With Deadpool 2 still filling cinema seats, Kraig Taylor-Bryant looks back to the original Deadpool film to see how it compares (some spoilers and strong language)...
After watching the second Deadpool film, which I thought was pretty good, it was interesting how a lot of the comedy in the new film was reliant on the knowledge of Marvel and, in some cases, DC to really find this film funny. I realised this when one of my friends’ siblings really struggled to like this film, and yet they liked the first film, so out of curiosity I rewatched the first Deadpool film, to take a look at the comedy that the first film uses.
From the get-go in Deadpool we see some humour that is literally just Ryan Reynolds insulting the cast and the crew that produced the film. We see a similar thing to this in Deadpool 2 but, if you look deeper into it, the style of the intro to the second one looks very much to be inspired/mocking the James Bond franchise and their intros, which is completely fine with me. I’m not saying I don’t care for the Bond franchise, I just know that each reference in the Deadpool films is going to be making fun of something, and at the end of the day, it’s really just a comedy action film making jokes with its fellow franchises. So, as I was saying, the intro shown in the first film is a lot simpler to this one, it’s one that you don’t really need background knowledge of another franchise to understand, and I think that’s why it’s the favourite of some fans over its sequel. I think the first film couldn’t risk being too bold as it pretty much relied on the additional funding by those that thought that it would help to be advertised as a romantic film before release, through billboards that contained hearts and the "romance" trailer, so they wanted to make something that a larger number of people would like, and it's this sort of advertising that made the humour possibly even appear more surprising to us as an audience, thereby making it a little less surprising to us in the sequel.
Early on, we see the simple madness and jokiness of Deadpool, both when he’s fighting and befotte that when he’s in a taxi with Dopinder. The humour in this for superhero fans is the pure fact that we don’t see superheroes as the kind of people that take the taxi and sit awkwardly in the back talking about relationships with the taxi driver, we’re used to the cool “Avengers” that take the jet to get to missions, or using their “Batmobile” to get them there, or simply by flying, this is what makes it funny for those that equally, if not more, enjoyed Deadpool 2. But I think for those that are not so keen on superhero films that enjoyed this one, they just enjoyed the personality of Deadpool, and I believe, in the moment when Deadpool is talking about love and not letting go and he mentions the fact that if you let go then the world starts to taste like “two hobos fucking in a shoe filled with piss”, it’s jokes like this rant that you don’t need to be a comic book fan or even a superhero fan to find funny. It's almost like this first film is suited to rom-com fans as well as the typical superhero fan base, as it makes a lot of references to love that these people can relate to. Fans of the first Deadpool film would find humour in Dopinder's feud with his cousin, that leads him to kidnap his cousin and put him in the back of the taxi, and the way Deadpool discreetly tells Dopinder to kill him and dump the body, makes it even funnier as this is not the typical way to win someone’s heart and it’s that difference that makes this film preferable to the second one for some. It's also relatable to anyone that Dopinder has these family issues, as there will be many that have feuds with a certain family member, but it's the sheer ridiculousness of how Dopinder resolves this issue that makes this film more enjoyable for a larger audience.
Even in the action sequences throughout the first film, it's certainly still enjoyable for many, as there are elements of comedy that you don’t have to be a superhero fan to find humour in, such as all the sexual innuendos in Deadpool's actions, as well as his childish behaviour at the same time. We see this when he is fighting Francis' goons in a convoy, and is asking them if they've "seen this man", showing a picture that he has drawn of Francis, almost sounding like a police officer as he says this. also when, a little later on, he is counting the shots he has left in his gun because he forgot his ammo bag, this is relatable to anyone as well, because everyone forgets something sometimes, and the humour in the fact that he's forgotten an ammo bag is what makes it funny for a wider audience, whereas the superhero fans in this scene will find humour in the difference of this film to others, as this kind of thing wouldn't usually happen in a superhero film, and this just shows that Deadpool really isn't a superhero, he's just a normal guy, who had a lot of terrible stuff happen to him.
It's also interesting how, even when he sticks two of his swords into a guy, he monologues it, which makes it funny for a different audience, as Ryan Reynolds is talking about what exactly this audience is thinking, which is "my boyfriend said this was a superhero movie, but the guy in the red suit just turned that other guy into a fucking kebab." Then he goes on to talk about himself not being a hero, and how this film is a love story, and the best love stories start with a murder. This makes it a lot more humorous to those that are usually fans of a love story because they know that this isn't the case. This leads into a cut back to how this character became Deadpool, but it's done in a way that still makes it enjoyable to this audience , as it opens with Deadpool, as Wade Wilson, threatening a stalker, and this makes the audience buy into Deadpool as the good guy, whilst at the same time finding him funny because of how scary-weird he is, like when he threatens the delivery boy before kissing him on the nose to scare him. And of course, it's this weirdness that makes all viewers enjoy it, even those that are fans of superhero films because this is not the way a superhero would behave, and I think that this is what makes this film preferable to some over its sequel, because, despite its humour, Deadpool does act more like a hero in the sequel than he does in the original.
The first film was definitely not all jokes and humour, because later on in the scene where he's at the bar with his friend, we see how he meets Vanessa, who becomes the love interest that makes this film the kind of film that it is, a revenge/love story, she is the one that drives his actions in this film. It starts with a sequence of Wade having sex with her, and ends with him proposing before collapsing and finding out that he has cancer. When he is given the option to undertake a surgery that could cure him of his cancer, he chooses to go for it so that he can be there for Vanessa. This drives forward the revenge story, and of course he wants to find Francis so that he can fix his face before he does get revenge on him for all the suffering he caused Wade, showing again that he cares for Vanessa, because he feels as if, at the moment, he isn't good enough for her, and needs his face to be the way it used to be for her to see him the same way. I think in a lot of ways it can be relatable to the geek superhero fans as well, because, they, like myself, feel as if sometimes we fall in love with a girl/guy that is out of our league, and feel as if sometimes we need to be different from ourselves to be good enough for them, so this story can still be relatable to this audience.
In the "Where's Francis?" montage, what's creative about this is how he does this, such as when he's intimidating one of his soldiers with a Zamboni, a machine often used to clean or smooth out an ice rink, and it's these creative scenes that make it still enjoyable and funny to everyone, because it's all done in creative ways that keep it interesting as well as through the interesting soundtrack that just is a remixed song that keeps saying "Deadpool" before cutting into a rap sequence which really fits the tone of the film, and makes it more enjoyable for a newer generation, such as 15 year olds (in the U.S maybe this age if they watch it with their parents, but also maybe at the age of 17/18). The montage continues in to show him attacking one woman before being attacked by another, mentioning his confusion about whether its sexist to hit them or sexist to not him, this fits very well with the modern age of feminism, which is a very serious topic, but this film is clearly just trying to bring light to these serious topics and it does them well, and these topics are what make it better for a wider variety of people, as some females would find it funny over him struggling to understand what's sexist and what isn't. We then see a few relatable scenes of one of the people he kills being in the toilet and one being in the office, showing that relatability again as these are all locations that we're familiar with, but aren't used to seeing someone getting beaten up randomly there in films, helping to make even sequences such as this, enjoyable for everyone.
Francis finds out that Deadpool is Wade Wilson, leading him to take the woman that Wade loves to draw him out so that he can finish him and make him suffer, leading him to go after the girl, get two X-Men that the studio could afford (making it again, enjoyable to superhero fans, as they are familiar with the smaller budget that this film had.) When it gets to the fight sequence with Francis, we see a few things that still make this fun for everyone to watch, such as when he forgets the ammo bag again, and when he calls Dopinder but this leads Dopinder to crash, meaning Dopinder's cousin who is in the trunk to get hurt, it's this kind of humour that keep this audience watching and interested, even though they know that they are going to see yet another fight sequence, but I don’t think anyone could mind that if they see the right kind of comedy that they can still enjoy. So when they're all fighting, we see humour in NegaSonic Teenage Warhead, when she is tweeting something on her phone, almost poking fun at teenagers and their obsession with social media, but again, with me being a teen, I don't find it offensive, I just find it a fun, relatable joke, and her mean comments and moody attitude also makes the film more relatable for mothers/fathers that have their own teenager, as it's relatable to that stage of their lives, and they find it funny that they're seeing this shown through one of the X-Men. And the film also pokes fun at the kindness of the X-Men by having Colossus nag Deadpool about his language, as well as letting one of the villains he is fight, know when the strap of her bra has undone, making it funny for everyone that he would stop mid fight to point this out, and the fact that, because we don’t see this in X-Men films, Colossus won't allow it to be in this film, so it's kind of breaking the fourth wall without making it look deliberate there.
We then see a funny-ish fight scene where they're fighting on this big structure of sorts that ends up falling apart and he puts Vanessa in the same container she was previously trapped in to keep her alive whilst she falls off the structure. This keeps her alive for the moment where they meet again and Deadpool realises that he doesn’t need to look pretty to get the girl, sending a good message to all the viewers that think that they don’t have a shot at the guy/girl that they believe is perfect for them, encouraging them to go for it and just be themselves. This makes it very different from Deadpool 2, which seems to rely heavily on references to other super hero franchises. I'm not saying that the first Deadpool doesn’t, because it does, like when he is trying to think up a name, and he thinks of calling himself "Captain Deadpool" which could be a reference/mockery to Captain America, and how ridiculous of a name it is, and when he says to the agent that brings him in to be experimented on that he doesn’t want his super suit to be "green or animated" which is a reference to the Green Lantern movie and how badly it was received.
So what makes the comedy different in Deadpool 2 is that it does rely very heavily on the geekiness of the fans, such as when Deadpool put together his own "superduper" group which is almost mocking the Avengers, the X-men, and the Justice League. This is a concept that is used for a good few scenes of the film, and the whole "time travel" element of the film is definitely something that a lot of geeky audiences would love. Of course, there are characters in Deadpool 2 that can be relatable, but there aren't really that many that the exact same audience can root for, possibly because of the fact that this film does not rely as much on the romantic side to drive the story, which I personally think they needed to change to make the sequel something different and still enjoyable. I do realise that it may also be possible that the fact we knew what we were getting into when watching the sequel to this film, was a factor in people preferring the first film, although its change in comedic style does seem to make up for any repeated joke. It's important to know that you can't please everybody, especially when you're trying to bring in a whole different genre of fans into this fandom, and that’s why I think that some didn’t like this film whilst some did, but I do think both films are still definitely worth watching to make your own decision on.
Follow Kraig on Twitter @KraigAndHisMac
Images - IMDb