Friday, 26 February 2016

[Movie Review] Deadpool (2016)

WARNING: It does not contain spoilers (hopefully), but it is an honest review, so I hope I don't offend anyone. I try to be very kind here (: It has long intro, and I bet it's different than normal reviews you're used to. So unless you really care about what I think personally, don't complain to me after reading this. And if you really care, read and feel free to share your opinions with me, but remember, we both have freedom to speak, so I'm not bounded in anyway to express my opinions. Enjoy!

I never knew about Deadpool before because I’m not a comic reader. I didn’t even know it’s the eighth instalment of X-Men film series, cos I’m not familiar to X-Men either. Although I’m starting to get into superhero movies especially Marvel’s, I need a really good one to be in my list. When my boyfriend mentioned it, that was the first time I heard of Deadpool, and ever since, I became more aware of it. People were talking about it more as the release date was getting closer, and when I saw the trailer, I decided I wanted to watch it because Deadpool looks like a funny with cool actions movie, a different one too. And yes, Ryan Reynolds is pretty cool, but he wasn’t the main reason.
With Marvel’s movies, I’ve become a bit sceptical because sometimes they’re over-rated, but since I’ve seen the trailer myself, I wanted to watch Deadpool not because of the ratings, but because of my own judgment. I became more excited than my boyfriend who was a fan in the first place. So silly. Then, someone rated Deadpool 100% at Rotten Tomatoes and I became a bit concerned that the movie’s also overrated, so I tried not to put high expectations.
Then, there was John Piper’s seven questions that made me think more than twice before watching the movie. It even almost made me lose interest. The movie is rated R, due to“strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity". I’m usually careful with that kind of movie, cos I’ve been stuck in the worst movies before just because I never checked this rating kinda stuff.
Here are the seven questions (taken from Desiring God)

1. When Will I Tear Out My Eye, If Not Now?

Jesus said everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away (Matthew 5:28–29). Seeing naked women on the screen — or naked men — causes a man, or woman, to sin with their minds and their desires, and often with their bodies. If Jesus told us to guard our hearts by gouging out our eyes to prevent lust, how much more would he say, “Don’t watch it!”

2. Am I Longing to See God?

I want to see and know God as fully as possible in this life and the next. Watching nudity is a huge hindrance to that pursuit. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The defilement of the mind and heart by watching nudity dulls the heart’s ability to see and enjoy God. I dare anyone to watch nudity and turn straight to God and give him thanks and enjoy him more because of what you just experienced.

3. Do I Care About the Souls of the Nudes?

God calls women to adorn themselves in respectable apparel with modesty and self-control (1 Timothy 2:9). When we pursue or receive or embrace nudity in our entertainment, we are implicitly endorsing the sin of the women who sell themselves to this way and are, therefore, uncaring about their souls. They disobey 1 Timothy 2:9, and if we watch, we say that’s okay.

4. Would I Be Glad If My Daughter Played This Role?

Most Christians are hypocrites in watching nudity because, on the one hand, they say by their watching that this is okay, and on the other hand, they know deep down they would not want their daughter or their wife or their girlfriend to be playing this role. That is hypocrisy.

5. Am I Assuming Nudity Can Be Faked?

Nudity is not like murder and violence on the screen. Violence on a screen is make-believe; nobody really gets killed. But nudity is not make-believe. These actresses are really naked in front of the camera, doing exactly what the director says to do with their legs and their hands and their breasts. And they are naked in front of millions of people to see.

6. Am I Assuming Nudity Is Necessary for Good Art?

There is no great film or television series that needs nudity to add to its greatness. No. There isn’t. There are creative ways to be true to reality without turning sex into a spectator’s sport and without putting actors and actresses in morally compromised situations on the set.

It is not artistic integrity that is driving nudity on the screen. Underneath all of this is male sexual appetite driving this business, and following from that is peer pressure in the industry and the desire for ratings that sell. It is not art that puts nudity in film; it’s the appeal of prurience. It sells.

7. Am I Free from Doubt?

There is one biblical guideline that makes life very simple: “Whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:32). My paraphrase: If you doubt, don’t. That would alter the viewing habits of millions, and oh how sweetly they would sleep with their conscience.

So I say it again: Join me in the pursuit of the kind of purity that sees God, and knows the fullness of joy in his presence, and the everlasting pleasure at his right hand.

Just a quick explanation to make things clear, I, as a Christian, believe that every human rejected the good and loving God the Creator and fell into slavery of sin and darkness. So now, we are all (no exception) naturally evil. We don’t need anyone to teach us how to lie, and we abuse things around us, such as sex and nudity (and so many other things).
God created sex as part of marriage, as a good thing just like other creations. But since we are sinners, we abuse it by separating it from marriage, and make it an entertainment to watch or show in public, while it’s actually a private thing for husband and wife.
Now, why is it better for us Christians not to see sex scenes or nudity? When everyone is a sinner and rebel and deserves punishment which is death and judgment from God, God loves us so much He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on behalf of us cos Jesus is the only one who can pay for our sin and rebellion. He’s risen and ascended to God’s right hand to reserve a place for those who believe in him. So when we accept Jesus as our Lord and King, we receive eternal life in him, no longer our life, but his cos he pays for it. By living for him the King, we follow what he wants us to do, not what we want to do. We are washed, so don’t go back to mud.
But Jesus’ work is not fully finished yet. We are washed, but we still live in our old selves, so we still have sinful nature with us. That’s why he sent Holy Spirit to help us battle with this old self, to be transformed into a new self like Christ, while waiting for Jesus’ return when we’ll be raised in a new body, no more sin.
We never know when Jesus will return, but we know it’s soon, so we have to always be ready, guarding our hearts to be holy and pure. Knowing our sinful nature and so many temptations, therefore we have to be wise in what we do, think, say, see. We are naturally lustful, and Jesus says it’s already adultery by just seeing and thinking it. So even though we don’t sleep around and have sex with people who aren’t our husbands/wives, by just looking at it, it automatically made us think of it, and that’s not helpful for our mind.
That’s why we shouldn’t watch the sex scenes and nudity that will only bring us more to temptations and sin. Sex and nudity are not bad if they’re in context which is marriage, but we are bad. So we better watch out of what we see. Make sure we avoid things that we know won’t be helpful.
People would easily argue, “That means we can’t watch anything cos most movies now would have sex scenes and nudity.” Although I agree, it’s not fully true cos there are still (thankfully) clean movies around, but of course, it’s not many so not easy to find, and not easy to know too. The scenes can be anywhere and catch us off guard. Although we can avoid some, there will be times we’ll be caught off guard.
And I know it’s hard to not watch a good movie just because of those unhelpful scenes. Let me share how I handle this. I close my eyes and ears whenever I notice some scenes are leading to sex and/or nudity. Sometimes it just suddenly pops up, but thankfully, I’ve been trained to have reflex to look away or close my eyes and ears. You can do this too, and pray God would help you to always look away.
Although it’s not fully helpful cos being sinners as we are, we still automatically know what’s happening and think of it, but I try hard not to think much about it. I even train myself to hate sex and nudity outside marriage especially when it’s shown in public. I think it’s gross. Again, they’re not bad, until they’re being abused out of context.
But what got me more to think is point 3 (from Piper’s questions), that by watching it, I indirectly support nudity and sex in movies, which I definitely don’t want to support. Although when I go watch a movie, I’m supporting and appreciating the filmmakers, and not necessarily the unhelpful scenes, it does help the movies get popular and people would think it’s because of the sex and nudity scenes, so people would make more of it, thinking that’s what people want. Which is true, we sinful people love that.
So I don’t want to support it that way. But then, thinking deeper, no matter what I do, filmmakers would still include sex and nudity, cos it’s already part of their culture. Majority of people like it, the filmmakers like it, so not much I can do. It’s sad to think that they’re so uncreative and don’t have anything to put into a movie that they have to put in sex and nudity scenes. It’s not an art at all.
I can only write this to let people know my opinion about the stupid sex and nudity scenes. This has become an opportunity to talk about the gospel, so God is cool, using bad things for His good purposes.
Why do I talk more about sex and nudity, not the heavy violence? Like what John Piper says, we can easily think violence is make-believe, made up, not real. Although it can provoke people, it’s not as strong as sex and nudity cos they’re not make believe. The actors and actresses really do it in front of camera, in front of so many audience. And it attacks our mind like a bug, straight away.
 In the end, I went to watch it, not to support sex and nudity scenes, but to appreciate filmmakers and storytellers, cos it’s my field, and to see for myself and then tell and warn people based on what I know, so it’s more convincing. Of course, I’ve promised myself and God to close my eyes and ears during the inappropriate unhelpful scenes (both sex nudity and violence).
I understand why people warn me, because the rating is right. It is full of heavy violence and strong nudity scenes. I closed my eyes on all sex and nudity scenes, and it’s annoying cos I had to close my ears and think of something else for quite some time. Some can be easily detected, so I closed my eyes and ears before it even started, but some caught me off guard and pissed me off. Weirdly enough, the violence didn’t disturb me. Maybe because I was fully aware that it was made up (not that the editing and effects weren’t good that it looked fake. It looked real, but my mindset already knew it wasn’t, so it was okay for me), but I did look away for some parts.
Ultimately, it’s not as bad as I thought. Maybe because I was already preparing for the worst. So, I think it’s okay to watch, as long as you close your eyes and ears on the scenes you don’t think would be helpful. In the end, it’s up to you and your own wisdom and judgment of what to do and not to do. I can only warn you of what you’re looking into, advising and encouraging you to close your eyes and ears during unhelpful scenes, remind you of the gospel, and pray God would give you the wisdom you need.
Now, as a film and writing student, I can’t help but comment on the other things. Good that I lost interest for a little bit, so I wasn’t expecting much and not disappointed. Yes, because it wasn’t as good as I thought at first. It was overrated, sadly to sad. I might not enjoy it that much because I wasn’t a fan and a comic reader, but as an outsider spectator, I don’t think the plot is as brilliant as some other (superhero) movies.
I liked the actions and the characters – they’ve done a great character development in 2 hours movie – even the side characters are unique, strong, and like/hateable. But back to plot, I didn’t get it. It’s a common idea of revenge, and I don’t see strong enough reasons for the characters to do some of the things they do in the movie (I won’t give examples so I won’t spoil anything). Plus, there’s not much twist in it, so it doesn’t feel unique and special enough aside from the characters. So when it ends, I sort of didn’t feel that satisfied. It does build up to climax, but then it’s just not that intense. Didn’t involve me into so many up and down feelings.
It’s funny, but some jokes aren’t that funny – it’s inappropriate, sometimes mean, and sometimes I just don’t understand or don’t catch what they’re saying. I’m also not a fan of dirty inappropriate jokes, so… yeah.
The way they tell the story is pretty cool, though. Deadpool speaking to the audience, telling his story, forward and backward with flashbacks. It’s engaging. And I think the opening credit is creative and funny. The editing and effects are great and believable for me. Casting’s well done. The actors and actresses acted their roles and played the characters well. And one more thing that I just have to say out loud, I love Deadpool suit! I’m a big fan of full masks, that’s why I love Spiderman too. Haha!
Thanks to cool actions and characters and some funny jokes, I rated this movie 6 out of 10. Hey, it’s not that bad. It’s still above 5/half (: (I've watched and rated worse movies).
Once more, in the end, it's up to you whether you wanna watch it or not. I pray God would give you wisdom to decide, and act in the manner worthy of the gospel.

P.S. Although I hope I haven't offended anyone, I do pray for conviction of Holy Spirit and that God is glorified! Amen. Thanks for reading.