ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL (M) Making a splash without leaving a stain, US, 119 min
That red-suited motor-mouth Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds) can seemingly get away with anything. Testing that notion to the limit is this surprise play at the familyfriendly market (essentially a selective re-edit of the mid-year box-office hit Deadpool 2). No F-bombs are detonated, and the camera pulls away before limbs are severed or blood starts flowing. To plug some sizeable gaps, a framing device is borrowed from the classic 1987 all-ages movie The Princess Bride. As in that much-loved affair, Deadpool’s anarchic adventures are now relayed as a cosy bedtime story to a not-so-enthusiastic Fred Savage (who played the same role as a child in The Princess Bride). It will be interesting to see if this finds widespread favour with the franchise’s existing fanbase, as only 20 minutes of new scenes can be found within the two-hour running time. However, for younger viewers previously unable to experience Deadpool’s surreal brand of mayhem on the big screen, this is one bedtime story worth hearing the whole way through.