ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL (8 out of 10) Directed by David Leitch; Written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wenick and Ryan Reynolds; Starring Ryan Reynolds, Fred Savage, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, and Julian Dennison; Rated PG-13 for ; Running time 117 minutes; In wide release December 12, 2018.
Take an R-rated sequel to a popular film, mix in nostalgia for an 80’s cult favorite, and you get Once Upon a Deadpool.
From the press release: “Audiences of almost all ages will soon be able to enjoy the Merc with the Mouth's reimagining of Deadpool 2 filtered through the prism of childlike innocence.” Ryan Reynolds told Fox no to a PG-13 film but finally agreed on two conditions: “First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining…” Savage joins Reynolds in new scenes, paying homage to his role as the sick grandson in The Princess Bride. Savage remarked, “While my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab." For every ticket sold, $1 goes to charity Fudge Cancer, previously known as F*ck Cancer, changing it to a more family friendly name for the 12 days of the film’s release.
Once Upon a Deadpool removes quite a bit of the excessive graphic violence and swearing to bring the rating down to be accessible to more audiences.
Does it work? Well, it did for me. I haven’t seen Deadpool 2 since it was released in theaters so I can’t say with 100% certainty all the additions and cuts but I felt the film still worked. However, I did miss the original opening credits sequence which references the man who killed John Wick’s dog.
In fact, I believe the most drastic cuts are from fight sequence at the beginning of the film. And interspersed throughout the are the bits of Deadpool reading aloud a story to Fred Savage. Their conversations are well-placed as to not distract from the main story, and the dialogue is snappy and funny.
I will say that they really dropped the ball in the scene where Deadpool and Cable are rolling down the mountain after escaping the icebox. Why they couldn’t add in screams of Asss youuu wiissshhh as they tumbled down I will never understand. Missed opportunity.
Those who have seen the film more often than I will likely notice many more things than I did. There is a mural that you want to keep an eye out for. And as with any Marvel film be sure to stay through the credits. There’s a special treat for those who are Marvel fans, but even moreso for fans of Stan Lee.
As someone who actually loves films with excessive violence and is not generally put off by swearing, I was worried that the lack of these would affect my enjoyment of the film. But Ryan Reynolds portrayal is demonstrative of his love for the character, and he’s written in such a way that you don’t need all the violence to get the point across. I laughed and laughed. But, the violence is fun in a gloriously excessive kind of way when it’s present. It’s just not necessary to tell the story.
Definitely would recommend. And, it’s for charity.