Is it possible that the bad guys from the comic book universe have finally had a breakthrough into motion pictures? I believe it is with the example of Deadpool. Yes, for most of the western countries, this weekend was Valentine’s weekend and heart-shaped candy boxes and movies were supposed to be the norm. For the rest of us, non-believers of the romanticism of February 14th, we got very well treated with one of the most expected movie releases of 2016 in the shape of Deadpool.
We all have been teased by the R-rated heroes for far too long, until everyone involved in the project decided to go along and be truthful with the source material, and that is a mouthful of fresh air after the array of too serious self-righteous comic books heroes embedded in the flesh of The Avengers, X-Men in the Marvel Universe, and more politically corrected heroes of DC Comics.
After its first couple of days, Deadpool surpassed anyone’s expectations for a movie R-rated in its first weekend. Earning more than $250 million only in the United States, Deadpool is a blunt statement regarding the likes of current movie-goers. Despite the evident success of PG-13 comic book heroes, the success that the sarcastic, cynical, “Merc with a Mouth” got at the box office comes from a very solid truth, fans enjoy watching in a movie what they have imagined coming from the comic books. By imagining, I meant not only the visuals of the comic books, but also regarding dialogues as well. In the case of Deadpool, a comic series anti-hero that came to be out of the liberties given to writers and drawing artists that unleashed a new breed of smart talking character, it was of the utmost importance to maintain that tone in the motion picture universe. That was the main impediment to making a great movie from such a kind of character, since many R-rated movies like Watchmen, The Punisher and Blade toned down to satisfy a rather serious film industry that barely believed in justice-seeking comic book heroes to begin with.
The making of Deadpool into a movie is a tale of legends now with Ryan Reynolds as the poster boy of the campaign to make it happen. But the real “magic hand” that was able to create enough thrust into the movie industry was the passion of fans. First incentivized by the leaking of scripts and later by leaks on the special effects test, comic book’s fans of Deadpool first solo series were ecstatic and willing to enter into battle to make the movie happen. After many hesitations, doubts, and budget cuts, the result is a film true to the comic book series created back in 1997. If it was a leap of faith from 20th Century Fox considering the rather poor reception of other R-rated comic book adaptations, it certainly paid off. For fans, the general response seems very positive, plus the publicity campaign which started almost a year ago was relentless, testing publicity limits by playing with the very nature of Deadpool proved to be very successful.
Is it possible that the door is opened for more adult-oriented comic book adaptations? The answer to this question I believe will come once Suicide Squad premiers. We must remember that this movie has also been flirting with us for almost a year. But there is a significant difference between Deadpool and Suicide Squad, which is the way the characters evolved and how they are being portrayed. Deadpool’s success as a movie not only relies on its close relation to the original material but also in the actor who is playing the title role. Ryan Reynolds has a sense of humor comparable to Wade Wilson, which is full of sarcasm, one-line jokes full of nerd and pop culture; which makes his performance more fluid. In the Suicide Squad movies, we have so far just the looks, I wonder if the looks and the dialogues match the level of psychosis the anti-hero squad should have, perhaps we will encounter a more varied movie experience for any adult in the house. Because, at the end of the day especially in our modern culture, adults need more to connect to their teenager inner self once in awhile.