Is a PG-13 Deadpool Movie a Good Thing?

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deadpool once

I’ll be seeing Once Upon a Deadpool today—the new PG-13 version of the very, very, VERRRRRY R-rated Deadpool 2. But already, without having seen a second of the new cut, I’m super conflicted.

On one hand, Deadpool (actor Ryan Reynolds under the mask and prosthetics) can be pretty funny, and much of Deadpool 2’s humor doesn’t rely on crass sexuality, violence and language to pull a chuckle. Deadpool is at his best when tossing off clever in-the-know asides and fourth-wall-breaking monologues.

So why grouse about making a superhero movie cleaner? It’s what you’d think we’d be pushing for, right?

But here’s the thing: Because the movies are pretty funny, and because some parents will drag their kids and teens to this ostentsibly “family friendly” version of Deadpool 2, lots of children may want to know—and see—more of the Merc With a Mouth. And as the guy who reviewed both of ’em, let me tell you, Deadpool flicks don’t just dip their toes in R-rated content: They submarine in it.

A line from my original Deadpool 2 review:

Sometimes, I do wonder if [the makers of Deadpool] read our reviews and ask themselves, Selves, how can we make the next Deadpool movie actual, physical torture for Plugged In reviewers to write about?

The original comic book character is no less problematic. Deadpool initially drew fans in with the same queasy combination of clever comedy, violent grotesquery and sexual uncertainty. (Deadpool labels himself as pansexual.) And lest we forget, even if the content is dialed down, the character itself put the anti in antihero: He kills with wild abandon and often makes fun of do-gooders with a more reliable moral compass. That, my friends, is an issue.

Because Deadpool has been an inherently and historically problematic character, it feels like cutting the flick down to PG-13 feels a little … disingenuous?

But enough from me. I’m really interested what you have to say about this issue. Is a PG-13 recut of Deadpool 2 a good thing or not? Let us know below, or shoot me a tweet @AsayPaul.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 8 months ago
I'm not trying to get a rise out of anyone, just speaking biblical truth in a world which is sorely lacking in it. I'm sincerely praying for all your souls.
Anonymous 8 months ago
If all else fails, just be like Billy Graham.
Anonymous 8 months ago
My soul is taken care of my friend.
-David The Clown
Kal El 8 months ago

It makes me so sad that the talented writers at PluggedIn so frequently promote rigîd religîosity and opinion-as-fact rather than gently sharing a thought or encouraging readers to seek a personal connection and conversation with God about what He says for them personally.


Yeah, the filmmakers chose to subtly insinuate Deadpool has chosen a pànsexual lifestyle, but other than that a statement like ‘the character is inherently prôblematic’ is ûnfair. Not everyone gets as deeply upset at made up langûage as PlûggedIn does (where’s the Bible verse that says èff-bômbs are ‘prôfane langûage’ and not just a subjećtive, cultural word like ‘hat’ or ‘chair’?), nor at sèxual humor (did they forget God invented both sèx and humor?).


A lot of the sèrmonizing PluggedIn does is just their own stànce on a subject. Why not encourage people to ask God what He says for them individually? That promotes active thought and pursuit of real relationship with Him, and it removes the jûdgmental one-size-fits-all, ‘anything not G-rated is bád and you’re bád for liking it’ prôblem.


If God is love and we’re on a mission to love others (even if we disagreè), why do I feel like PI more often comes off like they’re côndemning and religiôus-rûles-based towards anyone who doesn’t fit in their opiniônated bôx?

Anonymous 8 months ago
I think a lot of the "rigid religiosity" is coming from people in the comment section, no the writers.
-David The Clown 
Anonymous 8 months ago
I think we all should live Christian lives and follow the bible to a T, so if that is called being strictly religious than so be it. We should all live biblically so to speak, and should be better than others around us.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Heck, I even saw a homosexual priest with his husband dancing last night in a church in a Christmas movie no less. Just when will it end? When this kind of atrocious behavior stops being normal and commonplace that's when.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I can't believe I'm defending myself on a Christian website. Everyone knows the sin of homosexuality is the worst sin of all, so it should be common knowledge for all persons believing in Christ to shun them and hate them for the true sinners they are.
Hannah Cole 8 months ago
There is no such thing as a "worst sin of all." Sin is sin. We are all "true sinners" because we've all been born into sin. How can we possibly bring any sinners to Christ if we hate and shun them as you say we should? We can hate the sin and love the sinner, but I strongly believe that hating people that Christ Himself died for is not right.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I'm beginning to think that this guy's just a big goofster trying to get a rise out of us. We should probably ignore them and their posts.

-Evan
Anonymous 8 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Maybe it’s the reincarnation of bobed!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Maybe it's because I was raised in a strict religious household, and had tons of missionaries in my family, but I do believe there is a hierarchy to sin, and performing homosexual acts is number one. I agree we're all sinners and need God's grace, but homosexuals are without any type of redeeming qualities in them, so they should be shunned and condemned with the worst of them.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Basically if we call ourselves Christian we should act differently than how the rest of the world acts, so the more the world embraces homosexuality and believes it's okay, we should firmly deny it and put our foot down. If not we all better be ready for Judgment Day, because I truly do feel sorry for this world we're living in.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I would love for you to show me the verse that states that homosexuality is the worst sin. Last I checked, refusing Christ as savior was the worst.
-David The Clown
Anonymous 8 months ago
Maybe! But the sequel's never as good as the original...

-Evan
Anonymous 8 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

“Twice the pride, double the fall!”

-Count Dooku, 2005.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Half the calories of the leading brand!

-Evan
Anonymous 8 months ago
We should all follow the bible and do as it says, not as the world tells us to do.
Anonymous 8 months ago
God says clearly that homosexuality is a sin, so therefore we should not be tolerable or condone any homosexual activity, that is why I can safely say I hate homosexuals. I'm not saying it to be mean, but because the word of God says so.
Anonymous 8 months ago

Fred Phelps would be proud.


I may ascribe to the idea that God chooses who will and won't be saved, but His elect can come from any background or walk of life. Yes, some can even come from a place like this, but if God calls them, they will turn away from that life.


It's one thing to say, "this lifestyle is wrong full-stop" but it's quite another to say that you hate anyone who adopts it. Now, I do believe God hates the non-elect (how could He do anything else), but that's another matter entirely. He alone knows who He has ordained to destroy - we do not.


-Nameless

Hannah Cole 8 months ago

So does that mean you also hate your family, friends, and other loved ones? Everyone has sinned, and every sin is equal in God's eyes. God loves the whole world, not just certain people in it. John 3:16 says he loved it so much he sent his only Son to save it. Not just to a few people he decided ahead of time, but as a opportunity for everyone to take if they believed in him. That's how much he loved us, and we should try to follow his example by treating others with love no matter what. Our job isn't to judge people; that's God's job eventually. Otherwise we're little better than the Pharisees Jesus accused of being hypocrites.

Anonymous 8 months ago
No I don't hate my family, friends, or loved ones, because they're not homosexuals. If they were then yes I would hate them too. But because no one in my family has ever engaged in homosexual activity I do not hate them. Homosexuals are the worst sinners of them all, and that is why I can never condone their actions or behaviors.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Right on Hannah!

@anonymous-
That is a disgusting comment. There is nowhere in the Bible that even comes close to calling homosexuality the worst sin.
-David The Clown
Anonymous 8 months ago
I mean I understand why some people like Deadpool, but why see this still not super appropriate superhero flic when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is Out?

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 8 months ago
I'm super hyped to see Into the Spider-Verse with my friends soon. It looks so cool and seems to actually have some form of maturity that is lacking in most animated kid's films today. (And Deadpool as well, I guess.)
Anonymous 8 months ago
So true....

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 9 months ago
So, this "Christian" website is for movies? I say, AS A CHRISTIAN, BAN Deadpool. WHAT CHRISTIAN ALLOWS PANSEXUALITY??? THIS IS NOT CHRIST, CHRIST WASNT GAY. HOMOSEXUALITY is a sin. Sexual immorality is a sin. You allow this, you accept it. My children will NEVER see sexual and gross movies. It will NEVER be their norm. May God have mercy on ALL of your souls. 
Anonymous 9 months ago
Take a chill pill.
Anonymous 9 months ago
What the heck are you talking about? Pluggedin never said they endorsed this, in fact, the author doesn't think this new version is a good idea.
Also, no one said Jesus was gay......
David The Clown
[removed] 9 months ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous 9 months ago
Why would you want to admit that? What is wrong with you? Where is the love of Christ in you?
-Posted by Chuck
Anonymous 9 months ago
You are the reason that Christianity is given such a bad rap in our culture. Why would you hate gays? They're sinning. But love your neighbor as yourself! God doesn't hate anyone. Chill out!

Lobster Bisque Guy
Anonymous 8 months ago

Actually, I would argue He does hate people, namely the people He chooses not to save. Did God love Judas? When Jesus Himself says it would be better if he'd never been born, I think that statement pretty much applies to all the reprobate. It would be better if they hadn't been born because of the purpose they were born for - to be hated and rejected by God so as to demonstrate His wrath and justice, and His wrath has burned since the beginning of the world.


So, yes, God does hate a very large number of people. Of course, we don't know who those people are, and it's good that we don't. But just because God is love, that doesn't mean He is incapable of hate. From birth, He hates those He has not chosen, and believe me, I often fear I'm among that number, since it amounts to billions if not trillions of people.


- Nameless

Anonymous 8 months ago
So is lying or even looking at someone with lustful intentions. I’m just saying one is not more important than the other in God’s eyes. They both are sin yes, and should both be repented of. However to hold one above the other is flat out cheapening of God’s grace. God saves the worst of sinners. As Jesus said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.” So yes, those things are sin, but those things are the very things that bring us back to God. With out those things God’s grace is meaningless. It is those things that remind us that non of us are perfect. I apresiate your drive to not allow your children to watch things that are not God honoring; however, when it comes to movies like Deadpool 2 with over 90 f-words that is no worse in God’s eyes than a movie with one f-word. Not to say that it should be allowed, but at the same time you need to think about  how has sin in your own heart and life have not mirrored that of Jesus and what he came to do for us. It’s not about what we can do for God and how righteous we are in front of men/women because in the end we still fall short. Instead it’s up to God to free us from this mess of sin we are in. So next time you feel the urge to say that one thing is a sin stop and think about what have you done that day that was also a sin and you haven’t repented of yet. 
Sincerely ~ Tarzan Cabe 
Kal El 9 months ago
Called it. Shared a sincere concern/objection, had my comment auto flagged as ‘awaiting moderation’. I’ll be curious to see if it gets posted, or deleted for not being a good little crowd follower.
Anonymous 9 months ago
what was the gist of what you said?
-David the clown 
Rocketshipper 9 months ago
They're content filter automatically flags certain words.  No human actually read your post and decided "this needs further study" or something, you just had a word or two in there that was automatically blocked.  It's not very hard to guess which words would trigger the filter, and take them out to get the comment through; I've had to do it on a few occasions.  

Also, what happened to being able to log-in with Facebook or LINE?  The option for LINE doesn;t show up anymore, and facebook always gives me an error.   
Anonymous 9 months ago
I only saw the first Deadpool (albeit, skipped through the racy scenes) and I was honestly disappointed. Although it was pretty funny, the story and characters were terrible. Everyone besides Deadpool (and the cab driver) were obnoxious. 
Didn't see the 2nd one on account of one of the main female characters wears reveling clothes throughout the entire film. And I doubt that will be taken away in this new cut.
-David The Clown
Mystery Man 9 months ago
I think it would be good if they make it pg-13 and actually kid friendly but by the looks of it, it probably won't. But I have a question will you be posting a review for it on pluggedin.com 
Lyn Chartowich 9 months ago
My guess is they will, since that is there job, and why would he talk about why he DOESN'T want to see it and then see it? But actually, looking back now, I realize this is a cut and I remember one of the FAQ being 'do you review director cuts' and they said no. So idk, maybe, maybe not.
Joshua Kroeger 9 months ago
Definitely agree that I'll be seeing the critically-acclaimed and much less irresponsible Spider-Verse!  I've never seen either Deadpool movie, but judging by the content descriptors in the PG-13 cut, I can't imagine it will be dialed down TOO much.  The orphanage in this movie will still be run by Catholic pedophile priests, I bet, and I'm sure it will still include the lesbian couple from the original cut.  Furthermore, PG-13 movies can get away with loads of foul language, especially these days (at least one F-word is always still allowed).  I'm sure this will push the envelope, and basically be a movie that feels like it was written (once again) by a seventh-grader.  
Chuck Anziulewicz 9 months ago
If I'm not mistaken, MPAA guidelines dictate that the f-word can be used no more than three times in a PG-13 movie.
Jack Koehler 9 months ago
They're not supposed to use it more than once, but if two-thirds of the rating board decides it's :appropriate", they can use quite a few (https://www.filmratings.com/Content/Downloads/rating_rules.pdf). There's actually quite a few movies that contain 4 or 5 (as a quick Google reveals) :/
Anonymous 9 months ago
I think that it's actually one.

Lobster Bisque Guy
Rocketshipper 9 months ago
Also typically the F-word in a PG-13 cannot be used in a sexual context, or it is automatic R 
Anonymous 9 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Don’t think I’ll be seeing this film, as funny as people have told me it is. I heard about this PG-13 cut and I initially thought that maybe now would be a good time to see it, but honestly, giving my money to Deadpool doesn’t feel right, PG-13 or not.

I’ll just go see Into the Spider Verse this weekend instead.