Welcome to the second installment of this new series, which examines and discusses movie soundtracks and scores, track lists, why they matter, fun facts, and more.
Last week we looked at the recent release Deadpool 2. Today, we’ll be continuing with its predecessor, the first R-rated superhero movie in history. Since this one is a few years old, I assume I won’t be spoiling anything.
Capturing the Right Tone
One thing that the Deadpool soundtrack does so well is hit all the right notes (I’m sorry) to capture the playful, ridiculous, sentimental, and ironic nature of the titular hero. We get this right off the bat with the opening slow motion sequence of the car wreck, as “Angel Of The Morning” by Juice Newton plays.
This ironic juxtaposition immediately sets the tone for the film. If you didn’t know you were in for a carnage-filled comedic ride before sitting down, you’ll know it by the end of the opening credits.
Meta Music Moments
Another fun aspect of the Deadpool soundtrack is that many of the songs are brought to the forefront through the script. For example, Deadpool sings along with “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa as it plays on a small speaker next to him. From this, we get that “Shoop” is included because it’s one of Wade Wilson’s favorite songs. This is only one small moment where the soundtrack contributes to fleshing out the character of Deadpool.
Another great example happens near the climax of the film, as Deadpool and his two X-Men pals walk up to confront Ajax. DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” plays in the background, is cut off, and then resumes on Deadpool’s cue.
The most obvious and effective meta music moment comes at the end of Deadpool. After reuniting with his love Vanessa, Deadpool plays “Careless Whisper” by Wham!, Wade Wilson’s favorite band.
In other movies, this song played in the background while the two lovers share a kiss would seem trite and cliche. In Deadpool, however, it manages to work.
Part of what makes it work is that the song is set up earlier as one that holds a special meaning to their relationship. More importantly, Deadpool addresses the audience during one of his fourth wall breaks and informs them that this isn’t a superhero movie, but a love story. And nothing says love like “Careless Whisper”, at least to Deadpool.
The Deadpool soundtrack was arranged and composed by Tom Holkenborg, also known as Junkie XL. For the sake of brevity, the unattributed songs below are his original tracks.
- “Angel Of The Morning” by Juice Newton
- “Maximum Effort”
- “Small Disruption”
- “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa
- “Twelve Bullets”
- “Man In a Red Suit”
- “Liam Neeson Nightmares”
- “Calendar Girl” by Neil Sedaka
- “The Punch Bowl”
- “Back to Life”
- “Every Time I See Her”
- “Deadpool Rap” (Film Mix) by Teamheadkick
- “Easy Angel”
- “Scrap Yard”
- “This Place Looks Sanitary”
- “Watership Down”
- “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” by DMX
- “Going Commando”
- “Let’s Try to Kill Each Other”
- “Stupider When You Say It”
- “Four or Five Moments”
- “A Face I Would Sit On”
- “Careless Whisper” by George Michael