Once Upon A Deadpool Review

Matt Donato

Reviewed by:
On December 12, 2018
Last modified:December 12, 2018


Once Upon A Deadpool supports the worthiest of causes, but "PG-13 Deadpool 2" is a much duller, hacked-up sequel than this year's *already inflated* R-rated release.

Once Upon A Deadpool Review

Before we reheat this package of leftover chimichangas, let me make two things clear.

Disclaimer 1: Deadpool 2 followed one of my favorite superhero films – Deadpool – with a successful second round worth (tempered) positive praise.

Disclaimer 2: Fuck Cancer (now Fudge Cancer to fit Once Upon A Deadpool’s PG-13 redressing) is an exceptional foundation that I hope raises cargo containers full of cash.

With that out if the way, now onto Fox’s holiday Deadpool cash-in that doesn’t even reduce Deadpool 2’s inflated running time.

If you search Once Upon A Deadpool on IMDb, Google, or any practical browsing method, David Leitch’s Deadpool 2 pops up. No separate listing needed for December 2018’s re-release because 90% remains unchanged. Editors went into Deadpool 2 with scalpels, sliced away all the R-rated material, inserted Fred Savage and DP’s The Princess Bride interludes (not enough), and thus this “family friendly” Deadpool 2 now exists. For reasons without justification or necessity.

Behold! The Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 of Marvel’s canon, only far less entertaining and without any “GARBAGE DAY!” moment.

Wade obsesses over how Fred Savage *must* represent the innocence that his censored bedtime reading of Deadpool 2 demands (the “King James” edition), so in true Deadpool form, he kidnaps wonder boy. Duct tape around Fred’s legs, pants curiously missing. Cue banter that skewers every critical jab and internet snark about Deadpool 2. Meta-satire attacks include disapproval over “fridging” Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa, “Fox Marvel” being the bastard stepchild of the Marvel family, inside jokes about lazy writing as examples of *actual* lazy writing, Cable’s glossed-over backstory – Fred definitely earns his “savage” namesake.

Yes, Once Upon A Deadpool pokes itself silly. Yes, these moments are laughable (including Deadpool’s manipulation of *bleeps* over Fred’s otherwise innocent Matt Damon desires). However, this all accounts for maybe ten minutes, if you’re lucky, of a *still* two-hour movie.

Deadpool 2’s neutered chop is a failed endurance test, doubly so if you’ve already watched the overstuffed sequel. He’s “The Merc With A Mouth,” and it’s a dirty one. Scrubbing all the blood spatter away, removing bullet wounds and tidying up DP’s language eliminates Deadpool 2’s spunky razor’s edge. You’ve reduced him to the exact brand of formulaic superhero rigidness Wade once skewered over a flaming luau pit. What’s even worse? Important plot continuity vanishes in the process (Wade’s Adventure Time watch loses impact), and post-production audio dubs insert “cleaned” dialogue for masked Deadpool without matching quality levels versus existing speech.

Blemishes this noticeable in a secondary studio run are, quite honestly, a slap to the face.

In another Fred Savage exchange, Deadpool confirms Disney now owns the character’s rights. Fred points out how this might not be the best business partnership. Deadpool, in pure Deadpool form, doesn’t entertain the notion. Ha ha ha, very funny – but as Leitch’s declawed Deadpool 2 bogs onward, the alarming threat of Disney’s “PG-13 Deadpool” becomes a crushing reality.

Granted, Once Upon A Deadpool is edited down content meant to earn R-rated warnings. Maybe with a PG-13 rating in mind, Deadpool’s crass wit and exhausting sarcasm can breathe freely. As is? Signatures and differentiation fade. We lose the shocking essence of Deadpool that is gory samurai brutality, imaginative profanity and a flipped bird to the refined constructs of PG-13 superhero franchise rivals.

If this was Ryan Reynolds’ way of testing PG-13 waters, I’m calling two strikes. One left.

Once Upon A Deadpool is a marketing stunt that mines dry creative wells. Did you enjoy Deadpool 2? Now you can watch it again, in theaters, with all the fun bits removed! MPAA restrictions permit some “shit” bombs, but otherwise, henchmen slice-and-dice combat goes out the window. Instead, Deadpool 2’s emotional arcs – the sequel’s more frustrating and unfocused designs – take center stage. It’s a bad idea with worse execution, and not worth reconstructing The Princess Bride’s bedroom soundstage for a few Fred Savage laughs like three single M&M candies sprinkled atop the world’s largest ice cream sundae.

Inadvertently, Once Upon A Deadpool highlights all the glaring errors one might have forgiven in the *somehow* tighter Deadpool 2. Not even Peter (Rob Delaney) can save this X-Cruciating blunder down memory lane.

Once Upon A Deadpool Review

Once Upon A Deadpool supports the worthiest of causes, but "PG-13 Deadpool 2" is a much duller, hacked-up sequel than this year's *already inflated* R-rated release.