Advertised and hyped up for the past year, Deadpool hit theaters with a record-breaking release on February 12. The viral marketing for the film was phenomenal; one advertising campaign portrayed Deadpool as a romantic movie for couples to watch on Valentine’s Day. In a viral video, Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, asked viewers to check themselves for testicular cancer, the most common cancer in males aged 15-35. Additionally, a promotional poster portrayed Deadpool spray painting his insignia on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice promotion boards in a movie theater. Even Betty White promoted the movie with a tongue-in-cheek review filled with swear words. With posts regularly scoring high on social media sites, it was no surprise the film performed well with the college-aged to mid-thirties demographic
On opening weekend, the movie raked in a record breaking $135 million, the highest of any R-rated film. More than two weeks after release, Deadpool has grossed $287 million domestically and $324 million internationally for a total of $611 million. This feat is amazing, considering the movie ran on a budget of only $58 million.
So for the film itself? Fantastic. As the first of its kind, Deadpool nailed it with R-rated humor and obscene one-liners. Reynolds’s on-point comedic delivery, coupled with T.J. Miller’s improvisational skill, made each scene hilarious; in fact, most scenes between the two were mostly improvised.
“I think one of the reasons Deadpool is so successful is because [Reynolds] is too handsome for comedy,” said T.J. Miller in an interview on Hot Ones. “And so if you cover his face … people stop paying attention to that and start paying attention to the truth, which is [that] he’s hilarious.”
Since Reynolds is in a suit and mask for most of the movie, his underlying comedic genius is emphasized; I believe that this helped with character development significantly. He becomes less like the sexiest man alive and more like Deadpool—a comedic icon filled with fourth-wall-breaking humor and snide remarks. Additionally, Morena Baccarin, playing a tough and no-nonsense character, gives a fantastic performance as Deadpool’s romantic counterpart.
Some critics criticized the film for being too formulaic; even though the movie pokes fun at many of the themes present in other superhero productions, it ends up using them anyways. Some examples are Vanessa’s role as the obligatory “superhero girlfriend” or Deadpool’s(literally) scarring origin story. However, I still think this an original thought; at least the movie knows it is playing these tropes.
Would I suggest this movie to someone? Within my group of friends? Of course. This movie is perfect for my demographic. I believe that Deadpool proved a place for R-rated movies and not-so-conventional superheroes exists. I am all for family-friendly puns and one-liners, but dark humor, especially with clever quips, have a special place in my funny bone. Just like how Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man, Reynolds is Deadpool; he was meant for the role. Oh, you thought I was talking about that other guy in the red suit? No, samurai swords and R-rated humor are much more interesting than sticky, white spider webs.