By Will Barber Taylor
Comic books were at one time seen as simply for children. Yet after the dawn of the age of comic book movies, comic book films have begun to appeal to a broader market than your average nine-year-old. Films like The Dark Knight demonstrated that superheroes could exist in gritty, realistic worlds. Deadpool, while by no means realistic does occur in a distinctly un-kid friendly world, reflecting the source material.
Based on the Marvel Comics’ character Deadpool, the film follows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) a mercenary who, after learning he has cancer, decides to enrol for a new scientific project to cure him of it. Wilson soon gains superpowers and breaks free from the project to become the anti-hero Deadpool.
Deadpool’s greatest weakness is ironically its greatest strength. It is a current, pop culture aware film that utilises Deadpool’s fourth wall breaking motif to great effect. It makes its audience laugh because it knows and plays with their expectations; at one point Deadpool breaks the fourth wall within a fourth wall break. Yet while this is a strength in terms of making it “hip” for the moment, it also dates the film incredibly. While in twenty years people will still be able to watch The Dark Knight of The Avengers without too much trouble, Deadpool’s embrace of pop culture could leave them in a quagmire of confusion.
Reynolds, of course, steals the show as the titular character; he’s funny, brave and rather human in helping to make the character and the film more than just a joke.