Variety‘s Kris Tapley has called Deadpool a “stunningly resilient” contender in the awards race so far. I’ve no choice but to agree. A film that for me was probably the most obnoxious and tediously self-absorbed of 2016 (at least as far as the 40 minutes’ worth that I watched) has been nominated by the Producers Guild (to the everlasting horror of the ghost of Darryl F. Zanuck), the Directors Guild (an Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film nomination for Tim Miller over The Witch‘s Robert Eggers?), the Writers Guild (a stain on that organization that will not be easily scrubbed or forgotten), the American Cinema Editors, the Visual Effects Society and the Makeup and Hair Stylists Guild.
Deadpool is nothing more or less than a grating Daffy Duck cartoon blended with the self-regarding, self-perpetuating mythology of the Marvel machine. For the sake of the honor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, please, please don’t nominate this travesty for Best Picture.
“Deadpool is a movie that puts its audaciousness in the forefront, even if it’s only mutated-skin-deep; a movie that makes space for violence, sex, and swear words, but never bites the hand feeding it by diverging from formula. It’s fun for a while, and then it all becomes deeply disheartening, because calling attention to the more businesslike mechanics of superheroics isn’t subversive when you’re also playing right into them. Pointing out the symptoms of superhero fatigue isn’t the same thing as overcoming it.” — Buzzfeed‘s Allison Willmore.
“Deadpool is strictly for Marvel Comics fans who like their characters sloshing in R-rated territory. Weirdly funny at best, it’s just exhaustingly weird most of the time.” — Christian Science Monitor‘s Peter Rainer.
“Far from seeming reckless and loose-limbed, Deadpool comes across as pathologically calculated, measuring out its nastiness to the last drop. That is equally true of the visual excess—three heads bursting bloodily open, in slow motion, one after the next, as a bullet travels through them—and of the dialogue, which rubs its hands with glee and tries so very, very hard to sound barbaric. Watching [it] is like sitting at dinner with a teenager who believes that, if he swears long and loudly enough, he will shock the grownups into accepting him as one of their own.” — The New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane.
A portion of my own review — “What If The Antichrist Wasn’t A Person But A Movie?” — posted on 2.17.16: “I lasted a little more than 40 minutes with Deadpool — not bad considering. I decided I’d be leaving early on, or right after the opening kick-ass sequence on the highway overpass when this quip-happy, totally indestructible Daffy Duck wastes…what, 25 or 30 guys? If a superhero flick is smart and clever and well-measured enough (Ant-Man, both Captain America flicks, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) I’m more or less there along with everyone else, but this…this is smug, empty, super-annoying, surface-skimming cartoon-level dogshit. Yeah, asshole — I know that’s the point but the point is submental.”