Why Deadpool is totally overrated

Deadpool has set box office records, defied all kinds of expectations, and turned the entire superhero movie genre on its head—but is it really as great as all the kids are saying? It's one thing to rake in opening weekend cash, but it's another to be truly awesome and withstand the test of time, and there are a lot of places that Deadpool falls a little short of perfect. Here are a few reasons why Deadpool deserves great ratings—but may just be a bit overrated. Sorry, nerds.

It's mostly for comic geeks

Deadpool stands up pretty well as an over-the-top gross-out comedy in its own right, but there are huge, distracting chunks of the film that are definitely designed exclusively for comic nerds and not a casual action film or comedy audience. Anyone who went into Deadpool with someone who wasn't completely up to date on Deadpool's weird history probably had a lot of whispered explaining to do. We can hear the questions now: "Wait, Deadpool has healing powers and a weird relationship with Wolverine? Why isn't Wolverine in the movie now?" It's easy to get lost in the labyrinth of comic references if you come unprepared, and it's just not as enjoyable without that layer of comprehension.

Watch your mouth

One of the great things about Deadpool is that he says ridiculous things just this side of being absolutely profane, but Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool probably has the filthiest mouth in all of cinema, as well as an obsession with defecation and testicles. It's so much funnier to lob a creative, unusual insult than it is to verbally paint a graphic depiction of someone's anatomy for shock value. Fans found themselves missing Deadpool's usual insane comic book commentary, and much of the film's dialogue sounded like a bunch of teenagers arguing in a YouTube comments section.

Ch-Ch-Changes

Deadpool is probably one of the more comic-accurate films produced in recent memory, and though certain on-page elements have been shuffled around to work better on screen, the film only took the liberties it needed to be coherent. Strangely, portions of the film are still rife with other unnecessary changes from its comic origins. When you have carte blanche to be ridiculous, why use Negasonic Teenage Warhead when you can use a hero with actual nuclear powers? Why change Ajax, a cyborg in a funky suit, into an intentionally generic villain? For every moment that Deadpool commits to the insanity, there are plenty of details that could have been as gloriously crazy as the comics.

Ow, the edge

Marvel's films, even across companies who own different aspects of Marvel's properties, are a very safe place. While these worlds depict a lot of violence, they're generally pretty tame when it comes to language and gore. Deadpool is an obvious rebellion against all of these sissy standards, and it's definitely welcome in a genre that's feeling increasingly stale. But at many points, it just feels like a kid acting up in class for no good reason. Graphic sex, slow-motion head explosions, and an absurd amount of barely-relevant profanity make it easy to become removed from the whole experience.

Rated X

In the same vein, watching Wade Wilson and his stripper girlfriend perform all manner of all-nude private acts on each other just tips the scale into dangerously unwatchable territory. There's absolutely no doubt that lonely nerds desperate for a glimpse at Morena Baccarin's body take little issue with the montage, and there's probably some comedic value in there somewhere. But it does very little to establish the actual romantic relationship between the two, unless you're getting your life lessons from porn.

These things exist

When Deadpool isn't looking for laughs by making anatomical references, most of the film's other jokes are references to pop culture junk, which may or may not have any relevance in five years. There's a very specific audience of people who will appreciate an Adventure Time wristwatch, and most of them read comics. If you're not deeply immersed in pop culture, it's just like watching an extended Dane Cook routine; either you don't get the references, or you actually understand them, and even then, there's still a 50/50 chance of it actually being funny by virtue of simply existing at the right moment. Saying "Voltron" isn't a joke.

Pet project

Everyone knows that Ryan Reynolds has been campaigning hardcore for Deadpool to get his own film, and even gave in to the horrible version of the character in X-Men Origins, just for a chance to play him. Reynolds' enthusiasm for Deadpool is infectious and that's great, but it often carries the weird energy of an elaborate fan film, for what that's worth. For every moment that's totally on key against all odds, there's one that feels like it could be found in some unedited fan fiction. A million kudos to Reynolds for taking this as far as he has, but it wouldn't be terrible to cut out at least a few of the "touching myself" quips.

Recommended