It’s rare for a movie to be dubbed a “must see” among the hundreds of movies to hit the silver screen every year. The media marketing machines and general hype leave everyone with the same dilemma week after week: to see or not to see?
Deadpool is no exception to this rule. Movies are a form of subjective entertainment, so there’s no way to distill the answer to the “should I see it?” question down to simple yes or no answer. Only you can decide what you should or shouldn’t see. But… we can help.
We know many of Screen Rant’s readers are highly anticipating the new movie, but in case you are not among them, and in case you need some advice weighing your options, here are Screen Rant’s Pros Vs. Cons: Should You Watch Deadpool? We have 6 reasons you should definitely see it, as well as 6 reasons might want to stay away.
Pro: Accurate Character Adaptation
One of the biggest complaints comic book fans have is about the ways in which their favorite characters are adapted to the big screen. While directors usually maintain the same name and some iconic imagery, they often take creative liberties with some fundamental aspects of a character’s looks, personality, and origins. Or, in the case of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, completely toss everything but the character’s name.
Deadpool is taking a different route. While it’s still not quite 100% accurate, the character looks, sounds, and behaves just like longtime Deadpool fans expect him to. His costume is spot-on, from the ducktail on the back of his mask, down to the incorporation of white eyes (something Batman fans have been begging for for years).
Pro: Deadpool’s Arrival is Perfect Timing
The words “superhero fatigue” have become a part of the cultural lexicon in recent years, largely due to the abundance of superhero and comic book movies being pumped out on a regular basis. 2016 will be the first year that Fox, Disney/Marvel, and Warner Bros/DC each release at least 2 movies each. That trend isn’t about to die down, so don’t expect the phrase “superhero fatigue” to go anywhere anytime soon. Come to terms with it – or not – the studios are on a mission, and they won’t stop.
Here’s the thing about the so-called “superhero fatigue”: it’s predicated on the perception that all superhero or comic book movies are the same. Die hard fans that choose to watch all – or most – releases each year see the vast differences, but casual audiences sometimes just see a bunch of trailers featuring self-serious muscle men wearing costumes and punching things.
Deadpool breaks that mold. There have been other movies that transcend the “superhero movie” box that dominates the genre, but Deadpool is different and irreverent in its approach. It just might convince any “fatigued” audience members that there’s more gas in the superhero tank than they thought.
Pro: Deadpool is a Proof of Concept for Low-Budget, Fan-Service Comic Book Movies
As superhero cinema gets bigger and more deeply intertwined, the stakes in the stories (and the budgets it takes to tell them) also inflate dramatically. “Superhero movie” has become synonymous with “big budget blockbuster,” or “summer tentpole.”
Studios have a greater desire to get involved when there is more money at play. Fantastic Four is a great example of such studio meddling. It may be years before the accuracy of all the finger pointing is determined, but Josh Trank suggested he had a superior version of the film that got swallowed up by Fox during production. As a result, the final product was less than satisfactory.
Part of the reason that Fox resisted giving Deadpool the go-ahead for so many years was due to a perceived risk associated with the venture (although their own failure with the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine might have played into it as well).
The decision to work with a much smaller budget is likely one of the key aspects in convincing executives at Fox to green-light the project. With a smaller budget comes fewer studio strings, so director Tim Miller has been able to retain a bit more creative freedom with Deadpool. As Ryan Reynolds said about the budget: “That’s why we get to make the movie we want to make.”
If Deadpool succeeds at the box office, it could serve as a sign to many executives that lower budget creator-driven content is financially rewarding. That could open the door to a treasure trove of content that studios have always considered too risky.
Pro: Marketing for Deadpool Has Been Low-Spoiler
Spoilers in movie marketing have become a big problem in recent years. There seems to be a belief in Hollywood that revealing major plot points in movie trailers will somehow sell more tickets. Even if it’s true, many fans have grown tired of the need to guard themselves from movie marketing overshare.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens received a lot of praise last year for not spoiling major story elements in its trailers, and Deadpool seems to be following in those footsteps. Much of the marketing for Deadpool has focused on various character bits featuring Deadpool talking directly to the camera about why you should see Deadpool, along with several other non-spoilery marketing stunts (except for the surprise screenings – those are about as spoilery as you can get).
Financial success for Deadpool could help break the perception that spoilers are a necessary evil to fill seats, and encourage studios to find other creative means to get audiences excited about their movies.
Pro: Deadpool Proves That Superhero Movies Don’t Represent a Single Genre
One of the many misconceptions about superhero movies is that “superhero” and “comic book” are their own genre, as if either of those descriptors are just as accurate as “chick flick,” “buddy comedy,” or “western.” The truth is, just because a movie features someone that has powers and wears a costume doesn’t mean it will be the same as that other movie where someone has powers and wears a costume.
Although there is a long history of similar superhero movies (especially when it comes to origins stories), movies like The Dark Knight showed that a comic book movie could be like a police drama that happened to include Batman. Likewise, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller that happened to have Captain America in it.
Deadpool’s fourth-wall-breaking will bring that fact to the forefront of the audience’s mind, hopefully further eschewing the genre boxes into which “superhero movies” and “comic-book movies” have been placed.
Pro: Deadpool’s Success Could Lead to More X-Men Spinoffs
Fox once had big plans for multiple X-Men solo spin-off movies, but it appears that the abject failure of X-Men Origins: Wolverine scared them away from that prospect. The long rumored Gambit movie is finally on its way, but the rest of their focus has been targeted on the main X-Men ensemble movies.
Much of this is likely due to fear over the marketability of characters not played by Hugh Jackman. However, If Deadpool is a success, it just might help loosen the purse strings over at Fox to finally green-light more X-Men spinoffs, be it solo movies, New Mutants, X-Force, or even X-Factor.
Con: A Generic Deadpool Movie Could Contribute to Superhero Fatigue
Yes, I just argued that Deadpool will help to remove the words “superhero fatigue” from the lips of naysayers, but that’s only if the movie doesn’t actually contribute to superhero fatigue. If Deadpool falls into some of the same origins-story trappings that contributed to creation of the term “superhero fatigue,” it could do more harm than good.
If the movie that is supposed to be a fresh and different take on the genre doesn’t end up being fresh or different, then it won’t only perpetuate the term. It will tell audiences that even the more unique entries in the category aren’t really so atypical.
Con: Overemphasis of Fan Service Could Alienate Casual Viewers
One of the most exciting aspects of the Deadpool marketing has been the way it has catered to fans of the character. The irreverent attitude and breaking of the fourth wall might not make as much sense to casual audiences, but long time Deadpool devotees know exactly what’s going on.
While that may be an exciting prospect to some, the vast majority of moviegoers aren’t very familiar with Deadpool. The reason most Hollywood comic book adaptations tone down the source-specific accuracy is simple: too many comic book references can alienate unfamiliar viewers. It’s like the movie is full of inside jokes or references that they aren’t privy to.
There’s already a perception among casual audiences that comic book movies require a lot of homework. New installments to the MCU could require knowledge of up to a dozen other films, two Netflix series, and two ABC TV shows. This large barrier to entry is a major turnoff for some. Relying on fan service as much as Deadpool does could only serve to exacerbate that perception. And when general audiences – who make up the majority of theatergoers – stop seeing comic book movies, less comic book movies will get made, which is sort of the opposite of “fan-service.”
Con: Deadpool Could be Held Back by the Demands of Shared Universe Continuity
It’s no secret that Fox’s X-Men universe has some continuity issues. Not a single movie has come out that didn’t undermine or contradict the pre-established story from a previous film – although that might not be a fair criticism of X-Men: Days of Future Past. That was sort of the entire point of that movie.
Moving forward, however, X-Men movies are all supposed to fit into a more consistent continuity. This means Deadpool will be a slave to the editorial needs of the larger shared X-Men universe. While it’s definitely possible to tell good stand-alone stories in a shared universe, the editorial mandate that comes with said universe is the antithesis of the creative freedom that has been vaunted with Deadpool.
Con: Deadpool is Already Over-Saturated
There may be a loyal Deadpool fanbase that has been waiting for a proper Deadpool movie for years, but many comic book fans that aren’t fans of the character already feel burned out. Just like any other strong personality, Deadpool’s snark is best enjoyed in small doses.
The problem is, some would argue that Deadpool hasn’t been available in small, palatable doses in recent years. Instead, his level of exposure more closely resembles water from a firehose. Anyone that has ever been to a comic-con, or seen pictures from a comic-con, or heard anything about a comic-con knows that one-and-a-half out of every two people are wearing a Deadpool costume. More recently, the deluge of marketing for the movie has bordered on overexposed. He even showed up for the Super Bowl on Sunday, although that might have been a necessity, considering the film will be released this week.
So Deadpool may be a movie that does right by its fans, but many geeks outside of the Deadpool fandom could be fairly ambivalent to it. Worse yet, if the Deadpool movie focuses too much on fan service, general audiences may quickly learn that same ambivalence.
Con: Ryan Reynolds and Fox Have a Poor Track Record With Comic Book Movies
Deadpool suffers from another major problem. We can call this one the “no, you can really trust us this time” problem. It’s the fact that neither Ryan Reynolds, nor Fox, have a good track record with comic-book movies.
Ryan Reynolds has had 4 comic book movie busts in Blade Trinity, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern, and R.I.P.D.. All of those movies may have issues outside of his individual contributions, but it’s hard to argue with a trend that consistent. If it’s not his performances at fault, then his ability to pick good comic-book roles is definitely suspect.
Fox is not much better on this front. There are definitely some good X-Men movies, but the franchise as a whole is undeniably hit-or-miss. Likewise, it could be argued that all the Fantastic Four movies fall short on quality, especially the most recent reboot attempt.
Con: Deadpool Over-Glorifies Gruesome Violence
Not to get all Concerned Mothers of America on everyone, but the portrayal of violence in some of the Deadpool trailers is a little bit troubling. Violence in movies – especially comic book movies – is sort of a given, but Deadpool presents something else entirely.
Where many heroes in other properties portray violence as an undesirable last resort, Deadpool relishes in it. The first trailer shows him doing a flip and shooting 3 guys through the head, French-inhaling the smoke from his guns, and saying “I’m touching myself tonight.” He’s equating the enjoyment he gets from killing to getting a high from drugs and sexual pleasure. When real-life violent murderers like T.J. Lane say almost the exact same thing in court, it should definitely give us pause as to whether or not it’s appropriate for our society to be deriving entertainment from this type of violence. Maybe there really is a legitimate argument behind the need for a PG-13 version of the movie.
At the end of the day, audiences have to make their own viewing decisions. Is Deadpool a movie that should influence the direction of future comic-book movies? Does it reinforce negative industry trends? Is it just a piece of fluff entertainment and shouldn’t be taken so seriously one way or the other? Those are questions that each moviegoer must answer for themselves.
What do you think? Are you convinced one way or another? Will you be seeing Deadpool, or giving it a pass? Let us know in the comments!
So what do you think? Will you end up seeing the movie? Let us know in the comments below!