I’m not going to bother reviewing Deadpool aka Hollywood’s apology letter for X-men Origins. You know it’s awesome. You don’t need me to tell you what everyone else on the internet is screaming.
Deadpool is box office gold and it has excited Hollywood executives sitting around the table desperately trying to figure out the answer to the question: ‘what is it that made everyone go insane over Deadpool?’ Deadpool is very, very good, but as we know being very, very good doesn’t necessarily make you popular. Well, I have a few theories about why everyone loves Deadpool so much and it begins with the film that made him the man he is today: X- men Origins.
X-Men Origins didn’t ruin him; it made him (No. I’m not joking)
Seriously. If X-men Origins didn’t do such an appalling job with his character, I don’t think Deadpool would have been anticipated with anywhere near the same level of hype. In fact, I’m not even sure a film about Deadpool would have been made in the first place. Let me explain:
Before X- Men Origins, almost nobody outside hardcore comic book fans had heard of Deadpool. A lot of us knew of Storm, Wolverine, Rogue, Cyclops, Xavier, Magneto and the Juggernaut (bitch) from the 90s cartoon series, but Deadpool? This fourth wall breaking joker wasn’t a household name like the others. But Origins changed all that.
If X-men Origins had just reduced him to a cameo like they did with Gambit, sure, there would have been some seething tweets about this being a ‘wasted opportunity’; but there wouldn’t have been a huge outrage and we probably wouldn’t have thought much about him. However, because of how dreadful his portrayal was on every level, the entire comic book fandom was up in arms. There was article after article on every geek culture website raging about what had been done to Deadpool. That’s when it began. Suddenly, everybody started hearing about this Deadpool; how they ruined his character, how he was the most hilarious character in the Marvel universe and they sewed his lips shut. And the more we heard, the more we wanted to find out more about him. Suddenly, we were pissed off about the treatment of Deadpool too. Suddenly we wanted to see this superhero given his due. And Hollywood knew that. They knew that superhero films were extremely popular; they knew that if they got talented people behind it they had a ready made fan-base. And that’s what gave Wade his catalyst to fame.
He’s a game changer in the same way Batman was
Part of what made Batman Begins so successful was that he was Batman as we had never seen him before. Up until then, the common image of an onscreen Batman was the image of Adam West in his camp attire and later Del Boy and Rodney running through the streets in their costumes; and Batman forever which was just… punishing.
But Nolan approached his film differently. He took the character seriously. He turned Batman into a dark, jaded anti hero who was the last line of defense against a corruption threatening to drag a city into darkness. We had a real battle against good and evil; we had real stakes. And we were loved every moment of it. Soon, the more serious tone became the new normal for superhero films.
James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy,
“The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.”- James Gunn
I’d agree to an extent. Sure, you got a lot of self depracating jokes in previous superhero films (Peter Parker trying to tell Gwen Stacey’s father about the lizard man in The Amazing Spider-Man and being asked ‘do I look like the mayor of Tokyo?’). But not like this; there’s nothing Deadpool won’t mock.
He gets our banter
“I think your crazy matches my crazy.”
How many of us have said something like that to our spouse or best mate? Exactly, all of us. And that’s the beauty of Deadpool.
His acerbic, irreverent sense of humor is our sense of humour. His twisted one liners are like the ones we tell each other on a Friday night when we’re pissed with our friends. That scene with the taxi driver and his romantic rival locked in the boot was so bad, so sick, but so so good because that’s exactly the kind of shit we say with or mates. We love him because he’s hilarious; we love him even more because he’s real as well.
It was just pure entertainment
That is the crux of the matter- while there are a lot of factors that made Deadpool, The Avengers, Batman Begins popular, the elephant in the room is that all of these films were good. Everything about this film was just so perfect and so fun. The jokes had me banging my fist against the chair. The fight scenes were slick and creative and a joy to watch. The characters were likable. Ryan Reynolds was amazing. Vanessa was great (it was wonderful to see a sex worker who wasn’t portrayed as a slut or a victim, but a real person). Collossus was so corny and over the top that he made the perfect foil to Deadpool. Francis was just so real, and so nasty that even Deadpool’s humor couldn’t undermine the awfulness of his actions.
Everything about it made it a pure joy to watch and that’s what keeps people coming back. If Hollywood can learn any lesson from Deadpool, it should be that if it wants to make money than it should keep on putting its money into good quality people making good quality movies.