The Onion – The Movie

This movie was a welcome surprise for me as I had this as a movie idea for awhile and just recently discovered that it actually is a movie. The movie is based on the fake newspaper called The Onion. I’ve been a fan of this publication since it’s early days as a printed newspaper from Madison, WI. Now, it’s not only a widely distributed newspaper but also a hugely popular website. They also tried to make a TV show out of this concept at one point but it never got off of the ground.

The movie is a welcome surprise because they didn’t water it down (as I feared they would do with the TV show as the rumor was it was supposed to be shown on NBC – big mistake). The Onion’s irreverance is part of it’s charm and to water it down is to remove it’s teeth and not let it be what it’s supposed to be.

Luckily, the movie exudes the same attitude and edgy approach that the newspaper/website does. The movie centers around an uncompromising newscast that is determined to present itself in a way that it’s competitors won’t touch. From the bewildered news anchor’s reports and brutally honest movie critic segment to the raunchy pop star expose’ (in the vein of a Britney Spears interview), the film is presented in a similar style to segmented comedy classics such as The Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon.

Most of the actors are not huge names but are talented and familiar as they’ve been in a lot of other films as mostly support characters. The exceptions to this are appearances by Steven Seagal and Rodney Dangerfield who appears as himself. While the segments are cleverly written there are a few that fall a bit flat and aren’t all performed to the same caliber. Overall, it’s a fun film to watch and is worth putting on your Netflix list but probably won’t be revered quite as much as Kentucky Fried Movie.

reviewed by Sean McKnight