Deadpool made a hell of a lot of money at the box office, and in the process proved that audiences were hungry for R-rated superhero films. It did a hell of a lot better than anyone thought it would, too; a clever, self-aware marketing campaign and word of mouth brought the punters into theatres worldwide, and they lapped it up.
Look closely, though, and it becomes painfully obvious that - for all its merits - Deadpool only half works; it's an incredibly safe and by-the-numbers superhero flick masquerading as something edgy and irreverent, when really we've seen it all before, often done far better than it is here. Ryan Reynolds is fantastic, of course, but what else about Deadpool actually stands out and sticks with you?
Not to mention that only half of the jokes land. The others... well, they're a bit cringeworthy. A twenty-year-old reference to Sinead O'Connor? A gag about Deadpool mistakenly leaving the stove on? C'mon, guys... is that stuff funny? Is it really?
There's a novelty to Deadpool that means it received fantastic reviews and a positive audience buzz, but I'm not sure the movie itself is worthy of such notices. Watching it, one might find themselves a tad frustrated when the film refuses to go further - to really push the meta nature of character and create something memorable.
In the end, Deadpool is a pretty average superhero outing, albeit with added violence, swearing and a few knowing winks to the audience. But it's not enough.