Once Upon a Deadpool’s existence is a bit of a mystery to me. A PG-13 reimagining of Deadpool 2 where Deadpool tells his story to a kidnapped Fred Savage sounds hilarious, yet I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. Part of the reason Deadpool works so well is because it stays true to the character and really dives in, Pete Rose style, into it’s hard R rating. While Once Upon a Deadpool does a good job of staying true to the character, it’s ultimately a lesser and neutered version of a film we’ve already seen, while adding little to enhance what was already there.
Like in The Wonder Years and The Grinder before, Fred Savage is the best part of the film. The new Princess Bride inspired set up ranges from meh to flat out hilarious and the back and forth between Savage and Mr. Pool feels so genuine and fun.Thankful they didn’t show all the best parts in the marketing and one interaction in particular involving a Good Will Hunting star left me rolling. Unfortunately there just isn’t enough of them together to really move the needle on justifying a theatrical release. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always up for something creative and different like it attempts to be, but the best parts last maybe two to three minutes and there are 20-30 min intervals before we get any new footage.
As far as the actually edit of the film, it’s exactly what’s advertised, a PG-13 version of the film. No blood, no F-bombs, no grotesque violence, none of the stuff you can show with an R-rating and on the whole, it works. Granted it’s not the version I want to see and I imagine what anyone else wants to see but it can work if Deadpool finds his way into the MCU. The movie is still Deadpool 2 and retains much of it’s best parts but it just feels like it pulled it’s punch and isn’t as snappy and irreverent. It feels like a the studio re-write version of Deadpool that everyone assumed the first film would be.
I still really struggle to figure out who to recommend this to. I can’t really recommend it to people who have already seen it during its first run because it’s simply not as good and you can easily wait for when they inevitably release a Mega Super Duper Deluxe Blu Ray next year where they’ll have all three versions of the film. I guess if I had to recommend it to anyone maybe it’s for parents that love Deadpool and want to introduce it their pre-teen kids. Even then I’m not sure if that’s right because there are still some pretty adult themes, this movie is so confusing.
As always you’re going to want and stay for the after credits shenanigans which includes the original scene from Deadpool 2 and adds a brand new and surprisingly emotional addition to the mix that left my fellow Funkhouser contributor and friend Daniel and I pretty teary eyed. Just a wonderful addition.
At the end of the day, Once Upon A Deadpool is just an ok Deadpool movie and the third best version of Deadpool 2. The order of which is the Super Duper Cut released on Blu-Ray which adds more scenes and makes the original better, the theatrical release, and finally Once Upon A Deadpool. This would have worked far better as a special edition Blu-Ray release and at the end of the day never justifies it’s theatrical release.
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