Review: R-rated and Unconventional, Marvel Superhero Film ‘Deadpool’ Crushes the Box Office


Rebecca Boyajian

When Marvel superhero film adaptations hit the big screen there is no question if the movie will be successful in terms of revenue. The Marvel formula, family-oriented films with intense action infused with humor, has been proven successful time and time again. To completely switch gears and produce a gory, raunchy, R-rated comedy was a step in a different direction and a risk that paid off—big-time. “Deadpool” has crushed box office records, raking in almost $500 million in global earnings since its release only a few weeks ago—a special feat considering the film was produced for only $58 million, a low budget for a Marvel film. “Deadpool” is a never-ending source of laughs, and the main character draws people in due to his uniquely humorous and inappropriate personality. From start to finish, the film’s action keeps viewers intrigued and never misses a comedic opportunity.

The film follows the unconventional superhero Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) on his journey to find his girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). He is hunting down the superhuman, short-fused villain Ajax (Ed Skrein), Vanessa’s kidnapper and the villain who gave Deadpool his powers, changing him from Wade Wilson but leaving him physically and emotionally scarred. The movie barely even begins before it is apparent that the casting of Ryan Reynolds is spot-on. Reynolds dominates the screen as he fully adapts into the witty and crude personality of the unconventional “superhero”, a title that Deadpool hesitates to label himself with. The well-made casting choices go on to include many of the other characters in the film as well such as Weasel (T.J Miller), Deadpool’s oddball bartender friend and Deadpool’s blind elderly roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), who has an obsession with building IKEA furniture. The pair, as well as Baccarin as Vanessa, were smart casting moves as they all contribute to the comedic atmosphere.

The success and revenue that the film has accumulated thus far is due to the unconventionality that has lured viewers in. Hilarious, quick on his feet and witty, Deadpool is completely aware that he is the main character, resulting in an abundance of jokes about “breaking the fourth wall.” In addition, jokes play off of Ryan Reynolds, the film’s small budget and “X-Men,” a film that Reynolds starred in as a villain. The oddly self-aware and flawed superhuman attracts viewers to the unique atmosphere of the film.

“Deadpool” offers an alternative to the traditional Marvel superhero movies due to the extremely crudes humor. The jokes and commentary coming not only from Deadpool but from other characters in the film, while laugh-out-loud funny, are also over-the-top inappropriate. Filled to the brim with vulgar comedy, the movie may be perceived as offensive by those who prefer more refined humor. The gore factor is also amped up, especially in comparison to other superhero films. During an early scene, Deadpool attacks a group of villains in the middle of a busy street; most of the kills are slowed down and it is impossible to miss any of the gore. Although “Iron Man” and “Thor” have their fair share of violence, they don’t even come close to matching the amount of violence and gore in “Deadpool.” 

The superhero hit is completely worthy of its R-rated title as it is filled with violence, gore, foul language and vulgar humor and does not resemble a traditional Marvel comic-turned-movie. Despite the raunchiness, the film has the potential to be one of those rare films that gets increasingly funnier the more one watches it. As for fans who cannot get enough of the chaotic yet hilarious Deadpool, there are comics and videogames that share the unique self-awareness and sarcasm that the movie recreated. “Deadpool” has the audience laughing throughout its almost two-hour duration while ensuring that they keep up with the fast-paced storyline, so that they leave the theatre wanting to watch it again and again.