The superhero genre has been running as a powerhouse for sixteen years.In previous decades only Superman or Batman could float a franchise, and even they began to overstay their welcome, turning into respectively cheap or camp pastiches of themselves (and the less said of non-starters like Steel the better). Then came X-Men. Bryan Singer's filmshowed that you could do a superhero movie that was at once respectful to the source and competent as, well, a movie.
A decade and a half later and with every new release we're inundated with claims the bubble is about to burst. It's like the western, they say. People will find fancy with other things, they say. It may be going well now, but high-profile bombs (like Fant4stic), relatively low-end successes from unproven properties (Ant-Man was the lowest grossing flick of MCU Phase 2 by a margin) and diminishing returns from the big hitters (Age Of Ultron made $100 million less than The Avengers) point to a sharp decline, they say.
I envisioned Deadpool being the movie that would resolutely show all these naysayers wrong. Loosely set in the same continuity as Singer's original game-changer, it was going to provide a new lease of life to the genre; with an R-rating we'd getasuperhero with a violent, rude and perverse edge. It would bring to life a comic book character so comic booky his defining trait is breaking the mould of comic books. It was, put simply, going to be the movie that brokewith the hard-set convention.
And it isn't. Or rather it is, but not enough.
Don't get me wrong - Deadpool is a fun movie. Ryan Reynolds was right to fight for years for the role - his Wade Wilson is as irreverent and cocksure as you can get - and the action is some of the best you've ever seen in a superhero movie, with a no-holds-barred approach to violence and a shooting style to match. It's also relentlessly hilarious, with pop culture gags and slapstick thrown at you with a surprisingly high success rate. And yes, the best bits are the breaking of the fourth wall, something that isso consistently inventive it never oncetires.
But, unlike the incredibly novel and always entertaining marketing, Deadpool isn't really all thatoriginal.