The movie was terrific—a really good, really funny, really different kind of super-film. It was everything that it looks like Suicide Squad wants to be (but probably won’t be). An R-rated X-Force sequel is already on the way, following the biggest February opening weekend in the history of movies, and it looks like Hugh Jackman’s mediocre Wolverine franchise will end in a third film that will follow suit with an R-rating.
But it wasn’t the R rating that made Deadpool a great movie, it was the quality of the script, the acting, and the attention to detail. Oh, and the loyalty to the source material! From an appearance of “Bob” (sans Hydra), to the Rhino head hanging in the bar, to the end fight scene aboard an abandoned SHEILD Helicarrier, the movie smartly, consistently played with the Marvel Universe—even the elements it wasn’t technically allowed to adopt—and threw references out to loyal comic book readers everywhere.
And it did so on a budget. I’ve often said you don’t need great special effects to make a great action movie. I thought the first GI Joe was excellent for the price, as were The Losers and Darkman. Even some TV shows make do with effects that are obviously fake, but they’re good enough to put you into the story. After that, they rely on (gasp) ACTING! And SCRIPT!
Even the crude insults in Deadpool were genius. I haven’t heard cursing that eloquent since HBO’s Deadwood series.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t make R-rated superfilms. X-Force could be great if they kill the baby (see Rick Remender’s run). And I’d still like to see a film version of Garth Ennis’ The Boys. And imagine an authentic Killing Joke? But if R-rated comic movies are just an excuse for cursing and exploding heads, well, that’s not going to sell tickets.
But what if every superhero movie had pegging?