Festive Re-Release is a Cynical Flop (Once Upon a Deadpool review)

Re-releasing Deadpool 2 as a PG-13 festive comedy sounded like a fun idea. Marketing showed Deadpool kidnapping Fred Savage before reading him the bedtime story of Deadpool 2 in a running joke about the premise of The Princess Bride. This interesting premise did not work, and in fact was just a shameless money maker that went completely against the point of Deadpool.

For my full review of Deadpool 2, you can click here. Spoiler, I loved it, I thought it was a brilliant sequel that upped the stakes, gore and shock to higher ground than the first film. Unfortunately, this edited version of Deadpool also meant that a lot of the things that made Deadpool stand out are missing. Not one drop of blood is spilt, most of the swearing is gone or re-dubbed (mother fluffer etc.), and the baby penis is blurred out (context is a wonderful thing).

I was rather annoyed that they didn’t even properly stick to the swearing premise they set up; at the start of the film, Deadpool admits that they’re only allowed “2 S[bleep]s and One F[bleep]” for the entire film. In actual fact, there were 18 uses of Shit, and the only F*ck in the film was bleeped out.

The parts with Fred Savage and Deadpool riffing against one another were the best parts. The onscreen chemistry between kidnapper and kidnapped was hilarious to watch, but they were barely on screen. Of the two-hour run time, there was maybe 10 minutes of this stuff, with a further five minutes of deleted scenes added in to fill the runtime from more offensive sequences being removed. I felt the film would have been far better, and actually more like it promised, if there was at least narration from the two over the film, describing the events, possibly in rhyme.

The editing felt choppy, mainly because they were literally having to cut around Deadpools foul mouth, and the story, while maintained, seemed weaker than before. It’s likely that by cutting out everything that makes Deadpool stand out, they have in fact just produced another sub-par superhero movie without anything original in it.

But if you wanted to see this and missed it’s one day UK release, don’t worry about it. Just watch the original Deadpool 2 and you’ll have a much better time. Hey, feel free to mute the swearing and fast forward the violence and you’ll basically have recreated it.

On a positive note, due to Stan Lee’s passing last month there was a beautiful tribute to him, both in the film and after the credits.

6 Stars

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