Has there ever been an R-Rated movie that you really wanted to see but either your parents or personal moral restrictions prevented you from watching? If so, you’re the target audience for “Once Upon a Deadpool”, a film which exists as both a marketing stunt and a financial experiment. Ryan Reynolds describes it best himself saying, “Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006. I’ve said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said ‘Yes’ 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…”
To help fill in some of the more violent gaps and rough editing, “Once Upon a Deadpool” quite literally steals the storytelling device from “A Princess Bride.” The meticulous detail used in re-creating young Fred Savage‘s room is perhaps the most impressive thing about this film, second only to the surprisingly great chemistry between Savage and D’pool. There are only 8 small segments of new footage, but they get some of the best laughs, especially for those who have already seen the original cut.
In addition to redubbing and “bleeping” out most of the foul language, the violence as also been partially sanitized. 95% of all the action is still intact, but the CGI guys simply turned the blood effects off. The result is a bit surreal, as we witness extreme acts of violence that normally wouldn’t be allowed in a PG-13 setting, but without a drop of blood are now deemed “acceptable.” In some cases, it adds to the comedy, such as when villains are dispatched with at chainsaw that “kills” them without appearing to do any damage. Other times, it’s just distracting. The tamest 007 has far more blood than this neutered vigilante flick.
While the new footage is incredibly funny, and Deadpool 2 is a fun film to begin with, I was left with two nagging questions that still haunt me. Since there are already two official cuts of Deadpool 2, what is the real reason the PG-13 version was created? And, is this the start of a new trend? As enjoyable as it is, I still would have preferred it as a special feature on one of the two versions I already own.