Deadpool – Ryan Reynolds foul mouthed anti superhero is the equivalent of a kid who just learned swear words. After being diagnosed with cancer, Wade Wilson undergoes procedures of torture meant to heal his cancer, but instead it gives him invincibility. It’s a superhero film that aims to be subversive and edgy, but doing that would cost more money and be a huge risk on a film that’s already a risk. So what does it do? It consistently tries to make fun of itself and it’s genre but this only is a reminder of how generic and unoriginal it actually is. Take out Reynolds juvenile quips (to be fair, he’s quite good at juvenile quips) and this plays and looks like an edgy TV pilot. Deadpool mocks the very thing that it is, but it doesn’t have the filmmaking chops or verve to pull it off.
Occasionally its funny, but never as subversive as it wants to/or needs to be. The attempt at romance weirdly objectifies love interest Morena Baccarin and it’s not even an attempt at exploitation. It treats her like eye candy and then asks us to sincerely invest in a half baked relationship. No. Not even the violence reaches subversive levels. Loads of CGI blood and slow motion aren’t enough. Kick Ass did what this film aims to do in it’s first 15 minutes. Reynolds is clearly having a good time and makes it maybe worth a watch on TNT or FX at some point. I’m honestly shocked that some people love this movie. I suppose fans of the character will enjoy seeing him on screen…. Kingsman came out this same time last year, yet that had stylish filmmaking and slyly reveled in it’s genre rather than Deadpool‘s teenage humor and generic story beats. Idk, I’m in the minority so go see it if you want. (D+)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen’s romance classic reaches beyond the grave. BRAINNNSSSSS. Campy, fun, and never boring, this literary brainfest revels in it’s silliness to it’s own detriment. The novel’s backbone of social intrigue shockingly melds well with, and builds upon, zombie mythology. Imagine a Victorian hierarchy with zombies at the bottom rotting away the base of society. Sadly, the PG-13 rating is a massive hindrance. An R rating likely would’ve pushed this into proper campy horror. Nor does it’s filmmaking craft allow itself to enter exploitation or horror levels of cinema. It also sorta missed the boat on the whole zombie craze. Sooooooo 2012. It’s a mixed bag of tricks, but what’s surprising is that the backbone of romance is actually the most effective part. Austen clearly knew her story construction. This cocktail of camp and love isn’t necessary, but if you do find yourself in it’s presence, it’s an easily watchable silly time. (C-)
The Finest Hours – Gotta like a Bawwwston survival story. On Feb. 18, 1952, a devastating storm ripped the SS Pendleton in two, and trapped over 30 sailors inside. Cue the rescue mission! At one point these types of films were Disney’s bread and butter. Sure, it treads into corniness, a roadmap plot, and rah rah inspiration but it’s a film that simply wants to please you with old school heroics, and I bought it. Having actors like Chris Pine and Casey Affleck add weight to the situation, allowing us to buy in and actually give a damn and perhaps even cheer. It’s old fashioned and simple to a fault, but it’s idea of heroism is so far removed from the modern world that it ends up feeling fresh. I hope Disney doesn’t stop making flicks like this. Some of them are legit great (Remember the Titans). They’re unabashedly earnest in their intentions and there’s a much needed place for them in the modern cinema landscape. A more effective and likable film than the ones above. (C)