Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last year, you’d know that Deadpool is the biggest name in comic book movies right now. Ryan Reynold and director Tim Miller’s 2016 adaptation of the Merc with a Mouth became an overnight sensation, surprising audiences and becoming the largest grossing R-rated movie in cinema history. It defied all expectations and threw the superhero movie genre for a loop – but is it truly as great as people are making it out to be?
It’s one thing to make waves and shatter box office expectations, but it’s an entirely different matter to withstand the test of time. Yes, the film is funny, and Ryan Reynolds is perfectly cast, but Deadpool is far from a perfect movie. There’s only so many times you can hear a dated pop culture reference, listen to a gag about testicles, and watch bad guys get impaled with katanas before too much of a good thing starts to get old.
And to be clear, we’re not saying Deadpool is a bad movie. This list isn’t meant to bash everyone’s favorite chimichanga-eating mercenary, and we’re looking forward to Deadpool 2 as much as anyone else. All we’re saying is that maybe it’s not as big a game changer as everyone thinks it is.
Whether it’s the crude dialog or over-the-top-violence, below you’ll find 15 Reason Why Deadpool is Overrated.
15. No Connection to Other X-Men Movies
The X-Men film franchise has spawned ten movies over its 17 year existence, and with New Mutants, Deadpool 2, and Dark Phoenix all dropping next year, it doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down. A major reason that Deadpool succeeded was precisely the fact that it wasn’t over reliant on X-Men films of the past, but in sacrificing that connection, it doesn’t feel much like an X-Men film at all. We admit, the series timeline is completely botched at this point, but it’s nice to know when watching these things that there is some sort of familiarity when walking into the theater.
Although Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead both pop up, there’s hardly a connection to Professor X and his band of mutant warriors. Though Logan is a standalone adventure as well, it still featured characters we’ve come to know and love from the franchise. Take out Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and you wouldn’t even know Deadpool is supposed to be in the same universe at all.
14. TJ Miller is wasted as Comic Relief
TJ Miller is quickly becoming one of the most sought after comedians in Hollywood. With his cynical brand of humor and deadpan delivery, he’s always perfectly cast as the comic relief, whether it be in creature features like Cloverfield, TV series like Silicon Valley, or even animated family adventures like How to Train Your Dragon.
As Wade Wilson’s wise-cracking bartending buddy, Weasel, Miller should have been in the perfect position in Deadpool to provide some much deserved laughs. The only problem was that Deadpool was the comic relief in his own movie, firing off more one-liners and pop culture references for Miller to keep up with. Despite some solid one-liners (“You look like an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado”), the comedian comes across as completely wasted as the Merc with Mouth’s best friend. Hopefully, Miller will be given more stuff to do in the upcoming sequel.
13. Changes from the Comics
We’re the first ones to admit that no comic book movie adaptation has perfectly transferred the material from the pages to the big screen. Even the greats like The Dark Knight and Logan deviate and alter things from the source material, and Deadpool is no different. Although the spirit of the characters and stories are there, the movie still takes a few odd artistic liberties.
While the Wade Wilson of the movie is determined not to let the Work Shop eradicate his sense of humor, the Wade Wilson of the comics doesn’t even have a sense of humor before his transformation. This parallel between a downer Wilson and his up-beat alter ego would have been interesting had the movie chosen to go down that path.
As for the villains, Ajax is actually a combination of two characters form the comics: Dr. Killebrew and his assistant, the Attendant. While the Attendant’s real name is indeed Francis, he’s also essentially a cyborg who sports a giant mechanical suit. Why the filmmakers decided to change Ajax’s cool backstory into an intentionally generic one, and drop that awesome mech-suit, we’ll never know.
12. Cartoonish Violence
On the whole, Marvel films, even the ones outside the MCU, are usually pretty tame when it comes to onscreen violence. Deadpool and Logan are the obvious exceptions to the rule, with blood and guts flying across the screen every which way. While their graphic use of violence is a welcomed breath of fresh air in the comic book movie genre, Deadpool can sometimes go overboard. In fact, who are we kidding? It always goes overboard.
We admit, it’s a great bit of fun to watch Ryan Reynolds shish-kebab bad guys with his katanas, but after a while, that fun turns into overkill. Slo-mo shots of bullets ripping through a bad guy’s head is a cool effect, but not when it’s constantly used for cheap laughs. Logan’s violence by comparison, although certainly graphic, is much more somber and feels earned. The onslaught of violence throughout Deadpool, while refreshing at first, quickly turns stale by the time of third act.
11. Crude Sex Scenes
In the same manner as bloody violence, Marvel films aren’t exactly known for their graphic sex scenes, either. Deadpool breaks this cycle with Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin doing the horizontal hump during various holidays throughout the year. Though Wade Wilson going down on his girlfriend with vampire teeth on Halloween gets its share of laughs, it doesn’t exactly forward the plot much.
There’s nothing wrong with throwing a sex scene into a movie, but so many times they’re simply used for cheap shock value. Though Deadpool‘s kinky montage is humorous, we don’t really learn anything about Wade or Vanessa besides their messed-up bedroom antics. The scenes with Deadpool and his “special” unicorn feel even more gratuitous, boarder-line uncomfortable, and not too far off from something you’d see in an American Pie flick.
10. The Dialog is Too Vulgar
Anyone familiar with Deadpool knows that he has one of the biggest sailor mouths in comic book history. Part of the reason the Merc with the Mouth is so appealing is because he doesn’t care how many f-bombs or penis jokes he can throw into a sentence (in fact, he prides himself on it), but Reynolds’ interpretation walks that fine line between cheeky and downright filthy.
Deadpool has more gags about testicles and defecation than an episode of Family Guy. While many praised the film’s script for being clever, it doesn’t take a whole lot of wit to compare Wade Wilson’s grotesque features with that of an offspring from two ugly avocados. Sure, the dialog provided its fair share of laughs, but some fans found the lack of Deadpool’s usual witty commentary from the comic books disappointing. Most of his dialog in the movie involved stringing together different combinations of dirty words, which might be funny to a group of grade-schoolers, but for seasoned moviegoers, not so much.
9. Too Many Pop Culture References
When Deadpool isn’t scoring laughs with poop and testicle references, it’s usually getting its ha-has from the geekiest references in pop culture. And chances are if you’re not caught up on the latest trends, movies, and celebrity gossip, a lot of them went over your heads. If you chuckled at the fact that the Merc with a Mouth is wearing an Adventure Time wristwatch in theaters, then congratulations, you’re one of the five.
Even the larger pop culture references from the film run the risk of not being relevant ten or even five years down the road from now. Honestly, who’s going to remember who Honey Booboo is, or recall what was in a 1980s Chrysler TV commercial? A lot of the jokes in Deadpool can be missed if you’re not completely immersed in geeky culture, and even if you are, some of them are so obscure that they still won’t land.
8. Deadpool Borders on Annoying
There’s a reason why Deadpool is often referred to as the Merc with the Mouth: he never knows when to shut up. Even in the face of certain doom, such as Ajax’s various torture techniques, Wade Wilson is able to crack jokes and one-liners faster than you can comprehend them. But is that necessarily a good thing?
We love that Deadpool is a one-man joke machine, but it would be nice if he occasionally hit the off button. His inability to take anything seriously is part of his charm, although it’s also part of why he can get kind of annoying. Wade Wilson is kind of like a drunk guy at a party who won’t stop telling jokes: funny at first, but then borderline irritating. Though we don’t agree that the makers behind X-Men: Origins sewed Deadpool’s mouth completely shut, we kind of understand where they were coming from.
7. It Still Uses Comic Book Movie Clichés
We live in a world where various comic book adventures are pumped out every year. In an era where it’s becoming increasingly harder and harder to stand out from the pack, Deadpool offered a welcomed change from normal superhero aesthetics with its raunchy sense of humor and fourth wall breaks. However, it too isn’t without its fair share of comic book movie clichés.
Unfortunately, Ajax joins the increasingly growing pool of lackluster Marvel villains who aren’t given a lot to work with. The ending of the film still uses a giant set piece where it would have benefited from something smaller and more contained like the rest of the movie. Sure, the makers behind Deadpool might be aware of their pitfalls (evident from the very beginning where they point it out in the titles), but it seems contradictory that the film would poke fun of superhero clichés while still using some of the most tired examples.
6. Lack of Plot
Fans of Deadpool will praise the movie for it’s outrageous sense of humor and uncanny ability to not take itself too seriously. What you won’t hear them gloat about is the movie’s surprisingly simple plot. The story of Wade Wilson and his quest for revenge is about as generic a premise as it gets, borrowing elements from everything like Kill Bill to Darkman.
Great movies are the ones that constantly keep the audience on their toes. They’re full of suspense that keeps us guessing what will happen next, and then make us gasp when it turns out we were wrong. You can pretty much predict where Deadpool is going after the first few minutes. The hero will eventually get his revenge, he’ll eventually get the girl, and he’ll eventually tease an upcoming sequel. Sure, Deadpool is more concerned about style, but it wouldn’t have hurt if the filmmakers focused just a little more on substance.
5. Wasn’t This Already a Movie Called Kick-Ass?
When Deadpool stormed into theaters last year, audiences lined up in drones to see the super edgy comic book adaptation with an R-rating. Here was a movie with a superhero that cursed, made dick jokes, and sliced bad guys’ heads off with his katana. It was ultra-raunchy and ultra-violent, but this wasn’t exactly the first hard-R superhero movie ever made.
Truth be told, Deadpool had already been made way back in 2010, and it was called Kick-Ass. At the time, Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s graphic comic series was praised for it’s dark humor and ultra-violence. Like Deadpool, it had f-bombs, guns, drugs, graphic deaths, and a teenage girl who wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty by wasting various bad guys. While there’s no denying the fact that Deadpool certainly made waves on its initial release, it really owes a lot of credit to Kick-Ass.
4. Generic Origin Story
When it comes to beginnings, Deadpool doesn’t exactly have the must original origin story. Stop us when this sounds familiar: a mutant, who is formerly a mercenary, seeks revenge on the person that created them in a laboratory and ruined their lives. That might be Wade Wilson’s tragic past, but it also reminds us of another mutant in the X-Men franchise who’s suffered the same fate. We won’t say who, but his name rhymes with “polverine.”
Jokes aside, the tale of how cancer-riddled Wade Wilson came to be Deadpool is really just your standard comic book origin story. He’s created in a lab, he has a lost love, he becomes consumed with revenge; it’s all elements and story beats we’ve seen before, whether it’s from Darkman or even X-Men: Origins (as terrible as that movie was, it’s not hard to find a few parallels).
3. It Relies Too Much on Reynold’s Performance
Ryan Reynolds is just as much Deadpool as Robert Downey Jr. is Ironman. With his sharp wit, cheeky humor, and spot-on performance, Wade Wilson/Deadpool is the role Reynolds was born to play. However, too much of a good thing can wind up getting stale quickly.
The movie relies too much on Reynold’s performance, and while it benefits from a script that keeps the audience engaged, that performance carries the film through most of its runtime. There’s only a handful of scenes that doesn’t feature its leading man, and to be honest, his shtick can gets old quick.
Instead of having the Merc with the Mouth constantly berate the viewer with one-liners, the film could have focused its attention on building the plot and focusing on other interesting side characters like Blind Al or Vanessa. Instead, you get more Deadpool perhaps than what’s necessary. It’s like chicken; as much as you may love it, you can’t have it for every meal.
2. It’s Not as Big a Game Changer as People Think
Deadpool might have broken box office records and shattered everyone’s expectations, but is it really the game changer that most are making it out to be? It’s funny, yes, even sentimental when it wants to be, but in terms of direction, plot, and writing, it isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.
Sure, it’s a comic book movie that drops f-bombs and sees people getting blasted in the face with shotguns, but it’s hardly the first R-rated superhero film with over-the-top violence. Yes, it has a fun, cheeky script that drops all sorts of Marvel Easter eggs and pop culture references, but haven’t we all seen superhero films use this formula before?
Is Deadpool going to be remembered 50 years down the line, or will it simply become just another product of its time? It’s a tough question to answer. Only time will tell if the Merc with a Mouth will be revered as a classic or just a forgotten comedy.
1. Deadpool Was Never That Great a Character to Begin With
Deadpool may be everyone’s new favorite anti-hero, but he’s not exactly the most complex. Someone that can’t grow emotionally doesn’t have anywhere to go story-wise, and Deadpool isn’t exactly the most dynamic hero out there.
For starters, he’s essentially a ripoff of DC villain Deathstroke. The two even share the same names with the exception of one letter: Wade Wilson and Slade Wilson. Secondly, Deadpool is annoyingly ubiquitous, always popping up and ready to crack a dated one-liner, usually to the chagrin of other characters. His main characteristic is that he can be annoying to readers and other characters in the comics, which isn’t exactly the best thing to be known for.
Of course, Deadpool isn’t meant to be as complicated as Bruce Wayne or morally conflicted as the Punisher. His main function is to poke fun at other heroes who so often take themselves too seriously. However, with so many emotionally complex characters out there who deserve their own spin-off movie, it’s kind of weird that a guy known for cracking dick jokes and eating Mexican foods nabbed his own feature.