Writing funny headlines does not mean you can write a funny film. The folks behind the popular satirical newspaper The Onion have learned that the hard way with "The Onion Movie," a sketch-based comedy that's been sitting on the shelf for about four years. It's not unwatchable as rumored, but Lordy, is it leaden.
Using an Onion News Network broadcast as a very loose framework, the flick veers wildly from bit to bit, few of which offer a point or a punch line. The one exception is the fake trailer for the action bonanza "Cockpuncher," starring Steven Seagal; one wishes it had been turned into a longer bit like the "Fistful of Yen" sequence in "Kentucky Fried Movie," a landmark comedy this one tries to emulate.
Much of it is in poor taste, most notably a "rape party" sketch, and too many scenes hinge on cheap racial humor. Worse, the jokes simply aren't funny. Nice try, guys. Please don't try again.