Deadpool shouldn’t be the successful film it is.
Sure, it’s a superhero movie and that’s all the rage. And it’s a Marvel movie at that. And it exists within the X-Men universe (which one isn’t clear, even to the protagonist) and features a couple of them.
But it’s R-rated, with lots of violence, nudity and sexual references, it parodies the genre and itself, makes fun of the star, breaks the fourth wall, it opened mid-winter, the studio cut the budget, it stars the guy who previously played Green Lantern…the list goes on. At best, it could make a moderately-successful movie off of a “puny” (for superhero movies) budget of $58 million. Some of the most generous estimates saw maybe $80 million.
Then WHY is it approaching $250 million this weekend?!? Because it’s a frakkin’ good movie.
From the get go the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. Instead of naming the actors, director, etc. in the opening credits, it does so descriptively; Ryan Reynolds as “God’s perfect idiot”, Morena Bacarrin as “a hot chick”, the producers as “asshats” and the director as an “overpaid idiot” and the writers as the “true heroes of the movie”. This, while Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” is playing, during a slow motion continue shot of what appears to be massive carnage.
The vulgar references are not only keeping with the character, but help keep the focus of the movie light despite the violence. And even the violence is handled with levity.
Deadpool may have shown the studios the true power of social media as well, as even Reynolds campaigned for and championed this movie heavily, while Fox seemed willing to throw it away. Could it have been done PG-13? Sure. But it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting.
Deadpool is laugh out loud funny – and it takes a lot to make me laugh out loud. Go see it…but please, leave the 10 year olds at home.