RTF Review: Once Upon a Deadpool
We all love Deadpool. In the midst of the Golden Age of Superhero Cinema, the antics of the Merc with a Mouth stands out beyond the great Marvel/DC divide with his fourth wall-breaking pseudo-commentary and humor about himself on all things superhero. After the first film’s breakout success; fans were dying to see what Ryan Reynolds’ and Co. had in store for fans with Deadpool 2. The result was a well-received sequel that introduced beloved comic book characters Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz), while redeeming others like X-Men villain Juggernaut (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). With a box office total of $ 743 million, one would think that Team Deadpool would retire in celebration as they draft and plot the details for future sequels; but that didn’t happen.
What happened, you might ask?
Deadpool though it would be a good idea to kidnap beloved child-actor turned grown-up award director Fred Savage to give us a present this past Christmas.
That gift was Once Upon a Deadpool.
The question is: What exactly is Once Upon a Deadpool?
Once Upon a Deadpool is a PG-13 edition of Deadpool 2 with added video commentary. What makes the commentary of this version special is those providing the commentary itself. In a recreation of the bedroom set where Savage once played The Grandson in the beloved 80’s flick The Princess Bride; Deadpool assumes the role of The Grandfather (originally played by the great Peter Falk) and reads to Savage (who is playing himself) the story of Deadpool 2. Did I mention that Fred Savage has been tied down to a bed against his will? As you can imagine, hilarious and cinematic gold ensues.
Since most audiences have already seen Deadpool 2; the following is a valid question: Should I see it?
Though the banter between the kidnapped Savage and Deadpool was awesome; the way these new scenes are spliced into the film are detrimental to the viewing experience. This version is not for someone that hasn’t seen the original version of Deadpool 2; which places this cut in niche territory. Is it a must-see? No. Is it a good time? It CAN be. If you simply want to enjoy some more Deadpool, you will have a good time. If you are looking for something to see and you have never ventured into the world of Deadpool; this is not the Pool you’re looking for. You will be better off by picking up the original Deadpool or the standard cut of Deadpool 2. If you are a collector of all things Deadpool, you probably already own this version of the film or you will and should.
All the scenes between Fred Savage and Deadpool are top-tier. The writers achieve this by offering the audience something they haven’t seen before; someone besides Deadpool commenting on his adventures via Fred Savage. The way he stumps Deadpool with his own perspective is perfection. Another point in their favor is how they use the movie’s PG-13 rating to their humorous advantage. It is graceful and priceless.
All these additional scenes could have easily been enjoyed as a special feature on a Special Edition Blu-Ray of the original cut of the film; but FOX decided to give Once Upon a Deadpool a limited theatrical release during the month of December and donate $1 of each ticket sold to Fudge Cancer (F**K Cancer); a charity that supports programs for early cancer detection, treatments and programs that aid help cancer patients and their families. So, no matter what your thoughts on this version of the film are, one can’t deny that Ryan Reynolds and Co’s hearts are in the right place.
Once Upon a Deadpool is available for your enjoyment on all streaming services for rent or purchase and on Blu-Ray at your favorite stores’ impulse buy kiosk. $1 of every Blu-Ray purchase will go to Fudge Cancer (F**K Cancer), an awesome charity for an awesome cause.
Due to this film’s uniqueness, I will provide two different ratings for it:
As a film for theatrical release: C+
As a collector’s item and special release: B+
Till next time,
Brandon Alvarado, The Scarlet Fan