I feel like I’m going to get some grief for the title of my review, but as a massive fan of Deadpool – let me explain why I have so much love for this PG-13 version. Also, note that I’m going to assume you’ve seen Deadpool 2 if you’re looking at reviews for this film.
There are a sizable fraction of movie-goers that will argue that the so much of the inappropriate language, excessive violence, sexual content, etc… isn’t really necessary to tell a story. And while these elements don’t bother me when I’m watching a film – I will argue that those people are right in most cases. A good story is just that, a good story. So many of the factors that land films an “R” rating simply aren’t crucial to telling that story – or making it a better film. Once Upon A Deadpool is a prime example of that. Though I feel certain Ryan Reynolds likely did everything he could to be just one mark away from an “R” rating.
This PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 is appropriate for almost all ages, with the bad language being bleeped out, nudity being pixelated, and less gore being shown. It’s still not something I would take a kid to, but it proves the point – Deadpool 2 is just a good and really fun film – regardless of all the elements that get it an “R” rating. And don’t worry, even though these elements are toned down – they’re still present in a more subtle way. It makes you, as the viewer, feel like you’re apart of an inside joke, assuming you’ve seen the first film.
“Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006,” Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. “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…”
So let’s dive into that second condition that Reynolds mentioned above, as that and the toned down elements are really the only difference here in this film between it and Deadpool 2.
In this filtered version of the film, Savage finds himself kidnapped and restrained on set while Deadpool reads to him the story of the film. Throughout the movie, Savage chimes in on various aspects of the script and the surprise appearance of certain actors. This addition to the film is honestly why I enjoy it more than the original version, the banter between Savage and Reynold’s Deadpool is effortless and hysterical (Not to mention the reference to Savage in The Princess Bride can’t help but make you smile).
If your love of Deadpool alone isn’t enough to convince you that this film is worth checking out over the holidays – you should know this – For every ticket sold of Once Upon A Deadpool, $1 will go to the charity Fudge Cancer – previously known as Fuck Cancer, who have graciously changed their name to be more PG-13 friendly for the 12 days of the film’s release.
And one more note, stay until the very, VERY end of the credits. If you’re a fan of Marvel – you’ll want to have a tissue ready – it’s an absolutely beautiful post-credits scene.