Once Upon a Deadpool Parent Guide
It is gratifying to see a Deadpool movie work so well with less of its trademark gratuitous violence, profanity and sexual innuendo.
Parent Movie Review
Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is continuing where he left off in the first instalment of this franchise: fighting crime, causing trouble, mouthing off, and being desperately in love with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But when criminals break into his apartment and murder Vanessa on their anniversary, Wilson joins forces with the X-Men, specifically, Colossus (Stephen Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). The X-Men are struggling to contain young mutant, named Russell Collins (Julian Dennison), whose fire setting powers are a danger to the public. While trying to control Russell, Wilson and the boy get arrested and are sent to a special mutant prison. But when Cable (Josh Brolin), a time-traveling super-soldier arrives to kill Russell to save the future, Wilson has to decide exactly what kind of hero he wants to be.
As you may have noticed, this sounds an awful lot like the plot of Deadpool 2. That’s because it is: Once Upon a Deadpool is a PG-13 re-release of the R-rated hit movie, cut and edited for a younger or more sensitive audience. As you might guess, cutting most of the profanity, sexual innuendo, and graphic violence from a Deadpool movie has left some space in its runtime. Director David Leitch has filled this with a hilarious frame narrative, in which Deadpool has kidnapped Fred Savage of A Princess Bride fame, tied him to a bed in a replica of the bedroom set from that movie, and is reading him the story of Deadpool 2. Apart from being a great way of boosting the runtime back to normal, this is a good way to add new material to a re-release without altering the original plot.
Not surprisingly, given the reputation of the Deadpool films, profanity will be the biggest concern for most parents. While the movie manages to avoid sexual expletives, there are over 30 mild and moderate profanities in the film, with scatological curses and terms of deity predominating. The violence has been significantly toned down from the R-rated cut and is in line with what you might expect to see in any other Marvel superhero movie. That being said, Once Upon a Deadpool is a hard PG-13 and is probably more suitable for older teens.
As someone who actually liked the original, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this re-cut version. Re-cutting a film can be risky, but it is gratifying to see a Deadpool movie work so well without its trademark gratuitous violence, profanity, and sexual innuendo. Once Upon a Deadpool is a great way for older teens who were interested in the comics but not the adult-oriented content to enjoy the dark humor and self-referential jokes of the Ryan Reynolds production. Without some of the R-rated trimmings, this Christmas special highlights the movie’s focus on the importance of family, the opportunity for redemption, and the necessity of friendship. I would make a joke about how touching it is, but I wouldn’t want to start muscling in on the Deadpool’s territory.Directed by David Leitch. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, and Morena Baccarin. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release December 12, 2018. Updated February 22, 2019
Watch the trailer for Once Upon a Deadpool
Once Upon a Deadpool
Rating & Content Info
Why is Once Upon a Deadpool rated PG-13? Once Upon a Deadpool is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action, crude sexual content, language, thematic elements and brief drug material.
Violence: Gun and bladed weapon violence throughout. Characters are shot, stabbed, and chopped with just about every weapon imaginable. However, unlike in the R-rated version, there is no blood or gore. People just fall over. A main character repeatedly tries to kill himself. Less ordinary violence includes a man being torn in half, feeding himself to a polar bear, laying on top of explosive barrels and setting them off (comedically dismembering him), having a piece of wrought iron fence go through his head, and a broken neck from a nasty fall onto a prison table. Other characters at one point or other fall into helicopter blades, power lines, moving busses, and woodchippers. Once man is killed by acidic vomit, although no injury is shown.
Sexual Content: No sex or uncensored nudity is shown. A woman gives her boyfriend her IUD for an anniversary present and suggests they start a family. There are a few masturbation jokes. A man urinates while fully clothed and sitting on a barstool. There are two instances of CGI nudity, but both are pixelated. There are several references to genitalia in comedic contexts.
Profanity: Approximately 31 uses of mild and moderate profanity – mostly scatological curses and terms of deity. In several instances, profanity is “bleeped” out. In others, innocuous language is bleeped for comedic effect to imply profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Drugs and alcohol are shown on screen but is not consumed. Cocaine is seen when Deadpool shoots up a gang drug lab at the beginning of the film, and once later in a bag. There is some drug paraphernalia shown in his apartment, but only as background decoration, and is not referenced or used. At one point it is implied that he has been drinking constantly for three days, but he is not shown to be particularly intoxicated by this, or shown consuming any alcohol (in all fairness, due to his superpowers it should be nearly impossible for him to get drunk).
Page last updated February 22, 2019
Once Upon a Deadpool Parents' Guide
Russell seems to be on a path to a very dark place: is there any way he could have avoided it? Deadpool struggles to help him, but what could he have done differently to make sure Russell got the help he needed?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series features teens who have changed after a mysterious illness killed most children, leaving survivors with unusual powers which adults fear and try to eradicate. Another story featuring a virus is Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones. In this novel, the vaccine designed to eradicate the virus gives some people super powers. Some of those people turn to crime.
Daniel X has unusual powers and they are featured in The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, first in the series created by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.
Time travel is a plot point in The Reluctant Assassin, first in a new series by Eoin Colfer, and featuring Riley, a teenage orphan who is apprenticed to a famed illusionist and criminal in Victorian London. Another series by Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl features a troubled anti-hero with many other characters exhibiting an irreverent sense of humor.
The most recent home video release of Once Upon a Deadpool movie is December 18, 2018. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
The Deadpool franchise has been made up of Restricted films. For similar films, but with less profanity, try the X-Men series.
Family-friendly mutants star in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Mutants aren’t always superheroes who save the world. In I Am Legend, mutant zombies are a destructive force and Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the only man who can stop them.