March 31, 2017


Tim Miller, 2016
You can't really look at Ryan Reynolds filmography and see winner after winner. But to be fair, who can you really do that with? It's unlikely that any actor is going to bat 1000 in terms of always picking something that is going to be artistically fulfilling and please an audience. A respectable actor takes on risky roles, are willing to put themselves out there. Reynolds has proven that he is willing to do this when you consider his roles in The Nines, Buried and The Voices. Clearly he had better hopes for Green Lantern and he wouldn't be to blame for the film's flaws. You also can't blame him for his first portrayal as Deadpool in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As director Gavin Hood explained in an interview with The Independent, the studios had too much control and mishandled the character.

Fortunately the studio heads didn't ruin this Deadpool. Which could have been so easy to do. They could have stripped away the R-Rating and made it PG-13 to put more bodies in theaters. That would have been an early kiss of death, as this movie just wouldn't work with much restriction. Instead Deadpool becomes the R-Rated superhero film that we didn't we know we needed. In a way it's very refreshing after enduring so many safeguarded Marvel universe films. Deadpool has some real grit and danger to it. It's also probably the most self-aware superhero film to be released. From the opening credits where it makes fun of the category's tropes to the latter points of the movie where it's still poking fun at other superhero films. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues of the studios providing superhero films for adult audiences and not just for mid-puberty teenagers borrowing $9 admission from their parents. People have accused Deadpool of being too topical, as if it's going to date itself. But I didn't have that reaction. It is certainly topical, but it feels like it will have a longer shelf life. Certainly more than an Eminem song. Go listen to one of those early tracks (with the Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey references) and tell me they don't feel dated.

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