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Even the Score for ‘Deadpool 2’ is R-Rated

Every inch of ‘Deadpool 2’ is oozing with its hero’s profane nature.
Deadpool Oh Boy
By  · Published on May 18th, 2018

Every inch of the ‘Deadpool’ sequel is oozing with its hero’s profane nature.

You know the scene. Rocky Balboa, the ultimate American underdog, racing through the streets of Philadelphia. The power of the montage violently enhancing his abilities in the ring. Sit-ups, jump rope, meat tenderizing. All his hard work has been building to this one moment of physical release. The Italian Stallion charges up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Two at a time, three at a time, four at a time. Rocky leaps to the top, throwing his body into the air with his arms shooting victoriously over his head. Bill Conti’s orchestral score swells with a choir chanting, “Hooollleeeee Shiiiit Baaaalllllssss.”

No? That’s not how it went down? The theme song was actually “Gonna Fly Now?” Huh.  But don’t you think “Holy Shit Balls” has a catchier ring to it? I mean, Rocky seriously can’t believe he’s ready to take on Apollo Creed. Just a few weeks prior, this mob enforcer was getting pulverized in basement brawls. I imagine that the first phrase that leaped into his mind when he defeated those towering steps was most certainly “Holy Shit Balls, I did it.”

I guess back in the day, society wouldn’t allow such an honest expression of emotion. Thankfully, 2018 is a more enlightened period. When a hero with an equal underdog status to Rocky Balboa needs orchestral encouragement, composer Tyler Bates can now achieve what Bill Conti was denied in 1976. According to Variety, Deadpool 2 is the first film score to receive a Parental Advisory warning.

As the “Merc with the Mouth” succeeds in utterly decimating a batch of hired goons — the 21st Century equivalent to the steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art — Bates’s 38-person choir inspires the hero with a rocking “Holy Shit Balls!” This profane pat on the back gives Deadpool that extra boost to send him on to superhero domination. As another choral chant tells us, “you can’t stop this motherfucker.”

Originally, the score was peppered with “meaningless, faux-Latin phrases.” The composer who has been behind the music of 300, Watchmen, and Guardians of the Galaxy saw an opportunity to further extend Ryan Reynolds‘s vulgar character work into another fabric of the cinematic experience. With the assistance of choral contractor Sally Stevens and orchestrator-conductor Tim Williams, the lame choral mumbo jumbo was rewritten to match Deadpool’s demented mind.

Conceived during a 20-minute break within the three-hour recording session, the musicians presented their idea to David Leitch. The director knew gold when he saw it. Here was a perfect opportunity to extend Deadpool’s personality beyond simple scripting.

For Bates, this was a coup:

“It was pretty funny. Between the men singing the word ‘fuck‘ in harmony, and getting the cadence of ‘holy shit balls’ to really work with the music. It wasn’t merit-less debauchery, it was just fun. It’s very rare that we can work on something at such a high professional level that embraces the irreverence of Deadpool.”

The entire appeal of Deadpool is that he holds zero reverence for the genre he’s confined inside. He knows he’s just part of the show. That fourth-wall smashing omnipotence separates him from every other Tom, Dick, and Tony Stark.

Deadpool is the answer to superhero movie fatigue. The character is a self-deprecating monstrosity that somehow manages to further the genre while calling B.S. to the absurdity of it all. The film score receiving the Parental Advisory label is no small thing. That warning sticker is proof that the creators understand the character in ways most Hollywood suits couldn’t possibly imagine.

Deadpool 2, take all my money.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)