I am sick to death of Marvel movies. They’re not low quality – the actors are top shelf and the directors respectable, if maybe a little safe – but they are basically interchangeable. But it’s amazing how bad language, nudity, and graphic violence make Deadpool feel fresh, at least at first.
This new tone has its highs and lows. The jokes are occasionally laugh-out-loud good, especially some of the more offensive ones (the funniest was a graphic reference Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret). But its fourth wall breaks and meta commentary wear thin pretty fast and aren’t quite as clever as the writers think they are: it’s only sort of funny that the credits list “a CGI character,” and it’s not funny at all that the CGI character’s CGI isn’t great.
Poor CGI might be one of the more distracting things about the film. In Scott Adkins and Gina Carano, Deadpool has two very talented stunt performers, but it manages to make both their work look fake. Adkins’ very real flips and leaps over cars are given a CGI polish in almost every scene, and Carano is reduced to fighting a CGI opponent (she claims that she fought both the actual actor and the CGI stand-in, but boy does the finished product look terrible).
And once the jokes and action get old, Deadpool doesn’t have a lot to say. At least the best Marvel movies, like Ironman and The Avengers, keep the jokes steady and the action and CGI top notch throughout. But the bigger issue for me is that so few superhero movies are about something other than saving the world and/or being a superhero (Spiderman 2 and The Dark Knight are the only two I consider stand outs), and Deadpool is no exception. It may be a slightly more adult spectacle/time waster, but the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the Marvel tree.
As an aside, I was slightly offended by Dopinder, the walking stereotype of an Indian cab driver. I think this is mostly due to a scene in Master of None where Aziz Ansari’s character is asked to adopt an Indian accent for a role (the actor who plays Dopinder, Karan Soni, has no accent in real life). Dopinder actually has a pretty funny – if slightly disturbing – character arc, but nothing about it requires him to have an accent. At best, it’s lazy screenwriting; at worst, it appears to present an Indian accent as something funny in and of itself.