What is the point of art that’s focused on generating a profit above all else?
The Deadpool film is not the edgy film it is pretending to be. The riskiness of the R-rating has been heavily (and purposefully) overstated; there’s no reason to believe it’s that risky in the first place, and appears to have been calculated for a relatively low budget.
The film’s artistic choices and narrative beats are all formulaic and tiresomely familiar: Regular guy (except that he’s mega hot and kills people for a living) falls in love with a girl, has a fantastic relationship and perfect sex in their perfect apartment. But then he gets fucked over by an evil corporation and acquires superpowers, prompting the need to fight a big bad guy about 90 minutes in to win back the girl.
It’s worked. The Deadpool movie has gotten good reviews and turned a great profit.
I’m not a comic book fan, but to my knowledge, the Deadpool movie didn’t need to be so shit. Apparently in one of the comics Deadpool goes and kills every single president. That could’ve been a great movie.
But maybe that’s the problem- I’m not a fan. The film’s entire strategy seems to be pandering to a particular demographic in a manipulative and creepy way. “We show you the man in the red suit talking to the camera if you give us the cash.”
To that demographic, I want to shout: you’re being tricked, dumbasses!
The violence in this film is comically overdone- the martial equivalent of cartoon porn.
These Hollywood hotshots don’t even like you. Judging from how they treat you, they basically hate you. Why is Ryan Reynolds so perfect looking? Because you’re envious of his body. Why is their sex so conventional? Anything queer might freak you out. Why is everyone so white? Because threatening the racial status quo would threaten your privilege.
Why is he so violent? Maybe because you feel angry. Maybe because you’re so impotent.
I think films can and should be made about violence, impotence, body envy, whiteness and heterosexuality, but in this film these themes are expertly placed to maintain a culture where privilege is secured, and the filmmakers get their cash.
This perception of art is appalling and bewildering to me, on the part of the viewers and the creators. That is not to say that I think a work of art should be alienating or incredibly modern (although those things can be good). It doesn’t even have to be high brow.
In my opinion, art doesn’t even need to make us feel something profound. But it shouldn’t be deceptive, or disingenuous.
It’s not just the filmmakers, the manipulators in my model, that are the problem. It’s their willing audience as well. If you’re reading this, and you disagree with me, fair enough. But is it because you don’t care about the idea that you’re being engineered for profit? If so, what is the point of being alive at all?