Here’s one way to tell if a movie billed as “family-friendly” actually isn’t: We can’t describe many of its jokes in our publication.
“Once Upon a Deadpool” (in theaters nationwide Wednesday) is the PG-13 re-edit of the critically acclaimed, R-rated “Deadpool 2.” This updated film – which incorporates previously deleted scenes, a new “Princess Bride” storytelling framework and additional post-credit scenes (more on that later) – is really for fanboys over the age of 13, not children. At one point, Deadpool even says right to the camera: “Trust me, we all saw the first movie.”
It’s also for the Fred Savage faithful.
In “Once Upon a Deadpool,” Ryan Reynolds’ title character ties down Savage (playing himself), now a 42-year-old actor and sitcom director. Savage is forced to revisit his famous 1987 “Princess Bride” role as a sweet bedridden boy listening to a story. This conceit works well as a plot device because it allows filmmakers to cut problematic sequences – or, as Deadpool says, to tell the story “through childlike innocence.”
This time around, however, Savage isn’t a young boy trying to cut off kissing scenes (“I don’t think that’s gross anymore”), but a critical listener who hilariously opines about “lazy writing.”
For example, Savage asks: If, after being sliced, Deadpool’s top half grows legs, wouldn’t his bottom half grow a head and re-enter the plot later?