Marvel Studios’ “Deadpool 2” recently premiered in theatres domestically on May 18 and has since been a hit at the box office. Despite being released within the same month as the widely popular “Avengers: Infinity War” and having significantly smaller budgets, the Deadpool franchise has managed to receive great reactions from audiences.

The successes of the movies can be accredited to several aspects, including well-written character models, witty and emotional banter and the freedom that comes with an R-rated film. The movies follow the endeavors of a mutant named Deadpool who gained superpowers from torturous experiments and, in turn, seeks revenge on those who wronged him.

The character comes from the Marvel comics, where he was originally introduced as a mercenary with a big mouth. Played by Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool resembles his comic book rendition in that he never shuts up. His mouth has been known to get him into trouble and his on-screen persona doesn’t shy away one bit.

Deadpool is known to be a sarcastic and extremely humors superhero out of the entire Marvel superheroes. (Image via Engadget)

As only an action movie, the “Deadpool” films serve the purpose perfectly. The scenes are well shot, and Ryan Reynold’s emotional demeanor and aggressive dialogue keep things interesting. However, “Deadpool” is much more than just an action franchise — it’s the most human superhero movie that exists.

Even though it’s riddled with different mutants and immortal creatures wielding superpowers, the inner workings of the films provide a deeper connection to the current world that’s incredibly relatable.

The character of Deadpool himself is immensely relatable. All Marvel superheroes are given minor flaws and setbacks to provide depth to the characters. But, because they’re meant to be kid-friendly and are, of course, superheroes, none of these flaws are ever deeply explored or have any major impact.

Since “Deadpool” is rated R and geared toward an audience of adults, the writers had more freedom to build a character that could be relatable. Today, there’s a lot of attention being paid toward social and cultural equality. There’s a reshaping of sensitivity toward these subjects and people are reacting in more ways than ever before.

Deadpool, a character known for talking his mouth off, is the perfect example of someone who’d poke fun at society. Making his debut to the big screen in 2016, Deadpool’s raunchy behavior emplyed culturally insensitive dialogue and problematic stereotypes seemingly from beginning to end. As a movie, these are all received as just jokes, obviously.

It’s always nice to joke and have a good time and movies are expected to do that. But what’s important is that these movies, unlike any other superhero film, are actually including this dialogue.

Stereotypes and insensitive language are things used every single day in the real world. The “Deadpool” franchise is the most relatable one because it reflects the common ways humanity can be divisive or conflicted.

Whether most people recognize it or not, there are a lot of toxic aspects of society that can encourage cultural separation. Cultural and racial sensitivity are things that most people expect from everyone, but it’s important to remember that it’s not that black and white. As humanity differs from person to person, it’s easy to forget the diversity of willpower and intentions.

Movies are always going to be ways in which messages about society can be transmitted to the public. The franchise of “Deadpool” subconsciously called attention to some everyday behaviors that can easily be overlooked.

A large aspect representative of Deadpool that audiences can identify with is his selfishness. The character is labeled as an anti-hero — meaning that he is neither superhero nor supervillain, but rather an “in-betweener” who does things on his own terms and for nobody other than himself.

That type of selfishness made way for a different type of superhero movie, one that didn’t really follow the rules but rather followed Deadpool’s rules. By dodging the label as a hero, Deadpool loses a lot of predictability. He’s doing whatever he’s doing for himself and whatever will benefit him. By no means does it have to be for the greater good.

This entrenches the franchise in a moral battlefield, whereas most people will expect the greater good to take priority in any given situation. Deadpool is here to remind people that this isn’t always the case.

From a relatability standpoint, all people at one time or another can submerge into selfish intentions. With that being said, sometimes what I want isn’t necessarily going to help the greater good. Not only does Deadpool stray away from this dynamic, but he relates to audiences by encompassing a selfish attitude. He does things for himself.

A heavy emotional toll and clouded judgment are very human feelings. Deadpool uses his feelings of loss and anger to seek revenge as well as an attempt to make things right for himself. As humans, the audience is able to relate to Deadpool’s search for revenge against those who wronged him.

Morally, Deadpool struggles with the concept of what’s right and wrong. The movies use the aspect of selfishness and couple it with the idea of right and wrong so that the answer is left to the protagonist.

Colossus, a fellow mutant, constantly attempts throughout the Deadpool movies to put Deadpool back on the typical superhero path of justice. (Image via Irmonline)

In a scene where Colossus, a fellow super-mutant of Deadpool, tries to convince him not to shoot his enemy in the head, Deadpool is clearly fixated on his revenge tour. By passing on the morally correct decision to spare his foe, Deadpool exemplifies his selfishness and human flaw.

Deadpool’s torturous past and brutal appearance call attention to each of his flaws as well because they weigh heavily on his moral compass and his overall intentions. Of all the superheroes represented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Deadpool’s flaws are likely to be the most easily visible.

The franchise is an important one for moviegoers, especially in today’s social climate. It serves as a subtle reminder that people are all flawed and, even though society remains progressing, there are still signs of cultural and social insensitivity present.

Writer Profile

Joey Cunningham

University of Arizona

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