It’s Tuesday. I have coffee. I saw Deadpool. Let’s talk anti-heroes.
This is a spoiler-free discussion of the movie BECAUSE it’s so super early in its release. Plus, I don’t need to give any plot points away to talk about the nature of the movie. In fact, if you’re unfamiliar with Deadpool, I won’t even talk about the key structural difference between this comic book/movie and many others. If you want to know about that, you can read it elsewhere.
For someone who has recently gone through a very intense spiritual change, this movie was jarring.
Before, comic-hero movies got a pass. I’m all right sitting through a moderate amount of gore as long as there is redemption of some kind. If the character grows significantly, works to save the day, heals a breach between friends, I could enjoy a movie and ignore the gore.
Now I can’t.
I knew that Deadpool was going to be violent. I knew it was going to have a lot of swearing. I knew this going in because everyone said it was true to the comic (and it was, from what I understand).
You could say I was conducting an experiment – I wanted to see how I would react, how the new me would react, to such a movie.
Sitting there, I really struggled with the level of negativity in this movie. I struggled with the caustic language and the violence. Everyone was so incredibly broken, living out their broken patterns that it made me a little sad. Looking around the theater, I could see the teenagers in the audience, and my gut sank.
How would this movie, which has been one of the most successful comic hero movies in its opening weekend, affect these teens? This was not intentional fiction at all. It brought no positive decision-making strategies, or critical thought. It was blatant negativity, which recognized itself for what it was.
Yes, there were some jokes and I did laugh out loud. However, I wondered if I laughed because they were funny, or because I was so intensely relieved that I got a break from the destruction. This was the laughter you’d appreciate half-way through a tragedy, “Thank God I get a break from all the sadness!”
From my spiritual place now, I feel this kind of entertainment is self-flagellation. It feels abusive to the viewer, as though the goal is just to take you on a trip through the darkness, for the express purpose of making you feel bad.
The upsetting thing is, this movie, these negative ideas, have attracted a significant amount of attention.
Was the casting appropriate? Sure. Were there funny bits? Admittedly. Do I like the potential negative impacts this will have on a lot of people’s psyches after being exposed to it? Not at all.
I want art and entertainment to make us better people. I want to feel good or introspective or inspired after I engage with entertainment media. While I may have been introspective because of my experiment, Deadpool does not inherently inspire growth. This is a movie that a person might enjoy from a place of low self-worth, starring a character with low self-worth. In short, it will lessen your spirit after watching it.
If there was a sequel, I might watch it if I heard it had some redemption of some kind – some positive message. But, I’m going to make a wild guess and expect that I won’t see another Deadpool movie.
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- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018