I understand this is a bit late as the film was released over 3 months ago, but I suppose if you're reading this then you don't care. I'm skipping the typical summary because you've probably seen the film, and if you haven't, well, I'm sorry. So, let's get to it, shall we?
Many have praised this film. Many have lauded its boldness and creativity. Many have declared it a much-needed breath of fresh air. Many have confused me. I'm definitely on the outside looking in on this one. I promise, I'm not trying to do my best Armond White impersonation. I have no interest in being a contrarian. The best I can do is be honest, and I honestly do not like this film. I don't expect to be agreed with, but here it goes.
Went in for brand name, came out with generic
The novelty of the potty-mouthed, R rated superhero film was played out in minutes. What is so groundbreaking here? I don't get it. We've seen plenty of R rated superhero films before. We've seen irreverent superhero films before. Everything about this film from the story, characters, jokes and even action (with maybe the exception of the first sequence) was textbook generic. It's paint by numbers.
If you're not a sports fan and don't care for sports analogies, you may want to skip this part. Is the film funny? Yes and no. It provides plenty of laughs but more misses than hits. If this film was an NBA player, it would be Allen Iverson. It's a volume shooter. It lobs jokes left and right for 108 minutes. It's bound to hit some of those right? There's no efficiency here. At least Iverson could put it away when it mattered. There's no game winning shot here.
Now for the content of all those attempts at humor: a few well-timed adult directed jokes can be effective but good grief, how many sex jokes do we need? It was relentless in its determination to deliver sloppy and regurgitated juvenile humor. It rarely lifted its head above the level of being sophomoric trash. No thanks.
Characters. What characters?
I did not care for, nor have any interest in, the characters. They're all paper-thin cutouts that would have trouble sustaining a comedy sketch let alone a feature length film. It was terribly boring. If I hadn't made a conscious effort to write about Ajax I would have already forgotten him. Wait, who was I writing about? What was this film about? Why should I care about Wade and Vanessa? With the exception of 20 seconds of meaningfulness (that felt like an accident or from another film) in the hospital, their relationship felt like a barren, vapid and annoying, horny high school tryst. Their love was so deep that Wade abandoned her because he was afraid she wouldn't like his ugly new face. The guy just had his terminal cancer cured, but he let her think he was dead because he wasn't hot anymore.
Not everything Is bettah with meta
The meta aspect of the film is inconsistent. It is conveniently ignored when attempting to drum up some tension or drama, but it doesn't work. One minute, Deadpool is breaking the 4th wall and even turning the camera away to conduct violence off screen, and then next he's freaking out about Vanessa being kidnapped. So, Mr. Pool, do you know you're not real or what? The film subverts it's own subversiveness at times. It feels uneven. Ultimately there's no real tension, drama or stakes because of it. It's all mostly just a big joke.
To be fair
Did I like anything about the film? Deapool's costume design is beautiful. It's one of the greatest screen adaptions of a superhero look. There's simplicity to it which helps, but it really does look great. The subtle CGI eyes were a great touch, too. From a visual perspective, seeing Deadpool come to life on the big screen with a flawless design was pretty awesome.
Dopinder. I loved Dopinder, but who doesn't, right? To me, the only thing I had any interest in is what happens with him, his love interest, and his cousin who's locked in the trunk of his cab. He's the one on the interesting journey here. It's his character that takes the biggest turn and has the best chance for a real arc. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, we don't find out.
I liked Deadpool growing up. I was a huge comic book reader and collector. My love of movies far preceded the superhero movie boom of the 00's. My love for (Superhero-less) movies and comics were parallel but separate interests until the aforementioned 00's (with the exception of Batman, TMNT, and a few Superman flicks). I never got my hands on New Mutants #98 but I do have X-Force #1 through a bunch and Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4. I'm a fan of the character and was excited for the film, but it just didn't work for me.
The film frantically reaches for fun stuff to throw at the audience, but unlike it's comic counterpart, it's lacking a 'magic satchel.'