Once Upon a Deadpool

When our favorite irreverent pansexual super-antihero (Ryan Reynolds) announces near the top of Deadpool 2 that the mayhem on screen is actually a family film, in a way he’s right: without the obligatory creation story baggage of the 2016 original, the sequel zips along as the motormouth assassin tries to clean up his act (sort of) and finds family where he wasn’t looking. But you couldn’t call the sequel “family friendly”—until now, in this recut holiday special version, in which director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) has substantially reduced the gore and profanity, and upped the inside jokes by stealing a page from Rob Reiner and William Goldman. In a new framing device and cutaway scenes, Fred Savage, playing himself, is ensconced in the recreated bedroom set he occupied as a child star over 30 years ago in The Princess Bride, having been abducted by Deadpool (who terms it “involuntary location enhancement”) so that the smart aleck can regale Fred with a storybook reprise of Deadpool 2. The obvious bleeps of profanity actually make this version even smuttier, and Savage’s digs at Deadpool not being really Marvel—”You’re Fox Marvel”—lead to a witty meta exchange about 20th Century Fox and its sale to Disney. There are additional new scenes where the protagonist visits a zoo and a park, but the best is saved for last, so stay for the short, poignant sequence at the very end of the closing credits.