‘Deadpool’: The merc with a movie

Jack Johnson is a columnist for the College Heights Herald.

Jack Johnson

As 2016 rolls along, one can only imagine how much more money Marvel Studios will make. Maybe they’ll release another Avengers film, or maybe they’ll finally release a movie that stars a female as the lead. Unheard of, right?

Regardless of what Marvel decides to do with its booming movie business, one thing can be said for sure: Marvel knows how to make comic book movies. It seems to understand exactly how to balance its films to appeal to both its core audience, comic book fans, and to the wider movie-going population in general. There might not be a better example of this prowess than in their latest popcorn flick “Deadpool.”

The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, or the eponymous Deadpool — a comically damaged human being who knows how to kick some serious ass.

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After being diagnosed with late-stage cancer, Wilson contacts an old student of his and proceeds to build an empire selling crystal meth… 

Wait. Sorry, that’s the wrong story.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Wilson signs his life away to a shady organization that’s bent on activating mutant genes in willing test subjects. A few plot points later, Deadpool is born, and boy, does he make an entrance.

The film’s humor is the main selling point. The action is visceral, animated and enjoyable, as is the film’s soundtrack, but the humor is what you came for.

Reynolds and the supporting cast do a fantastic job of making their world a gritty, colorful, smart-assed one. The movie actually surprises you with how endearing the characters become. They might not be your run-of-the-mill superheroes, but that’s why you like them. Deadpool is meta; he’s aware that he’s a ridiculous character. That’s what sells the movie.

“Deadpool” was a significant risk for Marvel. It’s an R-rated comic book movie, and despite what many fans had feared, it completely earns that rating. Resisting an all-too-easy move, “Deadpool” never treats you like you’re an idiot. The jokes are witty, self-referential and consistently funny, and the film never takes itself too seriously.

If there had been any doubt about “Deadpool” becoming a hit, all of that has evaporated. The film left me grinning from start to finish, and it’ll almost certainly have the same effect on you.