. Totally the same guy I loved when I was a wee kid. Now I just want an X-Men film that teams him up with an equally authentic Nightcrawler.

Re: Aaron Thall’s comment about the Fantastic Four:

The Fantastic Four may not be dark and angsty, but the Byrne FF run was where I first learned of the concept of miscarriage, back when I was 6 or 7. Around the same time they were also dealing with themes of parental abandonment (the “Reed’s father is a conqueror in anothe dimension” arc), adultery (The Thing’s lady friend cheating on him with The Human Torch) and domestic abuse (the infamous “Reed slaps some sense into Susan” issue), so the comic hasn’t always been sunshine and psychedelia.

Then again, that was the 1980s and maybe taking a cue from John Byrne wouldn’t be the best idea for an adaptation, for various reasons. I’m no longer what point I was making.

I just hope that with the success of this, we finally get a legit DVD release of the whole series of Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. C’mon, Nathan Fillion is also in it!

I still don’t get the Man of Steel complaint. Will never get it. Sure, the end fight is bleak, but the way they did it was something we never had seen before in a superhero movie. But apart from that, I had a giant smile on my face for most of the movie. Sure, there are some sad parts, but when Supes flies for the first time? Or all the flashbacks to his early childhood?
It wasn’t a poor adaptation of Superman, it just wasn’t the one YOU would have liked to see. I LOVED it and I own every single Superman comic from the Byrne reboot until today. MoS was pitch perfect modern Superman and I seriously don’t get how anyone who knows comics could say otherwise. It’s totally fine that you did not like it, but to say it’s a bad adaptation is just plain wrong. I really disliked the Reeve Superman, even as I grew up with it, because I am not into that version of the character, but I would never say it’s a poor adaptation, just because I dislike it.

I’ve read four Superman comics plus parts of a fifth and I looked at the cover of a sixth, and it wasn’t in keeping with any of them. It was a shitty adaptation. Not an awful movie otherwise (not a particularly good one, either), but a terrible movie about Superman. Seriously, what Superman comic did it even remotely resemble (outside of the basics like the costume looking roughly the same and the names of the characters being the same)? What comic informed the story? Certainly nothing Pre-Byrne and I don’t buy anything Post-Byrne, either – even Byrne’s controversial killing storyline didn’t remotely resemble the killing sequence in the film.

Hi Brian

I believe MoS had some influence from the comics. The main one I could think of was Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid and Lenil Yu. It only adapts certain parts like him journeying round the world and helping people before becoming Superman as well as certain lines like Pa Kent saying “You’re the answer to are we alone in the universe”. While I like MoS, there were certain elements that I dislike as well such as certain characterization of Costner’s Pa Kent and the way Snyder and Goyer chose to end the film such that Superman had no choice but to kill Zod even if his actions were to save the family. I can see why there are people who dislike it as well. It is a matter of preference and everyone has different taste.

Brian, killing, or should that more correctly be executing Zod, and a subsequent vow to never take another life, has precedents in the Superman mythos long, long before Zach Snyder put it in his movie. I take some of this from Walt Simonson’s ‘Superman Special #1 – Kryptonite No More’ from 1992 (itself a retelling of the two-decades-earlier ‘Kryptonite Nevermore’ storyline) as well as the Superman II movie starring Christopher Reeve. The Simonson storyline strongly implies that another life was taken in a situation where there was no other choice.

Marius –

“MoS was pitch perfect modern Superman and I seriously don’t get how anyone who knows comics could say otherwise.”

It doesn’t look like MoS has a lot in common with the Byrne version.

Which version exactly is MoS a pitch perfect translation?

Will M. –

I like most of the X-Men movies (X-Men: The Last Stand excepted), but I agree with you about how they lost a good chunk of the Claremontian ensemble cast appeal. Unfortunately, I think that it’s hard to do in a movie. Perhaps in a TV show.

“Executing.” So Superman is the Punisher, is what you’re saying.

Superman is a hero mainly not because he’s some godlike alien but because of the strong moral upbringing by the Kents, who taught him that if he had these gifts he had to use them to help people. That movie’s Kents said for god’s sake don’t try to help people–just keep your head down and look out for yourself, or else they’re gonna getcha!

I dunno what the heck that was, but it wasn’t Superman.

Buttler –

Yeah, I also don’t get the explanation that MoS is in any way faithful to the comics. Superman killing in the comics has happened, but it’s an extreme outlier. It could be a heartfelt moment in the third movie of the series, at best, not in the movie that establishes the series.

But I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve not read Nu52 Superman, or JMS’s Earth One Superman, so I don’t know, maybe MoS is a faithful adaptation of those? Is that what Snyder and other folks mean, when they say that it’s actually faithful to the comics?

In defense of Hollywood, the trick with “being faithful to the source material” is knowing which source to which to be faithful.

Marvel Studios has Kevin Feige, who both knows comics and has good taste. They were able to pick elements from among the Lee-Kirby Avengers stuff, the Millar-Hitch Ultimates stuff and Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run to create the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sony was in good hands with Sam Raimi on its Spider-Man films, until they started pressing him to move beyond the Lee-Ditto material that he knew and cared about. Bryan Singer has the X-Men franchise his own personal thing, but that is almost a unique case. No one seems to have a clue what made the Fantastic Four appealing.

On the DC/Warner Bros. side of things, the folks who are producing the current slate of (mostly unloved) DC Comics are in house. They are the folks who are directing the higher ups where to look for source. Given that everyone in the DC org chart not named “Geoff Johns” seems to have begun and ended their DC education by reading “The Dark Knight Returns”, it is not exactly shocking that general direction is DARKER and MOAR BATMAN. While I generally like Johns, he is quirky and overly attached the Super Friends cartoons as his baseline.

Buttler,
Your point is the exact same one I made to my wife and friends. They didn’t understand why I hated MoS. Of course I think in their mind that they think I will automatically love any comic property.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Enough to buy the bluray? Perhaps not. It has the same dichotomy the comics do with me – I love the humour, not so much the R-rated stuff; which wins? It’s a close call.

I did NOT like Colossus in this movie – not because of the look (which I could deal with, though why did he never become human, not even to eat cereal?) – but because they made him a total doofus, which he is not.

Is Vanessa supposed to be Copycat? She looks a little like her. And has the same name.

“Please DON’T have the take away become “Just make comic book movies dirtier!””
You know that they will. :(

Marius:
“But apart from that, I had a giant smile on my face for most of the movie.”
Which is more than I can say for the main character. We have a fifteen-hour (feels like) movie, showing his entire life, infancy through to adulthood, and he smiles a total of, what, twice? in the entire movie. Once when he’s learning to fly, tongue-tied and twisting, just an Earth-bound misfit… *cough* ‘scuse me.
Once when he learns to fly, once when he’s playing a role (that of Clark Kent, reporter at the end).
… and its fans constantly parrot the ‘he’s relatable’ thing.
I guess so, if you’re having a serious depressive episode. If you can relate to this Superman, then, please get help.

Ecron Muss:
“(killing) and a subsequent vow to never take another life,”
I never saw the slightest sign of such a vow in the movie. What version did you see?
Or did you interpret that one scream as said vow? Because I think you’re reading a lot into it.

(Both the above points – the vow and the ‘relatability’ – seem to come again and again from people who spent more time reading press releases than watching the movie.)

Dean Hacker:
“Marvel Studios has Kevin Feige,”
And, apparently, in Deadpool’s universe he runs a pizza shop.

“No one seems to have a clue what made the Fantastic Four appealing. ”
Plenty of people do.
Unfortunately, none of them seem to work for Fox. :(

Save Ferris!

Did anybody else that the fight in the scrapyard at the end – the scrapyard was a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier? (Am I allowed to say that here?)

Man of Steel is the worst high-budget superhero movie ever made. It literally got nothing right. horrible as a film, horrible as an adaptation, too dark, too long, no fun, butchers the character, butchers the origin… Superman was created in the ’30s to inspire, and that’s what the character is still supposed to stand for, nearly 80 years later. Man of Steel nearly inspired me to walk out of the theater.

That wasn’t a Helicarrier….or else they might get sued. (I’m kidding…of course it was a helicarrier).

I hope Baccarin gets cast in a Marvel movie now, so she can be in the X-Men universe, the DC multiverse, and the MCU/Spidey verse. Plus I like looking at Morena Baccarin.

Colossus didn’t look like great CGI, but at least he finally looked like Colossus! And really, for $58 mil, they did a lot. I mean regular romantic comedies spend that much, no more super hero ones. And I think he was old school sweet Colossus, not a goof. I was actually glad he didn’t get completely punked in the fight. I’m not sure how the X-Men wanted to recruit a guy who wasn’t even a merc anymore but just a guy who was going around for (2 years??!!??) killing guys to hunt down the guy who did it to him, but he was a great X addition.

“MoS was pitch perfect modern Superman and I seriously don’t get how anyone who knows comics could say otherwise. It’s totally fine that you did not like it, but to say it’s a bad adaptation is just plain wrong. I really disliked the Reeve Superman, even as I grew up with it, because I am not into that version of the character, but I would never say it’s a poor adaptation, just because I dislike it.”

So it’s ok to state as it’s quality as an absolute to those who know comics as a positive, but not as a negative? Even beyond emo killer Superman, as buttler points out, the even bigger problem might be how horrible Pa Kent is. And how ridiculously solvable all the no win situations Clark is put actually are. I think Brian is right…it’s an ok to decent superhero movie. It kind of an awful Superman movie. (Still trying to figure out what “version” of Superman Reeves was that one wouldn’t like…..isn’t he just Superman?)

As to Deadpool, and the lesson…

This is one of those times where I think the blogosphere is largely misinterpreting what the question even is before attempting to offer the answer. When people talk about what the lesson of Deadpool is, and whether Hollywood will learn the wrong one, they’re asking the wrong question in the first place. People who think Hollywood will learn the wrong lesson are asking the question of what made Deadpool really good, not what made Deadpool a financial mega-success. Those are not the same questions.

Here’s the question Hollywood will try to answer: Did Deadpool make an insane amount of money because A) it was really good, or B) because a lot of people wanted to see an R-rated superhero movie? Everyone keeps talking about Hollywood likely learning the wrong lesson, but I think the opposite: Hollywood will learn the right lesson, it will just have unfortunate results. To say that Hollywood learning that R-rated superhero movies will be successful is the “wrong” lesson is, I think, to misunderstand what made Deadpool successful in the first place. Yes, it was very good, and word of mouth has undoubtedly helped and will continue to do so. But when Deadpool made a financial killing on Thursday and Friday, that’s really before word of mouth can take much effect. The question for Hollywood is why it made so much money right off the bat, and sadly, I don’t think that’s at all because it was good. The fact that it’s good is almost incidental in that regard.

I really think that the reason so many people went to see Deadpool right away, before they’d heard anything about its quality, was because they thought it looked cool and different. Why did it look cool and different? Because it was rated R and looked highly irreverent. That’s the truth of why so many people saw it right away, and therefore why it was successful. Yes, it was a great and faithful adaptation, and really well written, and ideally, there will be some positive Hollywood takeaways from that as well. But the lesson to learn about why Deadpool was so financially successful is a lesson of rating, plain and simple.

So yes, Hollywood will learn that people wanted R-rated superhero movies, and honestly, that IS the right financial takeaway here. It’s just not necessarily the right qualitative one. Does that mean we’ll be getting some absolutely wretched R-rated superhero movies in the next 5 years? Yes, yes it does. But maybe we’ll get some good ones, too.

” Why did it look cool and different? Because it was rated R and looked highly irreverent.”

I think you’re putting more weight on the former, and not enough on the latter. Certainly it wasn’t making big bucks because it was true to Deadpool, a character no one knows anything about. But because it looked fun. I doubt there is that big a crowd that said “oooohhhh, superheroes with boobies! Let’s go see it!” Otherwise Dredd (which comic book people thought was pretty good generally too) wouldn’t have bombed, and Kick Ass wouldn’t have been a “we’ll make a sequel” movie but an it earned so much we’re going to do a franchise movie. Deadpool is hardly the first, or even the only recent, R rated comic movie around. It was marketed as fun, and it delivered fun, and that’s why people went to see it. The take away should be is make movies people enjoy. The problem is too many people thinking that people are enjoying the R stuff, which actually doesn’t really come from the comic (as chronicled here) and it’s not because of the irreverent fun, which does come from the comic.

I believe MoS had some influence from the comics. The main one I could think of was Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid and Lenil Yu. It only adapts certain parts like him journeying round the world and helping people before becoming Superman as well as certain lines like Pa Kent saying “You’re the answer to are we alone in the universe”.

Sure, fair enough, the oil rig scene was definitely seemingly adapted from Birthright. What’s interesting is that the oil rig scene was probably one of the best scenes in the whole movie.

Regarding reactions from film executives, James Gunn had a good rant the other day about a line from one film executive about the movie about how everyone was shocked that people wanted to see an irreverent superhero film. Gunn, naturally enough, was like, “Oh really, isn’t that exactly what you all said when Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit?”

And maybe Zack Snyder’s best film? Written by James Gunn. At least one guy there gets it.

Not that it really matters to this discussion, but Clark Kent secretly helping people before he became Superman began with Byrne’s Man Of Steel #1 (unless silver age Superbaby did it).

I haven’t seen Deadpool yet, but this makes me curious. Since I haven’t seen this or more than 25 minutes of “Man of Steel,” the only comment I have on the lessons that Hollywood (and Fox specifically) should learn from this is: If you really want to make another R-Rated, “irreverent” mutant movie to try to replicate Deadpool’s success, make an X-Statix movie.

It’s interesting that some people are asking for a fun Fantastic Four movie, but didn’t we get that in “The Incredibles”? It had the family unit, humor, and the super-hero action we expected from FF.

As for Superman, it’s a sad state when even the studio doesn’t believe in him.
Granted, Superman had 4 movies in the 1970’s/ 1980’s, but since then Batman has had 7 solo movies since 1989. Superman had his own movie again in 2006 and 2013. And then 2016’s “Superman” movie isn’t a sequel *and* it gives Batman first billing.
*And* the studio is talking about giving Batman 3 more movies, yet (because it bears repeating) Superman doesn’t even get a sequel to himself.

Yet who here can honestly say they didn’t like the Superman character on the 1990’s Superman animated series and the 2000’s Justice League animated series?

@M-Wolverine:
“I hope Baccarin gets cast in a Marvel movie now, so she can be in the X-Men universe, the DC multiverse, and the MCU/Spidey verse. Plus I like looking at Morena Baccarin.”

And the Whedonverse!

@John:
“It’s interesting that some people are asking for a fun Fantastic Four movie, but didn’t we get that in “The Incredibles”?”
The problem with something like Fant4stic is, it’s Fantastic Four In Name Only.
The problem with The Incredibles is, it’s Fantastic Four in everything BUT name.

Go figure.

See? Since she’s been in the Whedonverse she should have been halfway into being in an Avengers movie anyway. We still need a Janet Van Dyne. Can we use Spider-Woman now that Spidey is being shared?

And the Incredibles is the best Fantastic Four movie ever made. And just goes to show that the FF ISN’T that hard a concept to make work. I mean, how bad are you at making movies when the template has been laid out for you, and all you have to do is copy it? If anyone says “the FF movie just ripped off the Incredibles” you just say “the Incredibles ripped off the FF first.”

I would have preferred more balance with the Deadpool movie, but as someone outside of his 20’s, I don’t think this film was made with me in mind. I loved the Joe Kelly version and the character’s appearances in Uncanny X-Force, but if the comic book version was always depicted the same way as he is in the movie, I would have never been a fan.

Few things I hated:
-Naked Ryan Raynolds. Okay, sex scene. Fine. Whatever. But then we see his naked arse over and over and over again.
-Weasel’s character’s completely changed from a tech-nerd sidekick to a douche from a bar.
-Blind Al’s tiny, TINY role. Her point seems to have been just to make Deadpool’s costume. Nothing else. Barely any chemistry between her and Deadpool.

– Come on, film executives, PLEASE take from this film’s success that it makes sense to not mess with the comics that much. Fox, to this point, seemed to be looking at their source material and say, “How can we make this different?” This film did not prove that that is a bad thing, but it has to at least suggest that you should maybe try it. Please DON’T have the take away become “Just make comic book movies dirtier!”

________________________________

Quoted for the truth.

I’m curious what they mean by an “X-Force” movie. Which X-Force are they talking about?

The one with all of the guns and the mysterious leader?
Maybe the one led by Cannonball on the run from the government.
Or perhaps the one with the no-longer-mysterious leader who is now a father figure?
Could be the one with no leader and a bunch of teens wandering the country.
Probably not the one where they all wear leather jackets and gain new powers that are never referred to again.
Might even be the one where a whole new group shows up replaces everyone before renaming to X-Statix.
Most likely it’ll be the one where they’re a covert strike team lead by the hairy mutant with claws.

Anyway, can’t wait to see Deadpool on Monday!

@Sigh- So you have no problem with a scene set in a strip club (with actual naked people in an on screen strip club for a change…hi Sin City!) but RR ass was too much? Fair’s fair. You must have been beside yourself with lil Deadpool waving about in the fight.

As far as I can tell Deadpool is really popular with people who like superhero movies but have never read a comic book. He’s the pop culture anti-hero for the Facebook crowd. The Deadpool I remember is the generic Liefeld merc though.

That said, there isn’t a single Marvel or DC movie that I really like. The first Spider-Man and Cap movies are ok and I can actually watch them more than once. The rest suck and not only as comic book movies but most of them as movies.

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