14 February 2016

'Deadpool': Review

Q: Who is a superhero?
A: A guy who wears a funny costume, has superpowers and beats up bad guys.

The superhero is an American phenomenon. It was the product of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The world's richest country found itself in the worst economic crisis in history. Americans yearned for a saviour to solve their problems. Enter the superhero: first Superman (1938) and Batman (1939). Later others followed.

Next the superhero moved from the comic book to the movies. The Big Three were the first: Superman, Batman and Spiderman. Then the river turned into a flood: X-Men and Avengers. Today superhero movies dominate Hollywood. The 12 Avengers movies have made a total of $9 billion, and account for 3 out of the 10 all-time biggest blockbusters. And this year will see more superhero movies: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, etc.

Hollywood is the world's biggest movie industry. And within this industry, the superhero factory has become the biggest sub-industry. It is a factory in every sense of the word. It uses a formula to churn out assembly-line products, which we go to see like robots and turn into $1 billion blockbusters.

Enter Deadpool: anti-hero, anti-superhero and basically anti-everything. Deadpool is not just an anti-hero, or even an anti-superhero. He is anti-superhero-industry. Nothing is sacred for this wisecracker. There are no holy cows for this smartass. He makes fun of everything and everybody – including (of course) himself. He fights fast, but talks even faster.

Scriptwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick use the standard superhero formula story as a vehicle to mock the superhero industry itself. The tongue-in-cheek humour is fast, furious and deliciously irreverent. Ryan Reynolds delivers the jokes with a deadpan face (maybe it has something to do with his wearing a mask all the time). The action (and romance) is just a sideshow. Deadpool is all about the humour: no-holds-barred and in-your-face.

'Government controls. Art liberates' is the conventional wisdom. But what when art becomes an industry and a system of control – as it has become today? Artists make fun of government. But who will make fun of artists when they become powerful – as they have become today? Then you need an anti-artist like director Tim Miller, to make anti-art like Deadpool.

We need Christopher Nolan's Batman to ask existential questions and to seek metaphysical answers. We also need Deadpool to laugh at ourselves, our lives and the world.

1 comment:

Katherine Hayden said...

Deadpool is a fictional antihero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. I liked the review you have written. It properly shows the essence of the actual book. I wish to like an article in Essay writing service UK.