Review by C.J. Bunce
What Ant-Man was for Marvel Studios’ Avengers franchise, Deadpool is for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, proving that a good story and good delivery can outperform big budget, team-up blockbusters. Ant-Man stepped away from the standard superhero movie tropes to give us a flawed human trying to do right by way of some good tech, and Deadpool went to the next step and took the superhero story that much further away from the norm. As the #1 box office success of any Rated R film, it also proved you cannot predict what will fail and what will succeed.
But all the press that distinguished Deadpool as something completely new and different was really just feeding into the marketing hype. Seemingly collectively shocked by the impending change-up of “the first Rated R superhero movie,” press and critics ignored so much. From an over-the-top action standpoint was Deadpool that far different from RoboCop, The Crow, or V for Vendetta–all also carrying the R rating? And from a crude humor standpoint, is Deadpool any different from the similarly hilarious Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, or if darkness is your thing Sin City or Watchmen–also Rated R?
The reality is that the success of Deadpool can be found in the melding of all the elements you need for any good superhero movie. If you skipped this one or only watched it in the theater, now is a good time to revisit it on Blu-ray or DVD. You no doubt missed some great elements during your first watch, and the special features that accompany the home release point out plenty that will likely elevate whatever view you already have about this release.
The Blu-ray we reviewed included both the Blu-ray and DVD as well as a digital Ultraviolet code for viewing on your Vudu or Flixster account. Deadpool includes the best behind the scenes coverage of any Blu-ray we’ve reviewed this year in its “From Comics to Screen… to Screen” segment. Who knew how much stunt work was required for all the elaborately choreographed action sequences and how much was actually CGI? Sure, we knew star Ryan Reynolds was in the “Deadpool red” supersuit for part of the film, but his two stuntmen really carried a lot of the film with one stuntman tearing his ACL for one of the less-involved sequences. And like the movie’s in-joke, the two other X-Men that appear may well be lesser characters when compared to the team in X-Men: Apocalypse, yet the fact we get to focus on far fewer means we got to know Colossus that much better. Plus director Tim Miller and costume designer Angus Strathie made sure Negasonic Teenage Warhead wore the classic X-Men yellow supersuit.
Viewers will be rewarded with something we haven’t seen before on a Blu-ray extra: an in-depth discussion with the film’s composer, Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, about his decision-making process in creating the varied themes for this unique movie. The Blu-ray also includes commentaries by the director and Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and another very funny version with Ryan Reynolds and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, plus galleries, extended scenes and a gag reel.
For sure Deadpool isn’t for everyone. The R rating never seems to keep out older teens, but when you get down to the 12- and 13-year-olds you may want to re-think what you’re exposing your kids to. Then again, part of growing up is finding your way into adulthood one way or the other, and other than some language and references most kids won’t understand, Deadpool is no worse than many other R movie alternatives, and it is actually less “adult” than Netflix series like Jessica Jones, or any original programming on Showtime, Starz, or HBO. But your kid will see a lot of shots of Ryan Reynolds’ arse so you may want to spare them that much.
Good acting by Reynolds and lead actress Morena Baccarin, good secondary performances by T.J. Miller (bar owner Weasel), Gina Carano (as tough gal Angel Dust), and Leslie Uggams (as Blind Al), and a faithful adaptation of the Marvel Comics character make Deadpool required viewing for fans of superhero flicks. Get your copy of Deadpool in video stores or here from Amazon.com.