Deadpool intrigues mature audiences

Lauren Frias, co-editor-in-chief

Reeling in a massive $135 million in sales just during opening weekend, a new Marvel movie broke the box office early February. Contrary to the expected goody-goody atmosphere of your average Marvel movie, the film puts a darker—albeit more hilarious—twist on acts of heroism, romance and the mandatory Stan Lee cameo. Marvel’s Deadpool definitely delivers, bringing the comic book character to life in his own movie (contrary to his lackluster debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

Ex-Special Forces Member Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) works as a shady mercenary, doing good deeds for the right price. When Wilson falls in love with local callgirl Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), the pair enjoy a whirlwind, though somewhat lewd, romance. To their dismay, Wilson falls victim to late-stage cancer, which had spread to his liver, lungs, prostate and brain at the point of diagnosis.

Reluctant to have Vanessa see him in such a state of helplessness, Wilson agrees to undergo an experimental procedure, which he is told will cure his cancer by “unlocking dormant mutant abilities.” Overseeing Wilson’s procedure is Ajax, aka Francis (Ed Skrein), a former patient responsible for creating superhuman abilities. After repeated failed attempts, Ajax resorted to desperate measures, leaving Wilson hideously disfigured in the process. Ashamed of his mutilated appearance, Wilson makes it his mission to find Ajax in the hopes of restoring his former good looks.

As Hollywood begins to digress from the ways of formulaic superhero origin stories, Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese differentiate the film from its other superhero counterparts with self-deprecating humor and genre-satire, preventing the “Regenerating Degenerate” from falling under standard origin movie tropes. Not only that, but the ideal casting of Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson drew out a better image of the sarcastic superhero. Reynolds’ already brash behavior made him more fit for this role versus any of his previous, namely Green Lantern back in 2011.

Granted Deadpool’s inclination for breaking the fourth wall in the comics, Wernick and Reese were heavily reliant on pop-culture references and lazy gimmicks to characterize the two-dimensional red-spandex-clad devil in the film, which served to be the main source of hilarity, pinning the movie almost as a comedy. Nonetheless, even the foul-mouthed anti-hero conveys a surprisingly emotional story amidst violent conduct and profanity, making it an adaptation that can be enjoyed with your significant other or just a group of friends.

However, among all those trivial jokes and cracks at a comedic approach comes a weaker attempt at developing a story. With a majority of the dialogue focused on getting a laugh rather than an opinion, the plot stood at a standstill. Not to assume that the movie didn’t follow a plot, but even in that respect, the uninspired storyline wasn’t anything more than conflict and resolution. Really, the only thing that set it apart from your average two-hour superhero movie was the mature humor.

Deadpool embraces its R-rating to an audacious extent, with Wilson’s penchant for vulgar speech and behavior. But the off-color language and behavior set the movie apart from its PG-13 superhero film counterparts, serving as an opportunity for an older audience to relish in the Marvel antihero’s obscenity.

Of course, the film doesn’t cater to all tastes, especially the sensitive viewers who expected Marvel and Fox to tone down the indecent cheekiness of our favorite red-spandex-clad hero (next to Spider-Man, of course). Honing in on the premise of the character itself, Tim Miller produced a Deadpool adaptation that, at the very least, gives audiences a glimpse into the life of the crude, but lovable, Merc with a Mouth.