And I am so happy he did. Deadpool is an R-rated superhero movie and they make the most of that rating. It’s filled with bloody violence (as oppose to bloodless violence, see below), inventive swearing, and lots of sex or talk about sex. Seriously, this is NOT a kid’s movie. It is damn fun for us adults though.
1—Read the Intro Credits
No, seriously. Just do it.
2—In Medias Res
Deadpool begins in the middle of a lengthy action sequence which is then broken up several times with copious amounts of backstory—backstory which is in fact the bulk of the movie. But it works. The pacing is solid where that of a more linear narrative would’ve been too slow followed by too fast. I love well done action sequences but it becomes numbing, not to mention boring, when they go on for too long.
And by breaking up what is linearly the penultimate confrontation, it allows the final battle to shine as the climax (insert your own sex joke).
I prefer the kind of carnage in Deadpool to the bloodless carnage you get in most superhero movies—it’s more honest. There’s something a little unnerving to me about bloodless—consequenceless—violence. Especially on the scale most superhero movies get up to, the streets should literally be running red.
Deadpool handles things a little differently. Instead of whole cities being taken to pieces, when a body hits a solid object at high speed, it goes squish. When a head is decapitated, it bounces. And the climactic fight isn’t in a populated area, for fuck’s sake. Instead of the destruction of a whole goddamned city, we have a fight between “professionals” in an isolated area. And it is awesome. Bloody and awesome.
4—The Steel Under the Fluff
Despite the over the top violence and fourth-wall breaking, Deadpool has a resonant emotional core. There’s Wade’s love for Vanessa—their broken edges fit together. Wade never judges Vanessa for being a sex worker or asks her to stop. He sees her in sexy outfits and just thinks, my god she’s beautiful, no jealousy. I also loved that they didn’t fridge Vanessa, who actually does stuff instead of being just a plot device.
There’s questions about perception of self lurking under there too. After Wade first gets disfigured, he tries to go to Vanessa only to see the reactions of people on the street to him and have massive doubt build and crush his resolve. And I liked that, though love conquers all, it doesn’t do so immediately—Vanessa remarks that Wade’s new look will take some time to normalize to, and maybe a few shots (of alcohol, not bullets), but she also still kisses him.
I loved this fucking movie. It was so much fun and hilarious. It’s quite the balancing act but I think Deadpool pulls it off perfectly. I also the side characters—especially the full-metal beefcake and “big brother” Colossus, and one of the X-Men’s child soldiers, Negasonic Teenage Warhead. For those of an appropriate age and constitution, I cannot recommend this movie enough.