Ah, the holidays.
The time to appreciate family, worry about the decline of American civilization and ponder life’s most vexing questions, such as: Is Santa Claus real and can a PG-13, sanitized version of Deadpool 2 still make you laugh?
First off, SPOILER ALERT, Santa is definitely not real. That guy you saw climbing up on the roof to your neighbor’s chimney was actually your cousin Randy, in costume and tweaking on bath salts, convinced he could just slide right down, beer belly and all, without getting stuck. Come to think of it, has anyone even seen Randy since last year?
Second, and more importantly, you should know by now not to question Saint Ryan Reynolds, who was actually born on Christmas, in a manger, surrounded by wise men from Twentieth Century Fox who knew that one day he would put on his red and black leather suit, magically transform into Marvel Comics’ Merc with a Mouth and ascend to his rightful throne as box office messiah.
But I digress.
You wanted to know about Once Upon A Deadpool, which is 100-percent, absolutely, in no way, a cash grab by those same studio executives, who simply want to enrich themselves at your expense.
OK, you caught me. That’s fake news.
Once Upon a Deadpool really is Deadpool 2 re-released mostly in its entirety as a family-friendly superhero romp with zero
fuck F-bombs, hardly any blood and gore and a chunk of the original film’s zany violence excised and replaced with an homage to 1987’s The Princess Bride.
That’s right, Virginia, not only is Twentieth Century Fox giving you another chance to see Reynolds play the role he was immaculately conceived to play, but the studio is throwing in an older, wiser Fred Savage, reprising his role as The Grandson, for free and donating $1 from every ticket sold from December 12 to December 24 to Fuck Cancer, a U.S. nonprofit and registered Canadian charity, which has rechristened itself as Fudge Cancer for this good cause.
Don’t be alarmed. That feeling you’re feeling is a Christmas tingle of joy. Or, as Deadpool tells Fred Savage, “You’ve got emotion juice coming out of your eyeballs.” Or, possibly, sciatica, depending on how long you were sitting before you started reading this review.
Anyway, whether or not you find Once Upon A Deadpool as uproariously hysterical as the original, which I wisely gave four out of five stars way back in May (editor's note: Deadpool would call that a "shameless plug to generate online traffic" and he would be correct, but seriously, go read the review right here), depends entirely on the depth of your nostalgia for The Princess Bride.
Personally, I think they did a bang-up job. Not only do you get to re-watch the third-best superhero film of 2018 (behind Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther), but there’s Nickelback jokes, Princess Bride jokes, and lots of very funny digs at Disney.
So, to recap: Once Upon A Deadpool is not a new movie. There’s maybe 15 minutes of new footage total, but $1 from your ticket purchase will go directly to
Fuck, er, Fudge Cancer, and maybe — just maybe — that will be enough to move you off the Naughty List this year.
John W. Allman has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer, but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now a website dedicated to the genre films that often get overlooked and interviews with cult cinema favorites like George A. Romero, Bruce Campbell and Dee Wallace. Contact him at bloodviolenceandbabes.com, on Facebook or on Twitter.