THE ONION MOVIE
Review by Gordon Justesen
Stars: Len Cariou, Sarah
McElligott, Scott Klace, Larissa Laskin, Steven Seagal
Director: James Kleiner
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length: 80 Minutes
Release Date: June 3, 2008
“According to a new medical study, depression hits losers hardest.”
It wasn’t until I saw the trailer for The Onion Movie on another DVD that I inspired to check out the actual Onion news network. All I can tell you is that you want to laugh yourself silly, please visit theonion.com or their page on youtube and watch their many news clips. I guarantee that it will make your day.
Now the funniest news source in the country is now converting to the movie market. The Onion Movie is very much in the vein of The Kentucky Fried Movie. There hasn’t been many sketch variety comedy movies since the 1977 writing debut of David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams. And David Zucker happens to serve as one of the producers of this movie, and any spoof comedy with the Zucker name on it is always likely to result in a most funny movie, and The Onion Movie is definitely that.
What we basically get here is a series of extremely hilarious news stories, as well as some random bizarre moments that seem to occur during commercial breaks. And many of those situations manage to make front page of The Onion Newspapers, as well as the next Onion TV news report. If the movie has one fault, it’s the attempt to have a jab at Network, where in which the fed up news anchor is battling the corporate owner of the network interfering the newscasts with shameless plug-ins.
But anyone who’s familiar with The Onion is going to watch this movie for one reason and one reason only, the dead on satirical news reports, and there’s plenty of that on display here. Among the highlights of the movie are a feature profile of pop star Melissa Cherry (Sarah McElligott), a Britney Spears-like singer who claims her sexually suggestive songs, such as “Shoot Your Love On Me”, are not about sex in any way. We then see glimpses of her music videos, which illustrate the obvious.
And if you were waiting for the day action movie has-been Steven Seagal would give in to an embarrassing parody of his persona, then this movie has granted your wish. Throughout the movie, we see a number of advertisements for his latest big-budget action extravaganza, titled “Cockpuncher”. The plot involves a man who takes evil by the balls, literally.
We even get a surprise appearance from Michael Bolton in a commercial for a charity organization, which I never expected to see in any movie or anywhere. But by far the funniest segment of the movie is an inspirational portrait of the world’s first armless/legless hockey player. When I saw how his triumph inspires others, I nearly had a heart attack from laughing so hard.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that The Onion Movie was actually filmed back in 2003, and has sat on the shelf ever since then due to poor test screenings. Why, exactly? If a really funny movie like this got a poor reaction at a test screening, then I’m convinced that utter crap like Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans didn’t have a test screening at all, because there’s no excuse for letting those movies getting a theatrical release.
The Onion Movie is a must-see for those who are already laughing at the news network’s daily headlines. If you’re not at all familiar with The Onion, I honestly think you’ll find plenty to laugh at anyway. It’s not without a few flaws, but it does deliver many heart-stopping laughs in its 80 minute running time.
The presentation on this Fox release is most exceptional. There’s nothing remarkable about the production values, in fact the movie consists of many simple shots. But the anamorphic picture is clear for the most impressive, with crisp and clear quality from beginning to end.
The 5.1 mix is a decent one, mainly in the many physical gags on display. Dialogue delivery is superb, and the occasional music, particularly the Melissa Cherry songs, provide some nice dynamic sound.
Included on this disc are several Deleted Scenes and an outtakes reel, as well as a few Bonus Trailers.
The Onion Movie is both a funny extension of the hilarious fake news organization, in addition to being in the fine tradition of early great sketch comedies like The Kentucky Fried Movie. Get ready to laugh…and be informed of what’s going on in the world!