I’ve been avoiding films related to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) for some time now. Not because they’re badly made or not entertaining, they just tend to be a little too kid-friendly. This is entirely to be expected given Disney’s ownership of the respective IP, and that the comic-book genre is trying to reach the widest audiences possible in order to justify their monstrous production costs, but it wasn’t so long ago that films like Iron Man and The Dark Knight trilogy had some character and integrity of their own.
I’m pleased to say that Deadpool redresses this balance very nicely. Devoid of fancy CGI effects or morally ambiguous robotic antagonists, the film is a true representation of what actual comic-book stories are: over-the-top. Despite its 15 rating, the film is packed with a refreshing level of highly cathartic violence and an obscenity count to rival an average Scorsese film, ranging from imaginative uses of swearing to hilarious sexual comedy (the ‘International Women’s Day’ moment was my personal favourite).
The story is monumentally simple: revenge by way of a kidnapped girlfriend. However, the can almost be seen as a framing device for some magnificent narrative fun. In keeping with the eponymous anti-hero’s print characteristics, constant breaking of the fourth wall is combined with a metric ton of self-referential humour in which everybody is a target including previous Marvel film’s, the superhero genre as a whole, and the film’s own studio.
Packed with anarchic and joyous insanity, Deadpool is the superhero film for those of us who want to see something new. Every scene blows a raspberry to its cinematic predecessors, and when combined with intense action and entertaining performances, the film provides a breath of fresh air before we return to the MCU for more holograms and Stan Lee cameo’s (the one featured in this film is justified given the tone).