Hold on, hold on, before I begin. Do you know what the term “the 4th wall” means? It’s actually a term that began in the theatre, where there were the 3 physical walls that contained the play, and then the invisible 4th wall, behind which sat the audience. This 4th wall was never to be breached. The actors in the play didn’t acknowledge there was an audience and there was never any interaction with the audience. Eventually, some playwright decided this might be a concept to break with, where an actor realized they were in a play and spoke directly to the audience. The 4th wall was broken.
This technique has been used in video games for jokey winks at players, but rarely used in movies. Even in comics, it is rare for the comic characters to break from a narrative to look out from a panel and speak directly to the reader…that is until the introduction of Marvel’s Deadpool in the mid 90’s. He was a comic character who was just insane enough that he knew he was a comic character and would often joke with the reader about the silliest tropes of comic books, including some of the most childish and even gross jokes for the ages. Deadpool at his best, is very difficult to make child friendly. There is a tightrope to walk when working on content for the so-called Merc with the mouth. So wait…who is Deadpool? No, no, I’m not doing that here. I can already hear Shannon’s eye rolls (seriously, I can HEAR it) when I start to explain something about a story or character in comics. Our friend Connie had to shush me when started to ask for some details about the character. That was just before the movie started!
Oh, did I forget to mention this is about Deadpool the movie? The movie that gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me as it is currently breaking box office records for any R-rated movie ever. Yep, it’s a comic book movie that is Rated-R. This is NOT one meant for kids. Starring Ryan Reynolds, it’s been a pet project of his for years, even after his turn at the role Wolverine:Origins (a movie which comes close to my “despise” list) and after his turn at the maligned Green Lantern (which I didn’t think was all that bad except for the portrayal the villain Parallax as just another weird evil space cloud…but that’s another story). Deadpool is a character that Reynolds seems born for, given his own extremely goofy and very NSFW (look it up) sense of humour. It really takes Reynolds to take this from being a rather mundane story into something that was side-splittingly funny with amazing action sequences to boot.
Now, let’s be clear. Storywise and even action wise, this movie isn’t doing anything new. Murderous merc with a heart of tarnished silver meets equally warped call-girl, they fall in love in a hilarious montage of sex-scenes over a year, merc proposes and then learns he has terminal cancer, merc learns of possible cure, but said cure comes from an evil organization that experiments with him and gives him super powers, sending him on a revenge filled rampage to find some guy named Francis, who proceeds to kidnap his girlfriend which leads the inevitable duel of sort of evil vs. very evil. Get it? Oh and a few D list X-Men are thrown in for budgetary reasons (though I hate calling Colossus D-list). Trust me, I didn’t spoil a thing. You’ve seen the story before.
Despite all that, you haven’t seen it done with as much style and just plain old fun. The actors are clearly having a blast playing off each other and Ryan Reynolds kills it in the lead role. You can tell this has been a passion project of Reynolds for some time, as if he is truly trying to make up for how Deadpool played out in that Wolverine: Origins thing. The humour goes from gross to literally in your face, as Deadpool talks to the audience constantly, commenting on everything from the low-budget to how silly certain scenes would normally be. The fourth wall is what truly makes this movie. If you’ve seen any of the billboards for it, then you’ve barely had a hint for how wild this movie is. That being said, I can’t stress this enough: it is NOT for kids. Some kids might handle it…but this is very much a rated R movie and was designed completely for adults, from the gore to the very adult humour. Keep that in mind…and then find some friends and be warned that you may spit cola out of your nose at random times during the film..
Oh and STAY FOR AFTER THE CREDITS! It’s a frakking Marvel movie, that should be understood by now.