By John Hodge
This Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00, Seelos theater will be screening the first, and only, financially successful R-rated comic book movie: “Deadpool.” The significance of this film is hugggeee (Trump voice). As a result of this film’s success, studios will not be able to balk at the idea of green-lighting more violent and explicitly humorous comic book movies. In fact, Fox Studios has already announced that the upcoming Wolverine solo film (Hugh Jackman’s alleged last appearance as the character) will be R-rated. This is incredibly exciting because Wolverine is meant to be a gruesome character with a bloodlust well deserving of an R rating. Aside from the meaningful precedent set by “Deadpool,” the film itself is freakishly enjoyable.
You will laugh. You will not cry. If you are afraid of blood, you will be utterly mortified. You will love this movie. Don’t go into Seelos this weekend expecting “Saving Private Ryan” or “Jaws”; this film is shockingly violent, but if you’re expecting a Spielbergian epic with many moments of severe tension, you will be disappointed. Don’t even expect something like the recent X-men films starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, which are in a shared universe with Mr. Pool. This film is hilarious, it is entirely aware of the fact that it is a comic book movie, and it is filled with the most juvenile, moronic (yet awesome) jokes you have ever heard. It is, by all accounts, a dumb movie. This would be a serious problem were this NOT the intention of the filmmakers. However, because this was exactly the type of movie they were trying to make (and because they go to great lengths to ensure that you know that this was their intention) it works phenomenally.
“Deadpool” is essentially what you would imagine to be the Ryan Reynolds Show, with Reynolds hosting, writing, directing, and producing. He did not necessarily do all this for this film, but it certainly feels like it. Though this movie is dominated by what should not be written off as an overly silly performance, his chemistry with the always brilliant TJ Miller unquestionably elevates the film, taking just enough of the burden off Reynolds to allow each of his jokes to land without allowing that signature style of his to begin to get annoying (as it sometimes can). If you check-out the red band trailer for the film on YouTube, you will get a feel for what I mean when I say TJ Miller was damn funny in this movie, and should not be overlooked in the face of what will become Reynolds’s signature role.
Not being a big-time comic book fan (though I absolutely love the movies spawned from them), I can’t say first-hand that “Deadpool” perfectly captured the tone and style of the comics. But I have been told that this is true. And I have been told, and told, and told. I might actually have to check out that source material now because seeing “Deadpool” was the most fun I have had in the theater in years. If you are looking for something to do in the early evening this weekend, do yourself a favor and go see this movie.