WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Once Upon a Deadpool, screening in theaters through Dec. 24.
The release of Once Upon a Deadpool naturally brings with it curiosity about how a character built on vulgar humor and over-the-top violence would translate to a PG-13 format. And the promise that the kinder, gentler cut of Deadpool 2 would include 20 minutes of new footage no doubt only intensified the interest of fans. But for those still on the fence about whether to make another trip to theaters to see the Merc with a Mouth, let's dive into that extra footage, and see if it's worth the price of admission.
Nearly all of the new footage comes in the reconstruction of the bedroom from The Princess Bride, showcased in the promos for Once Upon a Deadpool. It's where Ryan Reynolds' Merc with a Mouth reads the story of Deadpool 2 to a kidnapped Fred Savage, who's dressed like he was in the beloved 1987 family film. The chemistry between the two is spectacular, but anyone looking for additional scenes that that will alter the scope of Deadpool 2, or make it feel fresh, will likely be disappointed.
The sequence from the trailer with the old couple on the bench -- actually a deleted scene from Deadpool 2 -- is the only new addition, outside of Savage and Deadpool. It occurs as Wade Wilson searches for new ways to kill himself. Other than that, it's all Savage, and it's largely all funny.
The first new scene not shown in trailers or promos (which, again, is mostly Deadpool and Savage) cuts in after Deadpool returns home for his and Vanessa's anniversary, and just after Vanessa says "kiss me like you missed me, Red." Savage and Deadpool exchange glances, with Deadpool nodding at Savage as if he wants him to say something. After comical silence, Savage finally realizes what's going on. "What, you want me to ask if this is a kissing book?" Savage asks, giving another nod to his character in The Princess Bride. "Because I'm not gonna say it. I'm not 12 anymore."
As expected, some of the new scenes bring in a heightened sense of self-awareness to Deadpool 2, as Reynolds and the writers are never afraid to poke fun at themselves. When Vanessa is shot and killed, we cut to a shocked and angry Savage, who declares the movie "fridged" Vanessa, a term familiar to comics readers, meaning she was killed for the sole purpose of motivate the protagonist. The topic was fiercely debated following the release of Deadpool 2, but the writers raise it again as Savage angrily says, "It reduces the woman to a plot device!"
That self-awareness continues in other scenes, with once of the best coming when Cable (Josh Brolin) is introduced. A now-excited Savage rattles off Cable's complicated family tree and his techo-organic virus, and then tells Deadpool, "I hope you gave this complex character his due!" Deadpool scratches his head and then replies, "Well, we covered the time-travel part."
One scene, possibly a foreshadowing, comes when Juggernaut rips Deadpool in half, and Savage asks why two Deadpools didn't produce, since theoretically, one would heal from the top half and the other from the bottom. "You're kind of freaking me out here," Deadpool responds. But Savage does have a point. Is the exchange merely a nod to the "Evil Deadpool" storyline, in which Deadpool has an evil twin spawn, or something more?
Again, if fans are looking for new content, it's confined to the bedroom set with Savage and Deadpool. Still, the exchanges are good for a few laughs. There are also new post-credit scenes, one in which Savage and Deadpool poke fun at the technique, and the other much more emotional, paying tribute to the late Stan Lee. As Deadpool says to Savage when he's crying after Vanessa tells Deadpool that his "F-word" still needs him, "You have emotion juice coming out your eye holes!" You might have the same after the credits roll.
In theaters through Dec. 24, Once Upon a Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, Julian Dennison, Josh Brolin and Fred Savage.