I would love to say that Once Upon a Deadpool is about censorship and the ridiculous practices of the MPAA. Sadly, it’s not. Deadpool was so much dirty fun, now they took away some of the dirt. Fred Savage brings some light laughs but this a pure cash-grab if there ever was one.
As cash-grabs go, Once Upon a Deadpool is better than most, mainly because it takes one of the most entertaining films of the year (which came out less than 7 months ago) and adds Kevin Arnold into the mix. This is not a remake or even a needless sequel. Ryan Reynolds and company do a community service by taking the R-rated fun out of Deadpool 2, so some teenagers can get into the theatre to see it by cutting it for a PG-13 rating. The problem is that one thing that kept popping into my head at the time when hearing about this, and multiple times while watching it, was that there were multiple kids in the theatre without a parental escort when I saw the R-rated version last May. So, does anyone really think any under-18 hasn’t seen the original in the first place and are there a rash of protests about the need for more family-friendly Deadpool films I haven’t heard about?
The new addition to the film is a spoof of sorts. Deadpool (if you didn’t know already, played by Ryan Reynolds) kidnaps the one and only Fred Savage, who plays yes, actor Fred Savage, to replay the scenes as a child actor in the classic The Princess Bride. Savage is good here; he has chemistry with Reynolds, bantering back and forth, while Reynolds dubs out swear words with a touch of a button. He is only in the film for a handful of scenes, but if “bed acting” was an award (looks like the Academy Awards might eventually get there, as they have been pandering more and more) he would win it, hands down.
I would love to say that Once Upon a Deadpool is a film about censorship, the suffocating of freedom of speech, and the ridiculous practices of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) film-rating system. Sadly though, the film is not. Deadpool 1 and 2 were so much dirty fun, but now they took away some of the dirt. There are still some solid laughs from Deadpool, but the point of this Marvel character has always been his lack of a filter in the first place.
The inspired casting of Fred Savage brings some light laughs, but for a handful of minutes, this is not worth your time in theatres. Rent it or stream it. Why waste money on theatre ticket prices when, again, what kids haven’t really watched the first two films at home already?
M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.