For the Movie Bears Podcast’s full review of ‘Deadpool,’ watch the video below. For our mini-review, read on!
It’s been almost two weeks since ‘Deadpool’ hit the scene, upending the super hero film genre with its R rating and gruesomely hilarious take on the tired (but trusty!) trope of boy-meets-girl, villain-takes-girl, boy-goes-after-girl plot mechanic. The film has been called a “game changer” by many, with claims that the movie’s success proves hero flicks don’t have to be PG in order to be wildly successful. But is it just the gore and language that make this so? Or is there a deeper reason for the success of ‘Deadpool?’ And what lesson is there to be learned from it?
Let’s start with a spoiler-free breakdown of the film’s appeal. Certainly the heightened level of violence and sex-centric jokes naturally attracts adults. So it’s not surprising, then, that a character like Deadpool can provide both (at times in excess, perhaps) in a way that makes for a helluva good time. Yes, the story is one that’s been told a million times before. And yes, it’s probably a bit too predictable. But the adult-level action and questionably-moral quips go far to stimulate our brains: especially when it comes to Ryan Reynolds’ nudity in the film.
But could a similar R rating on other upcoming super hero films create similar success? Would F-bombs and frontal nudity make ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ a better movie? Could more gore and swearing lead to a harder hitting, more satisfying civil war in the next ‘Captain America?’ Potentially, but there’s danger in Hollywood suddenly going for the R rating on films and characters where it just wouldn’t make sense.
For instance, while it’s perfectly in character for Deadpool to drop an F-bomb and slice off someone’s head, the same isn’t necessarily true for, say, Superman. While Wolverine would totally stab someone through the heart to end a threat, it wouldn’t make sense to see Shazam do that. So while the success of ‘Deadpool’ does prove that we can enjoy super hero flicks of its ilk, the key lesson there is that it’s best done when it makes the most sense. Hopefully Hollywood can avoid trying to cash in on the ‘Deadpool’ factor if it doesn’t fit the property. Big “if,” though…
Written by Brad Harris, Movie Bears Podcast