The current climate of the superhero genre and the comic book characters who inhabit it is about to resemble the climate of the comic books those characters originate from. On the surface, you have a band of heroes who are locked in eternal conflict with an opposing band of villains; then you add in a few ironic dashes of humor and you have perfect event cinema—just look back at anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has churned out. But for every Age of Ultron, there is an equally compelling, lesser known hero laying in wait. It's similar in the pages of Marvel's comic book universe (like the recently completed Secret Wars saga): you have a number of smaller characters who sit on the sidelines, gaining cult status that, if we're lucky, can turn into glorious moments for these fan favorites (think Guardians of the Galaxy or the upcoming Doctor Strange films).
Marvel's recently started to usher in these smaller characters and turn them into fully-formed franchises. And while you don't have enough hands to count the Ls that Fox has delivered with their Marvel properties (including the literal-muting of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), they finally brought us Deadpool, the Ryan Reynolds-starring movie that adds that sophomoric, anti-heroic, ultraviolent, meta maniac into the current superhero paradigm. And we're better for it.
Similar to the comic books, the Deadpool film operates like normal superhero films do. You're given this extraordinary person who, by some weird, super-scientific reasoning, is given amazing powers. While most heroes deem it their duty to be responsible with these super-human gifts, Wade Wilson (the man you know as Deadpool) isn't those people. He enters the game a few ingredients short of a chimichanga, walking through life as a hired jerk who roughs up even bigger jerks. His left-field sense of humor, military background, and admiration for ultraviolence makes him suitable for this line of work, but as many people do, he meets a girl and gets swept in a cloud of lust that turns into a storm of love that is halted by a gut punch: he's got cancer, and probably won't live long. After being introduced to a company who plans on adding the aforementioned scientific seasonings to his killer instinct to create an ultimate weapon (under the guise of curing his cancer), things go WAY wrong, turning this psycho love story into a rage-filled revenge story.
We've seen something like that last bit before, right? It's practically a Steven Segal epic, but better in Wade Wilson's lotioned-up mitts. Hitching its wagon to Wade's killing machine with a madcap personality housed in the body of a virtually-unkillable man (thanks, regenerative powers!), Deadpool sidesteps what most superhero/revenge origin stories would do by hitting you fast and furious with EVERYTHING at once. Whereas some franchises might spend their entire first film giving you the elongated "birth of a hero" story, Deadpool chops that up alongside present-day action, highlighting Wade's motivation, which further enhances the end result. Some might argue that the love story in Deadpool might have been too flimsy to carry a full film, but keep it 💯: fans aren't going into a Deadpool film for a love story (although like Prego, it's in there)—they're looking for the ill pop culture reference, or the omnipresent sexual humor, or, most importantly, the gory, shoot 'em up aspect that makes this merc so exciting.
Deadpool is a big sack of fun. Think back to that first Avengers film—remember how much FUN the huge Battle of New York was, but how ho-hum some of the lead-up to that battle was? Or how boring some of the other films (that aren't Guardians of the Galaxy) can be while waiting for the CGI to hit the fan? Deadpool excels in hilarity. There aren't many wasted moments; from a subtle Hello Kitty bag full of gats to Deadpool's den mother Blind Al getting her IKEA on to a fight scene that features Deadpool getting shot in his nether regions to THE ENTIRE OPENING CREDITS SEQUENCE, the creatives behind Deadpool really found Wade's voice, and infused his reckless approach to, well, everything in every facet of the film. Most superhero films hit the high points but falter elsewhere. Deadpool really nails the subject matter, and makes the viewing experience all the more satisfying for fans of the Regenerating Degenerate.
Deadpool is technically the eighth installment of the X-Men film series—although outside of pulling up in front of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and all of the Wolverine/Professor X jokes, you wouldn't know it. Just like the comics, Wade has a few B-level X-Men at the ready: Colossus, the most gentle giant in the X-Men universe, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a literal ball of fire (or something). But Deadpool, in all its meta, fourth-wall-breaking glory, doesn't hesitate to address the odd gathering of second-tier stars—get ready for numerous shots at Hugh Jackman and the humorous suggestion that producers couldn't afford bigger X-Men to be featured alongside the Merc.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn't hesitate to find ways to draw dark black lines between their properties, Deadpool's more concerned with getting his rocks off, and will continue to throw shade at everyone from Wolverine to the MCU itself.
He ain't worried 'bout nothing.