Social justice warriors argue that "Straight White Male" ought not to be a default setting and they're right - it's a wide & diverse world. Arguably nowhere is this default more set in stone than in superhero movies.
I actually rushed out to see Deadpool this weekend because it promised to be something different in this regard. This, despite no real desire to see the movie since the hard obnoxious sell felt like flop sweat (though it sure as hell worked and no flopping occurred). I didn't end up reviewing the film but this piece I wrote for Towleroad is as close as I got. It's called "Pansexual Antihero or Gaybaiting Joke?" because the buzz surrounding the smart ass mutant's sexual desires is empty.
Here's an excerpt but I hope you'll read the whole thing...
Deadpool fits comfortably in the X-verse, being a mutant, but also by selling the troubled 'otherness' that is the X-Men's chief inclusive draw for moody adolescents and beyond. He's neither hero nor villain, but an amoral guy who discovers he has cancer. His superpowers are unlocked through a sadistic experiment to rid himself of the cancer which leaves him badly disfigured but incapable of being killed. This anti-hero has been described as "omnisexual" by the writer of his comic and the media has consistently referred to him at "pansexual". But is he either of those things, or just a typical straight guy who loves a good dick joke?
extra random thoughts about the movie after the jump...
For the record I didn't hate the movie (C+?) but it looks weirdly cheap given the current standards of this genre. The sets and effects feel relatively humble. All in all it's very basic origin story stuff with a harder edge. To directly quote the MPAA:
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic burnt Ryan Reynolds peen.
Okay that's not a direct quote. I added a few words.
A few more thoughts
- It was good to see Colossus portrayed with a Russian accent finally (Daniel Cudmore sure looked the part in the X-Men films but otherwise they didn't do right by the character)... though the shape of his body was alarming. His arms looked too big to even be able to bend or function as arms. It was definitely the Henry Cavill as Superman body-dysmorphia workout: all chest and shoulders, no other body parts need apply.
- Morena Baccarin is a babe. May success greet all alumni of Joss Whedon's Firefly.
- I was familiar with Deadpool before the movie... sort of... In the early 90s comics he was more of a traditional villain. But because I'm less than familiar with his comic book reign was he meant to be so funhouse mirror of Spider-Man with the red suit and black and white mask eyes and wisecracks?
- Negasonic Teenage Warhead is the longest superhero name ever. I don't know this character. Did they do right by her?
- Ed Skrein, who plays the villain, is an evil beauty.
- 60s/70s celebrity Leslie Uggams is in this movie! I can't even remember the last time I saw her. Oh wait... yeah, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway in 2002 (she took the Carol Channing role).Have you seen Deadpool yet? If so do share how you felt about it.
- The action scenes have some good beats but the finale feels weirdly disjointed like each character must wait their turn to use their powers and stand there while the other characters are displaying theirs. Odd. And especially odd to see in the new era when we've seen entire groups of heroes jammed into the frame doing battle (cough*Age of Ultron*)
- Ryan Reynolds has had a bumpy career of sorts but Hollywood has bet on him over and over again despite that hoping that "this time it'll happen". This will easily buy him another handful of years as a headliner, even if non-Deadpool movies flop.
Have you seen DEADPOOL yet? If so do share your feelings.