Film #188: Deadpool (2016)

deadpooldirector: Tim Miller
language: English
length: 108 minutes
watched on: 1 June 2016

I don’t feel like I need to introduce this movie because there was so much hype surrounding it – enough, indeed, that I felt compelled to go see the movie on its opening day back at the beginning of June. I had a bit of time off work, but I ended up not going many places because I was nursing an overexerted wrist (still am, in fact).

The problem is, of course, that the hype was back in February when the movie came out in literally every other country in the world. It’s only Japan where it was released four months late, and the hype on social media had died down a lot (it didn’t gain as much traction here, I think) – as such, I went in and saw it for what it really was, a superhero / anti-hero movie with a truckload of knob gags.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re actually kinda funny knob gags, but there’s something about a responsive audience that makes me like a movie more – there have been a few occasions on which I’ve rewatched a movie later and found it’s much funnier when everyone else around you is also cracking up. And a mixture of ineffective translation and cultural attitudes makes Japanese audiences very unresponsive, meaning that they only chuckled a few of the more blase jokes (the ones I wasn’t so enamoured with, to be honest).

So I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I perhaps would have liked. I also found it a bit drab, especially the colour palette of the main setpiece and found that the story was much more confined than I expected. I thought it would be a crossover with Spiderman and the other Marvel movies, but in fact it seems to be connected to the X-Men movies, so this was confusing for me. I don’t really follow superhero movies, and still haven’t seen the Avengers movies. I pretty much saw this one because it’s supposed to be funny and a bit different.

Another thing is I generally don’t find fourth-wall jokes so funny, and this movie is basically alternating between them and knob jokes for the whole time. Meh.

But on the other hand, I was surprised at how poignant it got in the middle sections during Deadpool’s origin story and his relationship with his girlfriend – although he suffers from the classic movie problem of not talking things out. There’s a joke poster going round that makes it look like a romantic comedy… and it’s not far from the truth, because his girlfriend seems to be Deadpool’s raison d’etre in the movie. If anything, although I’m of course happy at the suggestion, by Ryan Reynolds and the filmmakers, that such a major character could get a boyfriend in his sequel movie, I’d just be surprised he’d ever break up with her – or not be suicidally depressed if she died.

I’m glad I saw it, basically – I’m just not sure it was worth the four month wait. Get your act together, Japan!

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