We are slaves to the system. We have succumbed to servitude, consuming superhero films with the appetite and the attitude prescribed to us by studios. Their processed produce now provides us with a balanced diet - or, at least, one as balanced as we want - with the proper portions of dark thriller, high-octane action, and Deadpool's self-deprecating comedy. And all with a side order of supposed independent agency: see how you smirk with self-satisfaction, invited in on the joke with fourth wall breaks, an irony-laden soundtrack, and mocking self-awareness in the spoof opening credits. Never mind that this is merely 20th Century Fox forcing you to feel it - you know that you feel it, this sensation of self-ratification, excusing you for all the times you excused these superhero films for making you feel the same things time and time again. And so you may excuse Deadpool too, since its appreciation for the vapidity of these comic book tropes is activated, in part, by its own use of these tropes. Though less familiar and more fulfilling, and mostly intelligently-done, Deadpool's mocking flippancy is perhaps even more calculated than the movies it mocks, including itself. Thus, that which makes this movie so refreshing and endearing is also what makes it so irritating. Making his feature directorial debut, Tim Miller displays skill in constructing his film's buoyant action scenes, though his adequacy across the board never burgeons into anything greater. Alas, how could it? He, too, is a slave to this system, checking the required boxes on an exhaustive list of ingredients, all in service of delivering us our next meal of bloated, balanced studio slop.