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The UnPopular Opinion: Deadpool

12.29.2016

THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!

****SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

When I shared my top overrated and underrated films of the year last week, I was lambasted for including DEADPOOL on the overrated ranking. While the preface to this column states that the UnPopular Opinion is about films that I loved or hated in contrast to the consensus take on a film, I feel it is necessary to share my take on Ryan Reynold's passion project. I want to state clearly that I do not hate DEADPOOL at all. In fact, I saw it a couple of times on the big screen and I own a copy on Blu-ray (a gift, mind you). I also tend to leave it on when I come across it on cable but that is also what has thrown my opinion of the film into the contrarian take I am about to lay before you. DEADPOOL does not hold up well upon multiple viewings, at least not as a whole. In segments and quick bursts, DEADPOOL is perfection. Like a YouTube clip of something from South Park or Family Guy, Tim Miller's superhero film is raunchy gold. But, when you start the film and watch it from beginning to end, you begin to see the holes in the mid-budgeted comic book adaptation.

DEADPOOL is the film that many thought was never going to get made. With Marvel and DC relying on the PG-13 demographic to rake in the big bucks, an R-rated Marvel movie seemed an impossibility. But, with 20th Century Fox reeling to scrape as much as possible out of their X-MEN rights, DEADPOOL got made. The resulting film became a huge hit and broke countless records and got Ryan Reynolds and company on all sorts of year end lists and Best Of rankings. As much as I love comic book movies and laughed my ass off watching DEADPOOL, I had to stop and ask myself if this movie really warrants all of the attention it is getting. With that coveted Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is hard to find a truly critical analysis of DEADPOOL that airs the dirty laundry most people are ignoring. The biggest problem with DEADPOOL is that outside of the profanity and blood, the movie is incredibly cliche and follows the same exact formula and pitfalls that every other Marvel movie suffers from. Covering those holes with some f-bombs and perfectly delivered one-liners does not get rid of them.

The UnPopular Opinion, Deadpool, Tim Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein, Superhero, Comic Book, Marvel

If you had to boil DEADPOOL's plot down to a couple of lines, what would it be? Mercenary falls in love and finds out he is dying. Undertaking an experimental cure, he is disfigured and swears revenge while also trying to get back his girl. That pretty much sums it up, right? Now, if you are going to go with a truly generic plot like that, you need to make up for it with a kick ass villain. Who do we get? Ed Skrien, the guy who couldn't carry a TRANSPORTER reboot and got fired from Game of Thrones. Okay, anyone else? How about Gina Carano in a role that has less than five spoken lines of dialogue. That pretty much sums it up. So, we have valuable supporting characters, right? Well, outside of Morena Baccarin we have T.J. Miller as Weasel in a wasted role that serves as barely more than exposition, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, and Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Most of these characters are merely window dressing to allow Ryan Reynolds to showcase his ninety minute standup routine. Granted, when you watch DEADPOOL you want to see a lot of the title character, but that doesn't warrant giving us these cardboard cutout ensemble players.

Which leads to Morena Baccarin. I would sell my child for a chance with this lady but her character is without any sort of true depth. She can go toe to toe with Wade Wilson and delivers in a stunningly hilarious sex scene, but ever other moment she is on screen it almost as hard to take as her performance on Gotham. Vanessa is a hooker with a heart of gold and there is always the potential for her to become her comic book alter ego at some point, but every decision she makes has her as a damsel in distress and barely anything more. It is ironic because the character herself discredits being a damsel in the movie! I get that this movie should have just been titled RYAN REYNOLDS IS DEADPOOL, but that doesn't excuse the sloppy execution here. I blame the majority of that on Tim Miller. Miller, primarily known for his visual effects work, should be applauded for finally getting DEADPOOL to the big screen, but his lack of skills as a filmmaker represent another major shortcoming for this movie.

The UnPopular Opinion, Deadpool, Tim Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein, Superhero, Comic Book, Marvel

I don't want to knock visual effects or stunt guys who get gigs behind the camera, but it was an incredibly smart decision to get David Leitch to replace Miller. Leitch, best known for helming JOHN WICK, is also a non-director turned filmmaker whose prowess comes in the effects side of movie-making. The difference between Miller and Leitch is the fact that JOHN WICK had some brilliant action scenes. DEADPOOL's major action doesn't come off as anything that we haven't seen before. Again, what people responded to with DEADPOOL was the breaking of the fourth wall and the self-referential nature of the character. Literally anyone could have directed this movie and the results would have turned out the same. Part of that blame falls on writers Rhet Reese and Paul Wernick who had been with the project for a long time. DEADPOOL is clearly a compromise of a film between the studio and Ryan Reynolds team. In order to get the film made, there had to be concessions on both sides: Fox conceded to violence and profanity while the film crew kept everything as cheap and generic as possible.

Notice that none of the music featured in the film is new? That is because the producers went with whatever the cheapest songs were that were relatively close to the tone and style of the film. This wasn't a James Gunn mixtape soundtrack but rather a public domain scramble to find what fit the remaining budget soundtrack. Half the songs themselves are cliches which begs the biggest question of all: if DEADPOOL is constantly mocking and joking about cliches, why is this movie as cliche as it is? Is that the ultimate joke or is it the result of constraints and studio interferene. We laud DEADPOOL for being so risky and unlike the other superhero films crowding our theaters, but is it? Take away the swearing and blood and you really don't have much left. I will laugh every single day at the jokes Ryan Reynolds spews in this movie but taken in a full viewing it just becomes a movie and nothing unique.

The UnPopular Opinion, Deadpool, Tim Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein, Superhero, Comic Book, Marvel

DEADPOOL is ultimately what it needed to be: the movie that showed the studio that the character (and R-rated comic book films) are a viable stream of revenue. With DEADPOOL 2, Reynolds and crew will be tempted to go bigger and better than the original which does not bode well for an original project full of daring and dangerous humor. DEADPOOL as a film should be as unhinged and crazy as the character is in illustrated form. While this is clearly a studio take on an anti-establishment character, there is hope for something to shake up the formula. But, that would mean a worthy villain and original story have to be at the forefront of everybody's mind. No one should return behind the scenes for DEADPOOL 2 aside from Reynolds himself as he clearly has a love for Wade Wilson. I just hope that he is more than a mouthpiece but an actual character with some depth in the sequel because this version of DEADPOOL is no better than any other comic book film out there.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for The UnPopular Opinion I’m always happy to hear them. You can send along an email to alexmaidy@joblo.com, spell it out below, slap it up on my wall in Movie Fan Central, or send me a private message via Movie Fan Central. Provide me with as many movie suggestions as you like, with any reasoning you'd care to share, and if I agree then you may one day see it featured in this very column!

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Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
2:55AM on 01/03/2017

Thank You!

Deadpool is so overrated. It wasn't that good.
Deadpool is so overrated. It wasn't that good.
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9:49PM on 12/29/2016
I don't think it is as great as some people make it out to be, nor would it be in my top 20 favorite comic book films. But it was one of the better comedies of the year and a fresh take on the comic book genre in films. Yes, in broad terms the plot may be familiar, but it's delivered in a unique way that I don't mind.
I don't think it is as great as some people make it out to be, nor would it be in my top 20 favorite comic book films. But it was one of the better comedies of the year and a fresh take on the comic book genre in films. Yes, in broad terms the plot may be familiar, but it's delivered in a unique way that I don't mind.
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5:55PM on 12/29/2016
agreed... Deadpool and all of its characters had no depth. Without injecting reality into the characters and dialogue, it came off as a long Family Guy episode. I just didnt care or like anyone and therefore didnt care about the story.
agreed... Deadpool and all of its characters had no depth. Without injecting reality into the characters and dialogue, it came off as a long Family Guy episode. I just didnt care or like anyone and therefore didnt care about the story.
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4:55PM on 12/29/2016
Go watch Fantastic Four, you purple cloud loving troll.
Go watch Fantastic Four, you purple cloud loving troll.
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4:48PM on 12/29/2016

Updated thoughts after 2nd viewing

I've just finished rewatching after reading the article today. And have to say, the second viewing experience was MUCH better. Maybe because now that I knew what to expect with story and everything, I could just sit back and enjoyed the ride along with every tiny details of balanced drama, humor, dialogs, surprisingly heartfelt emotions, awesome action sequences, brilliant acting from both Reynolds and Baccarin etc. Even with all the predictabilities and familiarity in plot and a depthless
I've just finished rewatching after reading the article today. And have to say, the second viewing experience was MUCH better. Maybe because now that I knew what to expect with story and everything, I could just sit back and enjoyed the ride along with every tiny details of balanced drama, humor, dialogs, surprisingly heartfelt emotions, awesome action sequences, brilliant acting from both Reynolds and Baccarin etc. Even with all the predictabilities and familiarity in plot and a depthless uninteresting shitty villain, for its limited budget it is very well made and perfectly executed little popcorn film. And I don't agree that director Tim Miller didn't have any skills or 'literally anyone could've directed it and the result would be same', to me the direction and cinematography were up to the mark for what they were going for. Ultimately it was all about what to expect versus what it really is, and from my firsthand experience right now I can safely say if you know what you're going to expect from this movie, you'll totally get your money's worth. Just forget all the "350+ mill domestic boxoffice!" or "golden globe nominee for best comedy film!" thoughts beforehand.
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+3
3:03PM on 12/29/2016
I am truly sorry for you if you didn't have fun with Deadpool...

It was pure unapologetic fun! And the best part is that it didn't pretend to be anything more than that.
I am truly sorry for you if you didn't have fun with Deadpool...

It was pure unapologetic fun! And the best part is that it didn't pretend to be anything more than that.
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2:38PM on 12/29/2016

It's all about the expectations

Considering the time it took to get made, the low budget it was given, the fact it was made by Fox and the track record of Ryan Reynolds with superhero movies (or movies in general), Deadpool was remarkably well made. Yes, the plot is simple but giving a complicated plot to a Deadpool film would be a catastrophic mistake. It needs to be kept simple enough so that the focus is squarely on the character.

Now, did some people went overboard with their praise, which led to others having
Considering the time it took to get made, the low budget it was given, the fact it was made by Fox and the track record of Ryan Reynolds with superhero movies (or movies in general), Deadpool was remarkably well made. Yes, the plot is simple but giving a complicated plot to a Deadpool film would be a catastrophic mistake. It needs to be kept simple enough so that the focus is squarely on the character.

Now, did some people went overboard with their praise, which led to others having unrealistic expectations? Maybe. But the film can only be held responsible for what it accomplish. Deadpool succeeds in what it's trying to do.
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2:47PM on 12/29/2016
Sorry, Jimmy, but the site isn't allowing me to post.

I gave this movie a 9/10. I know it's not the 1st super-hero parody or the 1st action movie to constantly break the 4th wall. So... no, it's not the game changer some people claim it is (except for making studios make more R-rated blockbusters, but that might not be a good idea). It's a funny and fun movie with good performances, creatively gruesome action sequences and a protagonist that manages to be likeable. It also has a ton of
Sorry, Jimmy, but the site isn't allowing me to post.

I gave this movie a 9/10. I know it's not the 1st super-hero parody or the 1st action movie to constantly break the 4th wall. So... no, it's not the game changer some people claim it is (except for making studios make more R-rated blockbusters, but that might not be a good idea). It's a funny and fun movie with good performances, creatively gruesome action sequences and a protagonist that manages to be likeable. It also has a ton of heart, thanks mainly to Ryan and Morena's chemistry.
-1
1:12PM on 12/29/2016
Oh my god!! You got a Point! That being said the movie was dumb fun but the Marketing campaign was way better and funier than the finished product alltogether.
Oh my god!! You got a Point! That being said the movie was dumb fun but the Marketing campaign was way better and funier than the finished product alltogether.
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1:02PM on 12/29/2016
This doesn't make sense. People love Deadpool because it's perfect at what it is...not because of some inflated sense of quality. It's a well crafted, funny and loving adaptation of the character.
Francis was a better villain than most MCU villains because he was actually a tangible threat. Was he deep? No. But neither was Ajax in the comics. The characters were all likable and stood out and they nailed the humor. I don't you saying the sequels needs to adhere morevtobthe comics
This doesn't make sense. People love Deadpool because it's perfect at what it is...not because of some inflated sense of quality. It's a well crafted, funny and loving adaptation of the character.
Francis was a better villain than most MCU villains because he was actually a tangible threat. Was he deep? No. But neither was Ajax in the comics. The characters were all likable and stood out and they nailed the humor. I don't you saying the sequels needs to adhere morevtobthe comics sensibilities. The film too the nature of the comics and upped them...not downplayed them.
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12:55PM on 12/29/2016
Alex's taste in movies and mine differs in wildly different ways (most of the time I just shake my head after reading his unpopular opinions), but in this particular article, I have to agree with him. As much as I LOVED Reynold's portrayal as the perfect Deadpool there can be, and as much a blast of pure fun this character was on screen, other than him and the character there was nothing much there to make a lasting impact on my memory, in fact the forgettable bad guy and the cliched
Alex's taste in movies and mine differs in wildly different ways (most of the time I just shake my head after reading his unpopular opinions), but in this particular article, I have to agree with him. As much as I LOVED Reynold's portrayal as the perfect Deadpool there can be, and as much a blast of pure fun this character was on screen, other than him and the character there was nothing much there to make a lasting impact on my memory, in fact the forgettable bad guy and the cliched bare-minimum story was disappointing after all the gushing I heard/read. I perfectly understand the budgetary concerns and at a price tag of only 60 mills (for a major superhero origin movie no less) it did wonders on screen, but it was what it was: a hilarious and awesome entertainment for 90 minutes and nothing much else. Which is exactly my kind of thing, but that doesn't make it 'The Greatest Thing Ever!'. It accomplished what it set out to do, to establish Deadpool's viability (one of the best characters on comics right now) and as a major player on screen. And that's why I'm waiting with bated breath to see where the franchise go next, now that the budget-limitations and origin story is out of the way. I'm a BIG fan of Deadpool's mindblowingly imaginative and ridiculously hilarious comics, so I know sky is the limit when it comes to how out-of-left-field a Deadpool story can get.
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12:53PM on 12/29/2016
Other than being a great film, what makes Deadpool also unique was that it became the massive hit that not a lot of people expected it to be.

I for one thought it was a great film for the comic genre and a total game changer for it as well. But I also think the best part of this film is how much time, dedication, and heart went into making this film and for the fans that have been waiting paitiently for a well written, thought out portrayal since Origins: Wolverine.
Other than being a great film, what makes Deadpool also unique was that it became the massive hit that not a lot of people expected it to be.

I for one thought it was a great film for the comic genre and a total game changer for it as well. But I also think the best part of this film is how much time, dedication, and heart went into making this film and for the fans that have been waiting paitiently for a well written, thought out portrayal since Origins: Wolverine.
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12:12PM on 12/29/2016
I would've thought Deadpool was the greatest movie ever made if I'd seen it when I was 14.
I would've thought Deadpool was the greatest movie ever made if I'd seen it when I was 14.
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11:31AM on 12/29/2016

Captain America 1-3

Do you take submissions or suggestions? Captain America Civil War and even Winter Soldier need to be taken down a peg or two.
Do you take submissions or suggestions? Captain America Civil War and even Winter Soldier need to be taken down a peg or two.
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11:30AM on 12/29/2016

Great for what its supposed to be. what did you expect?

the really really really unpopular opinion.
the really really really unpopular opinion.
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10:16AM on 12/29/2016

I have never revisited Deadpool, but I loved it on one viewing...

I get the feeling that this movie loses appeal on multiple viewings so I'll just stick with one.
I get the feeling that this movie loses appeal on multiple viewings so I'll just stick with one.
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12:46PM on 12/29/2016
I actually liked it more when I saw it for the second time and I've seen it on HBO quite a bit and it never gets old.
I actually liked it more when I saw it for the second time and I've seen it on HBO quite a bit and it never gets old.
12:46PM on 12/29/2016
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