Loving a new Ryan Reynolds movie, and having that movie be Deadpool, feels like the inverse of a paper cut. The whole thing feels so damn nice and natural because it’s been such a long time since Reynolds has done anything anyone cared about. Not to mention since 20th Century Fox, despite its unintentional but strong argument that the movie rights for all Marvel characters should go back to Marvel, managed to spin something so wickedly fresh and aggressively raunchy that it gives you faith in the studio’s next couple of superhero films.
The film is an inside joke aimed to please devout comics nuts, the people who’ve followed the sardonic, self-aware mercenary with a penchant for jokes through the pages of various Marvel comic books. But you don’t need to be an expert on the source material to keep up, because there’s no pretense with Deadpool, no deeper concern than having ultra-violent fun.
In both the comics and the new movie, Deadpool’s primary reason for existence is to point out how lame superheroes can be while turning villains into human shawarma and director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick pitch the idea that there must be anything grander to a superhero story than that. In contrast to, say,Captain America: Winter Soldier which was touted as a “political thriller” they don’t feel any pressure to insist that Deadpool is deep.
Miller, Reese, and Wernick instead offer a dare: to love a superhero movie that unabashedly embraces everything we really love about superhero movies ridiculous violence, wry one-liners, and a hero we can honestly root for. Fans of Deadpool know the character as a rude, lewd figure who’s fully aware of his place in the world of superheroes and who routinely skewers his status rather than exalting it, and the movie expertly captures that spirit.
But even though Deadpool seeks to make fun of its own genre mainly by pointing out how silly superheroes can be that doesn’t mean it isn’t a superhero movie, because it so very is. Maybe the best kind.
Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have already begun work on a script for deadpool’s sequel, with director Tim Miller expected to return.