If you’re one of the few kids / teenagers that didn’t surreptitiously watch Deadpool 2 (either by movie-hopping or torrenting) without your parents knowing about it, but you really want to see the movie, Once upon a Deadpool (OPAD) is for you. The newest Deadpool 2 cut has a PG-13 rating with the framing device of Deadpool narrating the story of Deadpool 2 to a “kidnapped” Fred Savage, who is in his ‘Princess Bride’ attire and childhood setting. If you don’t remember who Fred Savage is or why this movie uses a framing device, Fred Savage plays the Grandson in the Princess Bride, whose grandfather narrates the story of the Princess Bride to. OPAD will only be playing for 12 days in the theatre and Fox will donate $1 of every ticket sold to “Fudge Cancer,” a clever play-on “F*ck Cancer.”
Positives – Once upon a Deadpool cleverly uses the framing device to make fun of itself and address many of the criticisms, both self-referential and ones the viewers saw. For example, Fred Savage comments on Wade’s remark “that’s just lazy writing” with “actually write a better script!” or Cable’s, frankly, convoluted comic-book backstory, or lack thereof in the movie. Comments like these exist to remind the viewers that the film-makers knew their movie’s shortcomings but decided to ignore it anyways, which made for some excellent comedy in this particular movie. The interaction between DP and Savage are absolutely hilarious and if Fox (about to become a part of Disney’s empire as Deadpool himself points out) decides to make a feature-length film starring just Deadpool and Savage doing anything, I will gladly give my money.
Negatives – That being said, make no mistake about it – Once upon a Deadpool is 80% Deadpool 2 (without the gore, nudity, violence), and arguably the weakest of the Deadpool 2 cuts. While the 20 mins of new footage with DP and Savage are funny and worth the price of admission, majority of the jokes (which were funny in the original cut) are not as funny. On top of that, the movie does suffer from poor editing and scenes, that did flesh-out the characters in the original cut, end up on the cutting room floor. Lastly, OPAD once again proves why the Deadpool flicks need to be R-rated. They better serve the character and their uniqueness brings a dose of freshness to the comic-book genre.
Overall, Once upon a Deadpool is finally the Deadpool movie that parents can bring their children to see in the theatre. It is definitely an entertaining ride, with great jokes, character moments, action etc. While this cut is an inferior cut to the rated R Deadpool 2 cuts, it is a great watch nonetheless. Stay through the whole credits – it’s worth it!
Rating – 3.5/5