The first Deadpool had a lot riding on its shoulders. In addition to being a spinoff from a much-abhorred X-Men Origins: Wolverine, had a minimalistic budget (at least when it comes to superhero movies) and was rated-R. Not a lot of people in the casual audience knew who the character even was, and the few who did know was from an early bad impression from the aforementioned Wolverine flick.
So there really wasn’t much fanfare that the movie could generate, right? WRONG. In what is today known as one of, if not the best marketing campaigns in the history of cinema, Deadpool managed to capture lightning in a bottle. Made on a modest budget of $58 million, the movie went on to make north of $780m, instantly becoming a modern classic & setting a benchmark for R-rated blockbusters.
What made Deadpool so special then? The sheer uniqueness of the character. If you’ve ever read his comics, you’ll know that Wade Wilson has a rapidly fast healing factor as well as being aware of being in said comic book. That means that he can constantly break the fourth wall at a moment’s notice and speak to the viewer/reader directly. We’ve had such traits in movies before (e.g Ferris Bueller), but never in a super-hero movie.
Also adding to the list of unique traits, Deadpool is ultra violent in his methods and lacks any sense of ethics when it comes to killing people. That’s why he makes for such an awesome anti-hero. You’re rooting for him while constantly being in awe of his terrible methods, but that’s what makes him so much fun.
At the time when it came out in 2016, the X-Men franchise wasn’t really at its peak. Days of Future Past was the last home run for the studio, but there hadn’t been anything special since. The then soon-to-be-released X-Men: Apocalypse had already started looking bland with its marketing. And there was no Wolverine movie in sight. It all came down to Deadpool to start the year off with a bang.
The plot of the movie wasn’t anything special per say: Bad guy kidnaps good guy’s loved one. The good guy has to fight back. There. Simple, but effective when done right. And boy did the movie do it right. Since the screenwriters could play off of other movies’ existing traits and clichés, they used it to excuse their own simplistic narrative. Couple that with the Merc with the Mouth’s ability to make direct references to these traits and you had a movie buff’s paradise.
The film also had a troubled start to production, with its test footage getting leaked and fans prompting the studio to give it a green light. Say what you may, but the movie already had an immense fan following even before it started production. Reynolds, who’s been the leading mascot to make this movie happen, nailed the role on his second chance. Add to the fact that the movie was rated R and still made loads of money just proves how unnaturally successful it went on to become.
For a movie to make fun of its own franchise is so surreal, yet Deadpool somehow managed to pull it off. All credits to the writers, and Tim Miller who so whole-heartedly made this dream come true (and then, sadly left the sequel project). While some may not agree, the 2013 video-game of the same name undoubtedly increased the hype for the movie, even without us knowing it. That game, by High Moon Studios, managed to capture the essence of Wade Wilson so perfectly.
How this year’s Deadpool 2 improves upon the first one, we’ll just have to wait and see. While it may not be able to capture the first one’s uniqueness, we fully expect to be enthralled by Reynold’s return and Thanos himself (Josh Brolin) joining the franchise.
Expect our Deadpool 2 review to be up as soon the movie lands in your (and our) nearest theater.