Movie reviews: Once Upon A Deadpool, Bird Box
ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL (PG13)
This is the more family-friendly (in theory) cut of Deadpool 2, which was out in mid-May.
It is the same fun story, just with the dismemberment, blood splatter and F-bombs removed - and some new inserts with Fred Savage, well, inserted.
The original was M18 here, but you might be surprised at how much swearing is still allowed in a PG13 (Psst! It is a lot).
Which begs the question: Why bother? It makes the end product neither here nor there.
Why not make it more of a joke by redubbing all the bad language like TV channels used to? From "flip you, melon farmer" to "muddyfunster" or "duck head", there is a wealth of non-sweary swearing out there.
The one inventive moment comes when Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) bleeps F-words during Savage's spiel about how he'd like to fight Matt Damon (who has a heavily disguised cameo). Every use of "fight" is bleeped, making Savage's intentions sound very different. It is funny in a naughty but nice way.
But if the intension is to let parents take younger kids, it's tone deaf to think that just because one form of swear word has been removed, parents would be okay with leaving in a load of other swear words.
Overall, this is a frustrating, half-baked exercise more concerned with fulfilling the criteria of a movie rating than aiming for a real audience.
- JONATHAN ROBERTS
BIRD BOX (R21)
Currently streaming on Netflix, this post-apocalyptic horror-thriller suffers from coming after the similarly high-concept but superior A Quiet Place, where if you make a sound, you die.
The stakes are one-upped in Bird Box.
If you happen to look at the mysterious supernatural entity that is fast killing off the world's population, you end up committing suicide.
Facing a terrifying unknown, a woman (Sandra Bullock) is trapped in a house with a motley crew of survivors. When both the situation and people start to unravel, she must flee with two young children down a treacherous river - blindfolded.
Like A Quiet Place, Bird Box features pregnant women in peril, the central figure of a mum single-handedly protecting vulnerable little ones, an (initially) unseen monster and tension that never lets up.
If you were wowed by Bullock's performance in the Oscar-winning Gravity, Bird Box is more or less a powerful one-woman show too.
Some portions feel familiar, ranging from The Mist to The Happening, but the overall creepiness, suspense and entertainment value still makes it worth a look. - JEANMARIE TAN - 3 Ticks