First of all, whether or not you see Deadpool is not up to the conclusion of this review, but whether or not your parents allow it (Ephesians 6:1). If they have said no, then the movie is off-limits to you. However, if they’ve left this choice up to you, then I’ll do my best to offer enough information for you to decide for yourself.
Deadpool follows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a dishonorably discharged special ops soldier now a mercenary for hire out of a shady bar. Things are normal for a while—well as normal as they can be for a mercenary—but despite his penchant to flirt with anything that moves (and some things that don’t) he eventually finds the love of his life in Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), a prostitute that he pays to play arcade games with as a first date. The spark is instantaneous. The two are meant to be together, that is, until the cancer growing in Wade decides that they aren’t. After being approached for a shifty back alley operation that could save his life, Wade takes the corporation up on the offer. The result? A very literally sour-faced future as an immortal with a vendetta.
If there is one borderline universal genre of film appreciated by the masses, it’s the superhero genre: it’s safe, fun, witty, exciting, and generally family-friendly carnage wrapped up in loyalty and friendship and good overcoming evil. With the announcement and then release of Marvel’s Deadpool, however, that standard of decorum was less challenged, and more tied to a roll of lit TNT and tossed into a cavern to explode and drift on the breeze as ashes of a previously hard-and-fast expectation.
Unlike its other Marvel counterparts, Deadpool acquired a well-earned R-rating joined by an endless sea of disclaimers that it was NOT your standard family-friendly Marvel movie. With pervasive profanity, an extensive sex montage, a witty, sex-joke-painted turn of every phrase, gore, and a hefty amount of female nudity, Deadpool is definitely aimed at adults—not at teenagers, and certainly not at children.
Aside from its R-rated content, Deadpool is morally murky. The classic black/white morality that superhero films tend to abide by is thrown out the window to make way for a chaotic neutral perspective. Wade Wilson—the man behind the mask of Deadpool, the character—doesn’t save or kill people out of some great sense of justice. Instead, he has a bone to pick with one villain, and the massive body count that gets in his way just happens to be comprised entirely of Bad People. Deadpool never claims to be a hero, in fact there is a running joke about how very Not-A-Hero he is. He is a vulgar, wise-cracking cancer-survivor who is now immortal, and while immortality is cool and all, his focus is to take out the Big Bad that ruined his life in the process of inadvertently saving it for nefarious purposes.
But while Deadpool might not be the posterchild for ethics, morality, or even plain civility, the movie itself is less about theme, less about some ultimate feel-good message, and instead views much more like an autobiography for this guy who happens to be, well, a vulgar, wise-cracking immortal.
And in that way, Deadpool is a piece of filming genius.
Every now and then, Wade Wilson, either as himself or as Deadpool, will make a sharp-tongued comment directly at the camera which reinforces his—and the movie’s—self-awareness. The entire movie is shot and written and generally communicated with a cheeky swagger that affirms again and again how Deadpool couldn’t care less what you think of him, while also showing his kind moments with his girlfriend and his fearful struggle of her losing him, and him losing her.
Ryan Reynolds—the lead star and producer—fought for over ten years to get this movie made true to its comic book source material. According to Deadpool fans (which I am not one of), the film nailed it better than anyone could’ve dreamed possible. Unfortunately, authentic adaptation of vulgar material leads to yet more vulgar material. While there is a lot to be appreciated in Deadpool’s filming prowess, its content is highly jarring by MARVEL movie standards.
There have been many articles published which admonishing different aspects of Deadpool, which is further caution that there are many things in the movie that could be toxic to certain individuals. For that reason, I’d strongly advise caution while deciding whether or not this film is okay for you. Would prolonged nudity cause your mind to wander toward a place encouraging sexual sin? Probably best to pass (Philippians 4:6). Would the unexpectedly intense gore foster nightmares or make your soul feel sick? Another reason to skip. Would the never-ending string of anatomical and sexual humor and profanity go against the grain of your conscience and stick in your head like tar? Then skip it.
Not every person will have a problem viewing Deadpool, as only you will know what is best for your conscience and spiritual health. For some, it’s a fun ride that might fade from memory, but for others it is merely a minefield of moral confusion.
September is an aspiring novelist, book
hoarder collector, and movie watcher. When not obsessively organizing her book shelves, she can be found in a coffee shop writing, editing, or webmastering; assisting in taxidermy; or at home annoying her cat, Jpeg. That, or staring blankly into space, contemplating some deep question she'll forget shortly.