Photo credit: Fandango
By NINA TI
Someday sociologists will divide the human population of Earth into those who have watched this movie and those who have not.
Reviewers are already suggesting that Deadpool will become this generation’s cult movie – a vital defining point in youth culture that will shape the expectations of future generations of filmgoers.
Banned in some countries, this movie has hit our shores with an R-rating. However revolting or sexy you think Deadpool is, this movie is notable as it was not supposed to be shown here, and represents a new benchmark in how far certain boundaries have moved with Malaysian censors.
Why did they allow it?
One film critic writes on Quora: “Deadpool is not (even) a good role model for adults, aliens, animals, robots, or anything else.”
The character in the comics is, to put it delicately, a foul-mouthed arsehole mercenary anti-hero.
The F-bombs, graphic violence, sex, and debauchery certainly “breaks the fourth wall”, but the film succeeds because Deadpool addresses the audience like he is aware of the fact that he is simply a comic book character in the comic book world.
Here are some unusual leadership insights you might not have been aware of. Maybe the censors knew what they were doing.
1. Reimagining boundaries
Deadpool/Wade Wilson is a big shocker because he is an anti-hero, and he does unexpected things with great results.
When he is caught and cuffed, he saws off his hand at the wrist because it is quite rightly the last thing Colossus expects him to do, and possibly the grossest and quickest way to get free.
How many times have you watched an upstart climb the ranks at your organisation simply because they dared to do what they wanted? Or came up with a solution that hurt like hell but achieved the end goal?
The anti-hero is the anti-conformist – the trailblazer who challenges the way we do business, the way we run meetings, the way we invest, travel, or carry our music – sometimes at great personal cost.
The opposite of courage in any venture, project or business undertaking is not cowardice, it is conformity. Deadpool takes it to the extreme by setting himself apart, sacrificing life and limb while making no apologies for it.
2. Focusing on outcomes
If you ever wondered how Stan Lee could have created such sick, twisted filth, I am sure you will be pleased to know that he did no such thing.
Deadpool was created by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist/writer Rob Liefeld in the 1990s as an antitoxin for readers who were getting tired of goody-goodies like Spider-Man, Captain America and Thor.
In my opinion, the character is remarkably close to Nietzsche’s theory of the extraordinary human. About 100 years ago, Friedrich Nietzsche theorised the emergence of a new human he called Übermensch, a better human with qualities far beyond the ordinary person.
As described in his writings, this higher, advanced person was a self-created person who was emotionally “harder” than the average person because of hardships endured, much like a survivor of terrible trauma.
Deadpool makes people suffer horribly, but he delivers the fatal blow to his enemies in a blink (unless he wants them alive). His own near-death torture at the hands of the mutant scientist Ajax however, is prolonged, repeated and takes days to finish.
Yet, there is no revenge. He goes after Ajax with the blind hope of having his powers reversed. A lesser person would have focused solely on hurting back.
We can all be this Übermensch, by exercising a talent of focusing on key outcomes. If you have an adversary in life or work, under no circumstances should you focus on what you’re up against. Instead focus on your goals, on making progress and try to ignore the rest.
Despite the gratuitous violence, sweary dialogue and moral ambiguity, this film is the funniest thing your broad-minded self will ever hope to see this year.
Your tolerance for creative scriptwriting will surely be helped along by the knowledge that Deadpool is also a neatly redemptive story about a man who suffers greatly so he can marry and live with the woman of his dreams (yes, wet ones).
A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth. Deadpool is a quirky character who speaks with an honesty that is too blunt for many people.
And yet the one human whom he speaks to all the time in this film is you. He deadpans to the camera and he never treats you like you are stupid.
Maybe this is the way all movies should be made.
Our appreciation and love goes out to the folks at 20th Century Fox Malaysia who gave us free passes to an uncut version of this movie and looked away discreetly as we jumped up and down for joy. Tell us what you think of this movie at email@example.com and if it’s up our alley we will consider publishing it. For more Movie Wisdom articles, click here.
Nina Ti is part of the team that manages social media and distribution of digital content for Leaderonomics. She writes on HR and management topics. All views and opinions expressed here are her own.