Why does Deadpool get away with so much?

04.14.16 12 months ago

Full disclosure: I was a vocal critic of Deadpool all the way back to its very first trailer. I have no doubt that it was as perfect a cinematic representation of the character as fans could have hoped for, and that is a testament to the skills of director Tim Miller, star Ryan Reynolds and the film's entire creative team. But here's the thing: I don't buy into what Deadpool represents. I don't find dishing out bon mots after committing acts of extreme violence — no matter the relative “evil” of the victims it's being perpetrated upon — funny or charming. I understand this is a minority opinion, and I respect everyone's right to disagree with me. It doesn't mean that I'm wrong (or that fans of the film are either, for that matter). It just means that we view things differently.

That said, when I was called upon to cover the press day for Deadpool's upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release (May 10), I did feel compelled to pose a question about the violence to director Tim Miller and producer Simon Kinberg. I was not there to rock the boat, so I couched it in diplomatic terms. In essence: where do you draw the line over what you'll show Deadpool doing onscreen? At what point would his actions destroy the audience's goodwill?

“I think first of all, you get away with a lot of shit because it's Ryan Reynolds,” Miller answered, before going on to joke: “I mean, you really — I think he could murder my family and I would still probably like the guy, you know?”

For the record, Miller didn't really answer my question, and neither did Kinberg when he described his reasoning for why so many in the audience maintain a rooting interest in Deadpool in spite of the flippant manner in which he slices, dices and guns down his opponents.

“He gets abused and sort of at every stage of the movie bad things happen to him,” said Kinberg. “So he's constantly the underdog of the film…constantly throughout the movie he is being what doesn't usually happen to a hero, which is he's getting the shit kicked out of him. …It's a character who is constantly losing things in the movie…so you root for him to do almost anything to win.”

Well…some of us, anyway.

To watch the rest of my interview with Miller and Kinberg, during which they talked about the film's relatively low budget, why they feel Deadpool's mission isn't selfish, and how they feel about the coterie of so-called “copycat” projects cropping up in the wake of the movie's success, watch the video embedded above and below. 

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