Monday, May 08, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) - Deadpool

I've got plenty to read and watch, but hubby and I got Deadpool from the library first, so we watched that this weekend, and I've been thinking about it's likely position in my list. I'll address the elephant in the room first: yes, it was nominated by puppies, but because it was a popular film I'm going to not worry overmuch about that. It might have been nominated anyway, and could have even been a finalist without the puppies. So I'll try to judge it on its own merits.

Second, I had avoided learning anything about this movie well before the Hugo noms came out. I hadn't decided if I was going to ever see it - the Hugo finalists list made that decision for me. I don't know Deadpool well because I haven't read any of the comics featuring him. All I knew going in was that the movie was very raunchy and Deadpool is a smart aleck.

The good: it was remarkably funny, poignant at moments, had a surprisingly sweet message and broke the fourth wall in original ways. The actors were fantastic, from the gloomy teenager to the love interest to the blind woman to Mr. Pool himself. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and the movie took itself seriously in the right moments and dropped out into insanity with perfect timing. The winks and nods to the audience (including making fun of the Green Lantern movie (which I liked)) were great to see. Stan Lee's cameo still cracks me up. The plot holds together well, and it has a satisfying conclusion. The characters have solid motives (for the most part) and Mr. Pool's cowardice is believable, even though everyone in the audience had to know how she would react once she understood. The use of music was truly inspired and added a lot to both the humor and the pathos.

The bad: Whew, this was violent. True, it's a lot of comic book violence, but it was way overboard in some places. The nudity and language didn't bother me much, but the violence was, at times, a bit too much. It never went so far to make me throw up (like a certain character does) but it was often enough to make me worry a little about having that imagery in my head. Also, the bad guys never get a lot of reason for being bad guys, beyond profit motives. I didn't expect a backstory, but I wish the movie had given just a tiny bit more sense of how they were using super-powered slaves - and the extent of their operations. We got hints, but I would have liked a scene or two more to fully establish them... but that's a minor nit.

Conclusion: I liked it. I didn't love it, but then I'm not a huge Marvel fangirl. It left my brain in an odd place, which happens with some movies. It's not really my cuppa, but it was funny and I can appreciate it for what it is.

I've already seen two of the other finalists in the Dramatic Long category, and at the moment Deadpool is either second or third of the three I've now seen. I'll be rewatching the two I've seen and watching the other three that made the list, and all post on those as I do.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): I've seen Ghostbusters, Rogue One and Deadpool. I need to see Arrival, Hidden Figures and Stranger Things, Season One.