Deadpool is an Unlikely Social Justice Warrior

Eric Eliacin on 2018-05-19

No spoilers here. You’re safe.

I came in to Deadpool 2 expecting to love it (having loved the first iteration), but what I was not expecting was everything that I want to see in a modern action/superhero movie. In a world that is so hyper sensitive about political correctness, it has naturally become difficult for a lot of people to keep up with what is and is not appropriate. I believe Deadpool 2 expertly toes the line between culturally sensitive and unapologetically low-brow. Deadpool 2 is all the hyper-masculinity we expect from a shoot-em-up action movie, but with none of the toxicity.

Deadpool, the character, is at the same time wildly inappropriate and radically forward-thinking. He is definitively cisgendered, white, heterosexual, and male, but holds none of the prejudices we almost expect to see in “privileged” individuals. We see him battle with grief in all the ways we are used to seeing in men; using humor, isolation, violence, and revenge as ways to cope. However, we also see him take healthier measures like seeking the companionship of his male friends Weasel and Colossus, something we rarely see in male figures in the media. Plus, he is unashamed of sharing more intimate moments with his male friends without fear of appearing gay or feminine (seeing that there is nothing shameful about either).

As crass and destructive as Deadpool is, he is still very much a superhero; albeit an antihero. We see him confronted with instances of fat-shaming, child abuse, racism, sexism, and homosexuality, and he does not hesitate in these moments to take a firm stance in favor of justice. As vulgar a character as he is, he has no trouble at all drawing the line between right and wrong.

The magic of the movie is that Deadpool is anything but a flawless character. He doesn’t do or say the “right” things. In fact, he is completely inappropriate in most of his interactions. He doesn’t think before he speaks, and he is unashamedly narcissistic to a fault. But he is aware of these flaws in his character. This goes to show that, just because you are “woke,” doesn’t necessarily mean you are perfectly enlightened. You can be a charming idiot like Deadpool and still fight for what’s right.

Deadpool asserts that his is a “family” movie. And while I wouldn’t bring your kids to see it, Deadpool 2 certainly has some lessons to share. But if you’re just in it for the blood, violence, and crass humor, you won’t be disappointed either.