Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2016 June 27 • Monday

I sure as hell didn't think much of Deadpool when I saw the trailer for it. I had a similar reaction to the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer.

And I was totally wrong both times! I loved both movies, watched them a few times and look forward to watching them again. Deadpool was so much fun that its music, by Tom Holkenborg, a.k.a. Junkie XL, is our 419th Soundtrack of the Week.

At this point the conventions of scoring a superhero movie must be firmly established. Holkenborg brings a less colorful, steelier sound to his score. Just as Elmer Bernstein's music for Animal House and subsequent wacky comedies was no joke at all, the seriousness of the score making the humor in the film funnier (just as humor in horror films or tragic dramas make those stories more powerful), Holkenborg isn't fooling around.

Everything in Deadpool is a joke except for the score, which is composed and presented with a completely straight face. Considered on their own, they sound like music for intense action, brooding, tension, suspense, drama. This music combines with the throwaway humor and cheerful vulgarity of the film to make a perfect blend.

There are also a few artfully chosen songs.

The opening credits, in which people's names are replaced by descriptions, such as "A British Villain", "A Hot Chick", "Produced by Ass Hats" and so on, is a bravura sequence in which one moment of the insane opening action scene is frozen in time while the camera inspects each part of it. This is accompanied by Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning", later revealed to be playing on a car radio in the scene.

Salt N Pepa's "Shoop" was used in the trailer and has the perfect tone for the movie and the character: lighthearted and raunchy and not taking itself seriously.

The inevitable love story part of the movie, obligatory but handled deftly with no time wasted, is amusingly accompanied by Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl" and George Michael's "Careless Whisper".

The big showdown is launched with DMX's "X Gon' Give It to Ya", another seamless fit for the tone and action on screen.

Then there's the original song, "Deadpool Rap" by Teamheadkick, which plays for a middle sequence in which Deadpool has just become Deadpool and thrown himself into his quest for vengeance and salvation. It's just great.

The whole damn thing is just great.