With the upcoming merger between 20th Century Fox and the Walt Disney Company not far ahead of us, Fox has released what is essentially a transition piece as their company prepares to go under new management. Once Upon a Deadpool attempts to answer the question that many fans have been wondering since talk of this merger began: would a family friendly Deadpool work? Unfortunately, that question may have to wait, because, despite the heavy family-centric marketing for it, Once Upon A Deadpool is far from "family friendly."
Much like the "Super Duper Cut" that released when Deadpool 2 went out on digital, Once Upon A Deadpool is essentially a recut of the Deadpool sequel, but with the opposite intent of the "Super Duper Cut." This new version manages to fit the raunchy movie within the scopes of PG-13, while still being able to tell the original story. It does this using choppy editing, voiceovers of some profanity, taking out some of the blood effects, and by cutting back and forth to some hilarious banter between Deadpool and a kidnapped Fred Savage. However, even Fred Savage cannot save this new edit.
Outside of the "family friendliness," the biggest promise that was marketed for Once Upon A Deadpool was that it would feature new Deadpool 2 scenes that we had never seen before, which wasn't really true. Outside of the scenes with Fred Savage, which all took place in the same bedroom, only one new scene was added to Deadpool 2: the Up scene featuring Deadpool and an elderly couple that was shown in almost its entirety in the trailer. While there were a few other "new" scenes that had not appeared in the original theatrical cut of Deadpool 2, these scenes had already been released in the "Super Duper Cut," making Fred Savage's bits the only actual new content for anyone who had seen the previous cut of the movie and seen the trailer.
While Fred Savage's scenes with Deadpool were usually hilarious, often poking fun at Fox or the Deadpool 2 plot, the movie would have been a lot better had they cut to the story-book reading more often. Instead, Fred and Deadpool appeared in the Princess Bride bedroom quite a few times in the movie's first act, but then were absent from the movie for nearly an hour afterwards. During this time, nothing new was added to the movie, except slightly altered dialogue changes in order to ease around the original movie's excessive use of the profanity.
Alas, this choppy editing and cheap voice over work would have been worthwhile had Deadpool 2 kept its promise of being a family friendly movie. However, it wasn't really family friendly at all, as it just barely fit within the scope of a PG-13 rating. While the movie got rid of some of its over-the-top language and gore, it still kept a lot of content that realistically would not be included in a "family friendly" movie, including pedophilia, suicide, and porn, among others.
While Once Upon A Deadpool could be entertaining for anyone who has not seen Deadpool 2 prior, it's really not a worthwhile trip to the theater for anyone who's already seen it. It's still not a movie you can bring your kids to (which again, wouldn't be an issue if not for the excessive "family friendly" marketing), and in the end, it's just the same movie you've already seen, but now with some bad language being cheaply worked around as if the movie's being aired on public television. In the end, Once Upon A Deadpool is really just a waste of a trip to a theater. 20th Century Fox would've been better off turning Once Upon A Deadpool's "new" material into a five minute Deleted Scenes feature with the Deadpool 2 Blu-Ray rather than trying to give this pointless edit a theatrical run.