I went and saw Deadpool, and a jolly good time it was. Plus, it is always great to see a movie which everyone clearly had fun making.
So, good one, thumbs up. Can we move on now?
For the first time, I felt a movie was actually made worse by being tied into the larger world of Marvel movies - that incessant process of tying together all Marvel superhero films and characters in one world.
(Yes, I know the comic version of the character lives in the same universe as the others.)
Deadpool as a singular character in an otherwise somewhat normal world is awesome. Deadpool mixed in with all the other mutants just waters everything down. It makes me see the ugly seams in the whole world construction.
Deadpool is a parody, so all the other superpeople naturally feel sillier as well. And when they are hanging around in the very same scenes, you notice just how similar that supposed parody is to the somewhat more straight-faced version. They even bring in a bad guy and a good guy with similar superhuman strength just so they can cancel each other out and have a meaningless fight while Deadpool brings the story (such as it is) forward. The whole super-thing seems to have become an escalation without gratification, where each new instance has to destroy more stuff and inflict ever-increasing punishment on the characters, with no point as they are specifically constructed to be able to take it. Man of steel proved the pointlessness of that line years ago, and I felt myself seeing shades of that here. Characters hit harder and harder, but any comic effect is long lost. Deadpool himself is surprisingly quiet on all this, perhaps in self defence?
I left the cinema thoroughly entertained, and also feeling I have had my fill. Let us have some interesting movies for a while, something which is not a rotating set of action figures banging into each other (and buildings), laying waste to ever larger areas of the world in general and Manhattan in particular.
I got the thought that Deadpool is a sort of parasite on the other superhero films. It lives off of them, making fun of all that they are, but it also requires them to sustain itself. In the end, strangely, it actually becomes the host. It is just like them, and they are just like it. All that changes is the type of wise-cracking. Were Deadpool to point out the emperor is naked, it would also expose itself as naked, and I think that would only make the character, movie, franchise even more interesting and entertaining. Now it ended up being just another superhero movie after all.
Change is good, I hope they do not stop at the jokes next time.
(Funny how the most light hearted movie makes me think more than all the others. A sign in itself, I think.)
(Update: I originally mentioned the Marvel cinematic universe. That is a floating term, but is has a meaning, and that seems to currently not cover Deadpool.)