Deadpool, Marvel’s latest film to hit theaters, came out on Friday, Feb. 12, and made $132.2 million on its opening weekend. Deadpool follows the story of Wade Wilson, a mercenary in modern New York who meets a prostitute, Vanessa, at a bar and quickly falls in love. Soon after, however, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer with no hope in sight.
But then a strange man approaches him with an offer: he works for an organization that can cure Wade and even make him a superhero. Through a long series of events, Wade is given amazing regenerative powers, but is left with severe scarring over his body as a result. Furious at what has been done to him, Wade destroys the facility and begins a journey of vengeance in the hopes of being able to reunite with Vanessa.
Deadpool is Marvel’s first movie in over ten years to sport an R-rating (for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity), and its creators have done just about everything they could to live up to this rating. Deadpool is very much an anti-hero: his actions are motivated primarily by personal gain and revenge. He has no problem with killing, loves to say the f-word and its variations as much as he can, and makes enough crass jokes to make even a middle school boy feel uncomfortable.
Another aspect that sets this movie apart from most comic book films are two scenes portraying sex and full frontal nudity. Although in total these scenes compose only a very small fraction of the film, they are very explicit and could earn the film’s R-rating on their own.
All this being said, Deadpool is a faithful adaptation of the “merc with a mouth.” I do not read the comics personally, but from what I understand he is one of the more adult Marvel comic characters. Deadpool turns just about any situation into a joke and very often breaks the “fourth wall,” interacting with his readers or audience.
I found myself laughing out loud at this movie and really enjoying it as I sat in the theater and watched it on opening night. The film is clever and unique, and really does break the mold from the typical Marvel style movie we’ve all gotten used to since the first Avengers film. Deadpool is unlike any other Marvel character, and I’m sure that if I were not a Christian, I would have no qualms whatsoever with this film.
Having said that, you probably know where I’m going with this review. Like I said, as I was watching the movie I really liked it, but through the whole movie I did feel a bit of guilt in my heart. It was edgy, it was different, it was funny, it was cool; but it didn’t really have any morally redeeming qualities to it.
Colossus, from the X-Men franchise, plays a pretty big part in this movie and acts as the voice of moral reasoning which Deadpool constantly ignores and mocks. Even when Deadpool does not need to kill, he does, and without any hesitation. The only redeeming point I can think of would be Wade’s devoted love for Vanessa, but even that is tainted with the sexually impure nature of their relationship.
I have felt very convicted and conflicted about this movie: I really liked it, but the worldview it promotes is one that I cannot get behind at all. There is certainly something novel about a Marvel protagonist that does not fit the mold of a typical superhero, but Deadpool takes it to an extreme: glorifying what is sinful and against God’s will.