Directors: Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire
Runtime: 86 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
The Onion Movie was filmed in 2003, but wasn’t released until 2008 (direct to video). That’s not a good sign, but how does the film hold up? Loosely based around the story of an upright television news anchor, Norm Archer (Len Cariou), who’s facing pressure to include more corporate tie-ins in his broadcast, The Onion Movie is actually more of a collection of oft-hilarious sketches that show off the Onion franchise’s razor-sharp sense of humor. This picture’s reception was mixed (at best), but I find it to be consistently laugh-out-loud funny.
The humor here is frequently intentionally low-brow, reveling in the cultural idiocracy that we live in. Stupidity sells, I suppose, and The Onion Movie is happy to oblige. The satire in this movie is savage (and occasionally “politically incorrect”), putting the pedal to the metal as it mocks humanity. All people want is a ridiculous, violent action film or two, some money, etc. Integrity be damned.
It would be a mistake to say that every sketch in the film hits the bullseye. While almost every one is good for a chuckle or two, a minority overstay their welcome or are just duds. This isn’t really unexpected in a comedy of this nature, so the movie is generally quick to throw another scene at the audience if the one they’re currently watching isn’t working. The Onion Movie was shelved for five years, so some of the jokes in it were a bit stale or dated by the time of actual release. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t do a sketch on prescription drug side-effects or something.
So, will you find The Onion Movie funny? Its raunchy, tasteless, hyperbolic style isn’t for everybody, and some will scoff at its loose, sketch-oriented structure, but, if you’re a fan of the Onion franchise in general or subversively low-brow humor, there’s a good chance that its off-the-wall charm will resonate with you. Personally, I think it’s a laugh riot. Make sure you view it on home video, so you can watch the deleted scenes and outtakes.
My rating is 8 outta 10.