Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Foodfight! AKA My Life Has Gone Down The Drano

Author's Note: Just want to thank TheAnnotatXperiment for supplying the full film for me, as well as pointing out crucial points of the film. 

Let's talk about questionable decisions. We've all made one in our lives. Let's not try to deny it. Sometimes we were fine with it from the start, but then when we looked back on it we regretted what we did. Other times, we were simply desperate and an opportunity arose in a way that wasn't as favorable as we wanted it to be. Hell, we might have just been forced into it. Those sort of circumstances are very common with actors. It may be because of money, it may because of fine print in a contract, it may be because they desire more and more attention. At the end of the day, when it all comes down to it, some of the things stars act in are just atrocious beyond belief. Sometimes, you wonder how some big names out there even managed to last so long after you see them in terrible, terrible movies. But then they are other times that you understand why some people are where they are, why their careers have been cut like an infected limb. I'm pretty sure that in this case, Foodfight! would be considered that infected limb. I heard things about this movie, all of them saying just how terrible it was. What I gathered was it that it was an animated flick, it had something to do with food and a detective. My curiosity was peaked the more I looked into just the kind of people that were surrounded by this project and I became tempted to see how disastrous of a trainwreck it would be. Then I stopped caring because I wasn't that invested in the idea for one reason or another. (Un)fortunately, I stumbled across the Annotated version of this film and watched it a good amount of times to truly sink in what I was being presented too. To merely imagine that this was directed at children is frightening and/or hilarious considering that when I tried to see it through a more official means, I was warned that I had to be 18 or over to watch this film. Still, I have to share this mess to those who aren't aware of it, because I refuse to be the only one whose eyes have witnessed such a spectacle.

I'll give you the low-down on things you have to consider:

- Sexual references that make porn look subtle
- Terrible aversions of profanity (like saying fudge instead of the freakin' F word)
- Food-related puns
- Drink-related puns
- Grocery-related puns
- So many puns...
- Shoehorned references to better things
- Cameos (both the kind you're thinking of and the ones you're not)
- Blatant stereotypes
- I just can't stop mentioning how many fudging puns there are in this movie
- Incredibly thinly-veiled Nazis
- Bizarre acting choices

Take your kids into the other room and turn on Spongebob for them. Then if you really want, you can comprehend the true nature of Foodfight! with me.

The movie opens with a relatively decent title sequence. It's probably the nicest looking bit of animation in the entire film. I know that sounds discouraging, but trust me when I say that you'll find some good animation...just not in a conventional sense. We see a supermarket at closing time and then we see it light up into some sort of mini-city with an instrumental quasi-cover of I'm a Believer playing in the background. Most of the music in this movie is some sort of weird combination of cheap stock music and 80s-90s pop music that's been choked out of all of it's energy. Then we see some bat thing fly in front of us. Now, I'm one of those people that thinks bats look cute. Especially fruit bats, those little buggers are just adorable. The animated bat I saw though is not cute. It's not good-looking either. It's just wrong. Now, why get so up-in-arms about the design of an animated bat, you may ask. Well, it's because it's a clear example of how some of the animation is going to be. It's going to look atrocious and bizarre. You may think I'm contradicting myself here, but you will soon see what I mean.

The song drags on for god knows how long (it was actually 2 minutes, but when you see it, it feels like an eon),. You get a glimpse of the forced humor, which consists of overblown stereotypes, sound effects and bodily functions. Oh and all of a sudden you see Mr. Clean. Yeah. Then we get Charlie "I Wish I Couldn't Handle It" Sheen, in the form of a dog detective by the name of Dex, that spews puns like a Tim Vine sprinkler that shoots acid. He fights off a bunch of rat things on top of a hot-air balloon, then pops it to defeat the mastermind and finished off by falling in a way that would make early greenscreen look hyper realistic. He saves some bird-kitten things and then gets a bunch of random people (including a...I don't know what species of bird reporter) congratulating him for solving 500 consecutive cases. After saying something forgettable, he talks to his chipmunk-squirrel thing-of-a-friend, Dan, played by Wayne Brady (post-Improv-A-Ganza, pre-WLIIA renewal) about proposing. His character is by far one of the most annoying, poorly-animated creatures in this film, and it really hurts me to say that I found myself annoyed by a character played by Wayne Brady. We get some boring conversation with Dex and Dan, and then Dex's cat-girlfriend-thing, Sunshine (Hilary "Haven't Succumb To Lindsey Lohan Syndrome Yet" Duff) is introduced. More boring conversation, followed by a Brooklyn moose, some hijinks and crappy lovey-dovey banter happen as Dex is about to pop the question with a carrot ring, Dan crashes his plane and then we're back to Dex and Dan talking about Sunshine. Okay.

And that's why I don't do drugs, kids.

Aftewards what follows is the best minute of your life. We cut back to the grocery store at day when we see Mr. Clipboard (played by Christopher Lloyd) talking to the owner about Brand X. Lloyd's performance as Mr. Clipboard is a combination of Judge Doom's overt maliciousness and toony horror and Doc Brown's bizarre speech mannerisms. It's accentuated by the abhorrent walk-cycle which really shines through when his voice goes from "sort of okay" to "why are you talking this way?". By god, it is beautiful. The tears I've shed seeing that minute over and over could fill a million seas. Mr. Clipboard then crushes a bag of chips because he's the obvious villain and then the owner weeps over them as a pirate voice curses Brand X for what they've done to one bag of chips. So, just to recap the logic of this movie so far, crushed chips equal murdering a child. Maybe that's a bit extreme, but it's almost played as so, mainly with how the owner grieves over the chips. Don't worry, it'll get more outrageous as it goes along.

Out of nowhere, we cut to a white-suited Dex (symbolism for how he's a good guy or just some generic hero get-up?), who apparently is grieving over not being able to save Sunshine and quitting the supermarket detective agency. I know sudden changes occur in a movie, but the pacing in how we cut from one thing to the next is just abysmal. Dan tries to cheer him up, though I'm more tempted to punch a brick wall hearing him blabber on. Apparently, Dex owns a club now thanks to Dan's wonderful expositional skills and Dan flies off seeing that Dex is crying over spilt milk. As Dan flies around we hear him trying to pick up...I mean booty call some random girl on the street, saying lines that 70s pornos would be ashamed of. Dan crashes his plane again (because hurr durr, collateral damage is funny), lands on a tree, and makes more poorly-done cartoonish humor. We cut back to Dex who finds himself in a shady alley, confronted by a weasel voiced by Lawrence Kasanoff. He's worse than Dan because unlike Dan, I can't respect the actor behind the disgusting animated abomination. Kasanoff here pulled a Tommy Wiseua, being the director, producer, writer and an actor in this film, sucking at each field. Plus the design of the weasel looks more inappropriate and filthy than sneaky and filthy. The weasel gets run over by a train, but averts a satisfying death because of a deus ex "writer-director-producer wants more screentime" and we cut to the Copa-Banana, followed by some more jukebox rejects and random product placement cameos.

I don't know what's sadder. Him being here or in Two and a Half Men.

Dex drinks himself some Irish milk as some pirate who I don't care about gets chipfaced on potato juice and then we get the femme failtale, Lady X(XX). If you thought Jessica Rabbit and Holli Would weren't the least bit subtle about being sultry smooth-talking sex-bombs, well, you're right, they weren't. Jessica did have the exaggeration down in a manner that was meant to tribute/parody the archetype and Holli Would at least had the decency to be in a movie that declared itself to be adult. Lady X is just a Hooters neon-sign designed by DeviantArt. Dex then makes the worst Casablanca reference in the world, followed by Dan doing some more smooth talking to get into Lady X's grocery aisle. The pirate character finds the Lady suspicious while Dex is wondering what's up with her familiar scent. A foodfight ensues with all the icons of brands, which is dissapointingly dull. You'd think that with all the weirdness and stupidity of the world that the action sequences would at least be entertaining in some way, but it's not. Save for like that one bit where the lady spins around the whole place, but maybe that's my selective "lolrandum" kicking in. Thankfully, Dex tells them to split...oh I'm sorry, I mean "banana-split"...out of his club as Lady X decided to go with the perverted Dan because she digs chocolate. Get it? Because chocolate stands for black people and black people have big penises. Surprisingly, my description of the joke makes it feel less blatant than how they deliver it. Dan celebrates his chance at getting his popsicle licked as Dex goes back to sulking some more about no sunshine. I'm just glad they didn't cover Bill Withers's hit. I don't want to imagine his body spinning so out of control that it then throws us off the planet. Oh wait...he's still alive. Thank god.

Lady X comes back, wearing her not-even-remotely-naughty schoolgirl uniform and tries to get to Dex. Dex doesn't care and then they go to a crime scene where an icon has been removed, causing the product it represents to go bad. I don't really understand why that's the case, couldn't they just get a new icon to fill in the place? There's millions upon millions of those things running about in the film, just have them be the new spokeperson. Hell, couldn't the grocer just get new products instead of having to submit to Brand X? Couldn't the grocery even make their own products? Then again, we don't know how powerful the grocery is yet...there's actually a lot we really don't know. Gah, whatever...cut to the grocery store where Mr. Clipboard is prancing about as gracefully as an epileptic ballerina, filling in for the products that have been removed. I'd love to talk about Mr. Clipboard some more, but before I can finish my sentence, it cuts back to Dex who keeps moping about Sunshine. Dude, I get it, you don't have her anymore. Just get a bone or a chew-toy, it's just as effective. A town hall meeting takes place whereupon Lady X and the rest of the NaXis take over Eggrolland with a speech that couldn't even rouse the most gullible sheep in the world. The weasel then comes back again and gets "killed" by a Nazi that sounds like an impersonation of a stuck-up, egocentric, over-acting "master thespian". After all, that was completely necessary.

As you'd expect, Dex comes back into the picture, breaking into Lady X's lair. The two then proceed to have the dullest tango in the world. And considering the set-pieces that they try to throw into the sequence to make it amusing like knocking down a weapons rack, breaking some fish-tank-thing, releasing a bunch of crazy-bird things, and then breaking a glass-ice-sculpture-thing, that makes the lack of enjoyment so much more prevalent. Oh and don't forget puns, because that sequence was full of them. So then guess what? Lady X turns out to be evil and then traps Dex with Dan in a washing machine. Of course they escape, and find out the totally-not-obvious plot of Brand X and then try to escape, bumping into another annoying character whose nose is twice the schnoz of Jimmy Durante. He's too annoying to even talk about. It interrupts the lack of humor that resonates from the Three Signs of the Apocalypse and cuts to a disturbing execution of an icon done by Brand X. It goes back to the three of them because this movie sucks at transitions. Dex gets the idea to go into daytime and cross to the other side of the store where they can find a computer that'll inform them about the evil plan of Brand X. Of course, in the daytime it's risky to go out because humans might see them. Lord knows no one wants to see those icons coming at them, they have enough to worry about. Although to be fair, if you saw the humans in this world, you'd probably want to become a hermit for the rest of your life. Dex and Dan barely make it to the other side, defying an incredibly ugly Brand X minion and the laws of physics.

Level 6: You are the devil, and you're drinking rubbing alcohol out of desperation.

While they're on the other side (god I wish that meant something else), they find the bat I was talking about early, voiced by Larry Miller. I suspect this movie was to pay off a gambling debt of his. Despite the design, he's one of the most hilarious characters in the movie. Partly because he sounds like if Larry Miller is rambling rather than saying lines, partly because they make the character a bumbling fool and partly because they make him into a gay bat. Yeah, this movie really knows how to push boundaries. They reach the computer which is working on IBM (I don't think anyone even knows what they are anymore), and find that both Sunshine and some prune brand was recalled by Brand X. Among other brands. And if they know how powerful Dex is, why don't they just recall him? Also, this just has him spouting more angst than ever. It's making Shadow look dignified! They get trapped, but then escape. More Brand X propaganda occurs, then Dex ends up back at his club and just in time! Brand X was going to make the icons sing allegiance to them. Fear not, for another terribly forced Casablanca reference is here to save the day! Brand X isn't pleased with their defiance and vows to get them back. This gives Dex enough time to apparently set up a trap to catch Brand X off-guard and launch out a more literal food fight. Well, more like a food war.

Now, you think that this would at least be moderately fun, what with the fight starting with the icons pouring hot chocolate (with marshmellows) on Brand X, and later bombarding them with food that would probably have fed an entire African village. At least there would be something that would keep you somewhat invested in the action. But nope. It just feels like it drags on endlessly and the desperate attempts at comedy and cartoon violence are more annoyingly frequent than an ad on Youtube. The weasel comes back, big surprise, and I guess helps out, I don't know, and neither do I care. The General of Brand X then kills some penguin which Dex apparently had some relationship with (yeah, this movie doesn't like explaining anything at all) and then Dex gets payback by covering him in tape and then running him over with a tomato soup can. And then afterwards he says some really terrible one-liner because that's really all Dex does. Say puns, one liners and just how much he misses Sunshine. He's flatter than flapjacks, I tell ya. Speaking of things I don't care about, a whole bunch of icons die! And Big-Nose comes back to assault your ear-drums! And then Dan comes back to grace you with his terrible presence! It's like Christmas morning in Hell!

Going back to our main character, Dex decides to infiltrate the Brand X HQ, but Lady X gets the upper hand, taking her to her lair again where Sunshine is being held captive by a Brand X soldier! Oh no! As they're having the good-guy-bad-guy-banter, I find that this part is funny for all the wrong reasons. Sure, Dex says perhaps one of the worst lines in all of history, but it's so bad it turns into a magnificent swan that majestically flies away. Sure, the sequence plays out more like a gritty action movie, but it leads to one of the best deaths in the entire film. The only issue I have is that the way Dex kills the soldier is by spitting a raisin at  a gun in mid-air. Really, a raisin? This would disappoint me, but that would imply that there was something in this movie that gave me hope. Dex and Sunshine go back to boring googly eyes (in some cases, I mean that literally), but then realize that they have to escape the building before it collapses. As you'd imagine, Dan comes to rescue, finally pulling off the loop-de-loop and not crashing the plane for once. Come to think of it, where does he get a new plane? Shouldn't they just revoke his flying license already? Why am I asking these questions?


Once they successfully land, the final boss emerges. That's right, Mr. Clipboard comes back, as if he were a drunk Godzilla. Wonderful, now they can all die and this movie can end! Or at the very least we get a decent fight. What's that? He gets defeated by dental floss? Well, now I'm disappointed. Thanks for that false hope, movie. It doesn't stop there though, because guess what? No...really...guess. It turns out Mr. Clipboard is Lady X in a human robot! And, she's also the icon of the prune brand that got recalled.


Let me see if I get this clear. Brand X recalled the prune brand, thus leading her to change her appearance into Lady X, and then take over as the head of Brand X in the form of a human robot? First off, if the brand was recalled that would either mean that she killed the original head of Brand X and then replaced the head with the robot of Mr. Clipboard or that she recalled herself. Second, how the hell did she get that human robot, let alone sneak into Brazil to get herself surgery?! I mean, I've seen asspulls in movies before, and some I could take, but there was absolutely no indication that the world they lived in was incredibly high-tech. Sure, talking icons and certain grocery related warfare makes sense, as well as the grocery city, but the human robot went too far. What's next, you're gonna tell me Sunshine could actually kick some ass and smack Lady X back to her ugly self? Hell, I'd buy that, it's less absurd and insulting than the HUMAN ROBOT. Fuck this, the movie ends with Dex and Sunshine back together and Brand X destroyed, whoop-de-damn-do.

Foodfight! is that combination of a movie gone so wrong that feels so right and a movie that is so abhorrent, you will no longer feel anything and roam the earth as an empty husk of your former self. The animation is awful, the attempts at comedy are awful, the whole plot is awful. How they shoehorn cameos of different products makes commercials look subtle. Half the actors are either boring or annoying, and it's sad considering that there's actually some talented people behind this. At the same time, Larry Miller Bat, Mr. Clipboard and the two Brand X head soldiers (one played Jerry Stiller, oddly enough) made up for what the others lacked and bizarrely enough, some of the abysmal lines are actually quite funny. The humor is not a conventional one, as well as it shouldn't. It takes a good amount of strength to stand this movie. It's awful beyond belief, you have to find some other way to enjoy yourself, and I guarantee you'll find it. Either in the disjointed nature of the production, the random animation jerks or simply because you get a kick out of horrible dialogue, there's bound to be something in this that you'll at least get a kick out of.


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