21 February 2016

Is Deadpool As Subversive As It Seems?

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Like my chunky bitch of an ex-girlfriend, Deadpool wants to have its cake and eat it. So in the case of the film, this means that you're meant to think that it's anarchic and subversive despite it being made by the studio that it's pretending to rebel against. As a result with Deadpool, you do get plenty of swearing and some friendly digs at the X-Men franchise, but you never get anything that's devastatingly deconstructive of the genre due to who's holding the money. It's like a whore that advertises themselves as the dirty little bitch that'll do anything whilst still having to check with their pimp before agreeing to wank off a donkey. Particularly if donkey wanking might cause problems for any future business or cross-franchise pollination. For example, people think that the Bond films became gritty because they attempted to catch up to the real world relevance of Jason Bourne. However I think it's actually because that franchise was well and truly destroyed by Austin Powers, who sent up the 007 formula so effectively that Bond, like all of his dead girlfriends, became absolutely fucked. Was Deadpool good fun? Yes. But do you really think that the superhero genre is now going to struggle to continue in its current format? Of course not! This is slightly more complicated than my ex who would more simply just like to have had some of her cake left after having already shoved the whole thing into her fat stupid face. Bitch.

According to Professor Google, cognitive dissonance is defined as “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change”. To apply this to the film as though I know what the fuck I'm talking about, then the character of Deadpool would represent the thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, with the film's plot representing the contradicting behavioural decisions and attitude change. So on the surface, Deadpool might give across an anarchic vibe that suggests he's there to shake up the system, however the film itself is as guilty as being cliched as my ex is of being a fucking mental. To give an example, the film is aware that having a bland British villain with a cheesy name has been done more times than Annabel Chong at a gang bang. However rather that subverting this cliché in any interesting way, it simply points it out whilst completely conforming to it. It's kind of like trying to cure cancer by simply stating that you're dying of cancer. Or to say that more simply.. it's like a dead Jehovah's Witness. The film doesn't take the concept to any comedic extremes or attempt to re-invent it in anyway.. its sole attempt to take the piss out of the concept of boring villains is by simply telling you that that's exactly what it has. Not to go on about her, but it really is the equivalent of hearing the muffled voice of my ex as she'd moan about her weight whilst licking the dregs from the bottom of her KFC breakfast-bucket.

Of course however I suppose the counter argument to this could be that the character of Deadpool needs to exist within a cliched story in order for him to stand out as different. Perhaps such a perversive persona wouldn't seem so extreme if they were in a less sedate environment? Well, in response to that, I suppose I'd have to present both Nicolas Cage's post-stroke Adam West-like performance as Big Daddy in Kick-Ass; and Hit-Girl, his cute little daughter with the soul of Joe fucking Pesci. The only thing that Deadpool does that they don't is break the fourth wall, however at least they're actually managing to be sweary, violent, and enjoyably meta in a film that still manages to deviate from formulaic predictability. When compared to Kick-Ass's independent, punk rock aesthetics, Deadpool is essentially the Sex Pistols.. A manufactured band that acted as though they were against the system despite having been exclusively created by Malcolm McLaren to help sell his fashion line. Which isn't to say of course that neither Deadpool or The Sex Pistols as individuals are completely unauthentic or lacking the strength of their rebellious convictions. Deadpool's justifiably biggest selling point is the brilliantly played and faithfully realised zaniness of its main character, and who can forget that time that Sid Vicious distanced himself from the hypocrisy of the Sex Pistols by dying of a heroin over-dose after stabbing his girlfriend to fucking death.

So yeah, as a film, Deadpool doesn't do much beyond point out its own faults and fail to highlight a few others. It might have acknowledged the watery-shit blandness of its villain, but I don't think it expressed any self-awareness in regards to Morena Baccarin's 'tart with a heart'. In honesty, I've also heard people complain about the shite performance given by the character of Colossus. However I didn't actually think it was that bad beyond secretly lamenting the fact that they didn't just cast The Rock and wrap him in tin-foil. Oh, and nor did the film seem to be particularly aware of its lead characters slightly confusing motive. He wants revenge on a man that cured him of a terminal illness and made him an immortal.. because it came at the expense of his looks? I wonder if an actual cancer sufferer or somebody as ugly as either the fucking Elephant Man or worse, Mickey Rourke, might view this sympathetically? I obviously understand that Deadpool is meant to be a prick, it's just that this wasn't used to define his character as much as it just felt like a plot hole. Not that the film doesn't love it's holes, with a substantial amount of its attention being placed on Deadpool's anus.

But as much as Deadpool might be an arse-hole that's constantly showing us his arse-hole, he is completely the reason that this movie is as enjoyable as it is. Although the film mostly fails to stick two fingers up at convention, that doesn't mean that it isn't still fun, and that's mostly thanks to Ryan Reynold's enthusiastic performance. Having previously played a bastardised version of the character in the shite-as-shite X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynold's seems to have spent the subsequent seven years in some sort of meditative state of zen-like preparation. Like Batman going into the mountains to piss about with Liam Neeson and his little blue flowers, Reynold's has returned to the role with such focus that you'd assume this was something that he was born to do. Admittedly his quips are closer to dick-jokes than actual Oscar Wilde-style wit, but he delivers each one perfectly and although they might not all hit, they come so frequently that, like the shit on the proverbial wall, there's enough flying for enough to stick.

Reynolds also gets the movement of the character spot-on, with it simply being a shame that the whole film couldn't have the same stylistic zippiness and kinetic energy that he manages when performing slap-stick or fighting. Visually, the thing is about as experimental as a couple of monks on National Fuck-A-Friend Day, with the opening credits listing the director as “some over-paid ass-hole”. Although I wouldn't go that far, I do agree that the writers are also the “real heroes”. The fact that the film is being funded by a money obsessed studio might be the reason that Deadpool wasn't able to tea-bag the entire genre. However if you take this as just another superhero film then they did manage to come up with a refreshing way to structure an origin story in a way that didn't require an action/suit-less opening first act.

The film critic Mark Kermode gave this film a positive review, but mentioned that it was “a corporate version of anarchy”. This sentiment was echoed in a review by The Shiznit in which the film was compared to an edgy comedian being forced to make money at a corporate gig. Well, I obviously agree with both, having started all of this off with an indulgent and likely misogynistic metaphor regarding my ex and the film trying to have the best of all worlds. Deadpool is absolutely in no way perfect, however although it might have tried to have its cake and eat it... like my stupid ex's lady parts, that cake was still well worth eating at the time. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.



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