Deadpool Comes Alive on the Big Screen
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R-rated films have never been the biggest box-office successes in the past. According to BoxOfficeMojo, only three of the 20 highest-grossing films of 2015 were R-rated. Typically, studios prefer PG-13 films to market toward a more broad audience. Now comes “Deadpool,” about a crude, self-aware, and fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero who’s determined to change the film industry.
“Deadpool,” starring Ryan Reynolds, tells the story of Wade Wilson, a man with a rude sense of humor who wants to find the man who disfigured him and kidnapped his girlfriend.
The story is told as a nonlinear narrative, with flashbacks revealing Wade’s life with his wife before he was transformed into a masked vigilante. And under all of the bloody violence and crude humor, holds a story of a flawed man who wants to save somebody he cares about.
“Deadpool” is Marvel’s first R-rated film. It was a bold decision, considering how the audience would be restricted to people above the age of 17. When Nicholas Lemmon, a junior at Jamestown, was asked about this, he highlighted that “DC is usually darker with the movies they make.” This is an accurate observation because DC, a competitor of Marvel’s, has already released “Watchmen” which is an R-rated film.
“Deadpool” earned the chance to be made largely because of test footage that leaked onto the Internet and Reynolds’ passion for the character. The film mainly concerns itself with painting a satirical image of superheroes and breaking the fourth wall by speaking directly to the audience. The film pokes fun at things like Marvel itself, superhero clichés and Reynolds’ career.
Teenagers have a special relationship with the cinema. According to Hollywood Reporter, the film was a smash hit, making $132 million during its opening weekend, with 47 percent of the audience being younger than 25- higher than any other R-rated opening release.
However, not everybody enjoys the film. Some viewers feel that “Deadpool” was more of a forced effort to seem mature. “I feel like they tried too hard to make it an R-rated movie,” said junior Jordan Willis.
Nevertheless, the film won over critics. Currently standing with 83 percent critics score and a 94 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes; “Deadpool” has proven that it pleases film enthusiasts as well as casual audiences.
It’s likely that because of Deadpool’s massive box office revenue, studios will fund more R-rated films and market them towards younger audiences. “Wolverine 3”, set for release on March 3, 2017, has changed its target rating to R, most likely in reaction to the film’s success.
Students seem to have mixed feelings about this. When asked about it how this film might change the ratings of upcoming superhero films, Willis was displeased, saying “It’s possible, but I wish they wouldn’t.” The possibility that PG-13 films will be unnecessarily changed to an R rating is something that should be a concern.
“Deadpool” is still playing in theaters, earning even more revenue as people continue to watch and then re-watch it.