How ‘Once Upon a Deadpool’ Works as a PG-13 Movie

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If you’ve seen Deadpool 2, then you will have seen Once Upon a Deadpool. If you haven’t and are curious, read a review of the previous movie here. In essence, it’s the same story. Some scenes are edited to cater the PG-13 audience, which includes cleaner violence, and nicer language. 

In addition, a few extra scenes from the extended edition were added, while others were removed. Yet, the movie does have its Savage moments… its Fred Savage moments to be exact. There’s some controversy that the movie’s new rating will diminish its charm, but they change very little, and it holds up as a movie. Also, it’s raising money to help a cancer foundation. Once Upon a Deadpool is a great watch with the kids during the holidays. It is after all, a family film. 

Once Upon a Deadpool seems like a publicity stunt to get a wider audience. It absolutely is, without a doubt in the world, this movie’s main purpose is to make money, but it also exists to entertain. Reducing R rating to a PG-13 one will bring in all those teens that couldn’t get in (legally) when the movie first came out. And who doesn’t love more money? It’s an obvious cash grab, but has an idealistic twist. Parts of the proceeds will be going to a charity called “Fudge Cancer”.  The organization will receive $1 (USD) of every ticket sale. It’s bringing some joy to the world, and how can someone disagree with that? Invite the nephews and nieces visiting for the holidays and let them enjoy the immortal man in a red suit bring joy to everyone around the world.

Of course, some of the lines had to be changed so they’re more appropriate for a general audience. The genital jokes are subdued, and it’s loaded with gory discretion shots. When limbs are torn off there’s far less blood, and the film cuts away to a reaction shot.  The action is still as cool as it is in the R-rating, and the jokes are still funny. Very little was truly altered, and there are not that many that were altered. In fact there’s still a lot of ****s and ****s. In every sense, it’s still the same movie, just re-released. The biggest change has to be the homage to Fred Savage’s role in The Princess Bride. He plays his wide-eyed wonder perfectly, and the best scenes are not spoiled in the trailer, which makes every time he shows up that more entertaining. 

Fred Savage in "Once Upon a Deadpool"
Fred Savage is not eager for his bedtime story

A lot of people are annoyed that this film has a lower rating. They are decreeing to the world saying “it’s not Deadpool” or “it’s not the same”, “it’s going to suck”. First off, this negativity is unsolicited and unpleasant. These naysayers, however, have a point, to a degree. There are many cases where Deadpool goes full R rating in the comics. He murders a lot of people in gory glorious ways.  So do a lot of other comic book heroes. But R-rated content does not make a character better. If the lore required pornographic content, then it would make sense. But not in this case. It really didn’t make a difference. This movie proved that even without the words “c**k” and f**k*, and blurring penises, it’s a solid and fun film. The action is incredible, and the characters’ development doesn’t change in the slightest. They’re fleshed out, and show the same amount of growth as they did in the previous release. R ratings do not equate to quality or maturity. Mature content and maturity are not the same. 

Violence you won't see "Once Upon a Deadpool"
Obviously, this is necessary for a good story.

Maturity in movies is treating the audience with the respect they deserve. It shows them a world of consequence, morality, and depth without sheltering them from “scary thoughts”. It treats its subject matter with respect and care. Maturity is showing pain without the cliched “dark grittiness of despair” that’s used far too much in bad movies. Mature content, on the other hand, is nudity, drug use, and copious amounts of ludicrous gibs. They both can exist independently. Making Deadpool 2  a PG-13 movie proved that it is as good  film as when it’s rated R. This solely means that David Leitch, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds, and ever other team members know how to make a good film, and know how to tell good jokes, mature or otherwise. Also, don’t forget, it helps raise funds for cancer research. What’s not to love?

"Once Upon a Deadpool"
Story time! 

Deadpool as a character has his mature moments, and he shows maturity. If Deadpool 2 tickled your fancy because they showed Ryan Reynolds CGI penis, Juggernaut’s bare buttocks, and used the word “cock ring”, then this movie is not for you. If you want to watch those parts, then there’s Deadpool 2 available on various forms of media.  But, if you liked the movie for its funny jokes, fantastic action, well-paced story, and hate cancer, then this movie is definitely worth the watch. Even Fred Savage was hesitant first, but then he let his inhibitions go, removed his skepticism and decided to enjoy the movie for what it is. 


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David Harris

David Harris has lived in Montreal his whole life. He thoroughly enjoys discussing most subjects including the arts, technology, and good food. He shows a great appreciation for good stories and dialogue, which suits his passions perfectly: television, movies, and graphic novels. But, deep down, he has to admit that his biggest love will always be with the movies and movie going experience.

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