The release of Deadpool back in 2016 shook the landscape of what superhero movies could be. An R-rated action-comedy that played up not only the laughs and gore but the heart and humanity of this wise-cracking anti-hero. The sequel, Deadpool 2, attempted the same thing but the genie had already been let out of the bottle. Though still a great movie that expanded the “Deadpoolverse,” the film failed to live up to the same expectations as the original.
But in a surprising turn of events, the sequel took a step backward no one was expecting, re-releasing Deadpool 2 but edited down to fit the PG-13 rating. This new re-edit, festively titled Once Upon A Deadpool. The Blu-Ray is out now and you can finally see how this grand experiment was executed, with a little help from Fred Savage!
The reasoning behind the existence of this cut varies depending on who you ask. Some theorize it was to help Deadpool 2 reach $1 Billion, some think it was an idea the creators had that they wanted to try out, some think it’s a testing ground for the upcoming Disney/Fox merger and how Deadpool could work with a filter or it could be all of the above.
One thing this film did differently was donating a portion of its earnings to Fudge Cancer, a charity that helps in prevention, early detection and emotional support for people affected by cancer. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will donate $1 of each Blu-Ray or Digital purchase to the charity. But hurry! They’re only donating for the month of January.
The art for this Blu-Ray is different from the original, emphasizing the Holiday aspect of the film as well as drawing attention to the PG-13 rating.
The menus in the Blu-Ray are the same as Deadpool 2 menus, with a-ha’s “Take on Me” playing over a VHS quality, smash-cut of scenes from the film and eventually transitioning to a better quality version of that.
Did you see Deadpool 2? Did you look up the plot of Deadpool 2? Did you overhear two “bros” discussing the tonal consistencies and the allegorical comparisons to The Godfather or Citizen Kane? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions then you know the general plot to Once Upon A Deadpool. The biggest difference being the inclusion of Fred Savage, who Deadpool has kidnapped to tell the story of Deadpool 2 ala The Princess Bride.
The movie plays out in the same way as the original but with choppier editing in order to make the PG-13 rating work. The inclusion of Fred Savage makes the film go over a lot better than if they just showed the PG-13 version. The exchanges between him and Deadpool are extremely funny and very self-aware of the original movie’s most glaring issues. These range from Fred Savage telling DP what “fridging” is to an impressive monologue regarding Cable’s complicated history in the comics.
Not exaggerating, the Blu-Ray you buy is just a copy of the film and the various audio specifications that you can make on any Blu-Ray disc.
I was looking forward to a Featurette on how this cut came about and where the idea sprang from but, sadly, there wasn’t.
This film is the TV version of Deadpool 2 you’ll watch on TBS in 5 years. You’ll watch it, have a good time with it and then wish you had just watched the original. The Fred Savage scenes add more jokes to the film and work as a self-aware commentary but the film itself leaves much to be desired. The one upside to buying and owning this Blu-Ray is the knowledge that your money is going to a good organization that’s helping those affected by cancer.