It is astounding that the movie “Foodfight!” was ever completed. An entire decade went by between the start of the project and the much delayed release, which is unfathomable for a movie with such low quality. Apparently, hard drives that contained the lion’s share of the film were stolen during the initial development, forcing the project back to square one. Understandably, that would cause an exceptional delay for a CG animated movie, if not the outright cancellation of the project. In any case, that setback should not have pushed the movie back an entire decade. That is just ludicrous.
Despite the ample time given to production, the final product that is “Foodfight!” is an abysmal sight. The animation is amateurish at best, and nightmare-inducingly horrific at worst. I have heard that the budget ultimately exceeded 45 million dollars, which is a dumbfounding number for what looks like a community college commercial. Then again, I have to assume that a lot of that money went towards work time: 10 years is a lot of hours, no matter how you cut it. It is anyone’s guess how much was spent on the initial stolen animation as well. Regardless, the movie is a multi-million dollar visual train-wreck, and that is only the beginning of the issues with this film.
Doing the already poor-quality animation no favors, there is a clear attempt to imitate the frenetic style of Tex Avery cartoons in this movie. Not unlike in “Son of the Mask”, mixing poor imitations of Tex-style cartoonishness with computer-generation is nothing but horrifying. Just take a look at a couple of .gifs from the movie:
To say that product placement features prominently in “Foodfight!” would be a dramatic understatement. The entire premise of the movie centers around the idea of brand recognition and competition between brand-name and generic products. Even the poster for the movie emphasizes the background real-world brand mascots over the actual stars of the movie.
Blatant product placement on top of some of the worst CG work in decades? Surely this movie couldn’t get any worse, right? I wish that were true, I really do. But, I can’t avoid addressing all of the other evident issues with this movie. Let’s start with the innappropriate sexiness for a children’s film:
Yeah, there’s a lot of this. The two central women in the story, voiced by Eva Longoria and Hillary Duff, are constantly depicted as sexually as the filmmakers felt that they could get away with. Why is Eva Longoria’s character in a schoolgirl outfit in the picture above? No reason. Why are the two characters dancing like that? In fact, why are they dancing at all? There is no reason for them to be dancing, they literally start dancing out of the blue in private, without any music playing. It is absolutely unprecedented in the movie. Hillary Duff’s character isn’t as blatantly sexual as Longoria’s, but there are a lot of almost-upskirt shots that tread a very fine line of inappropriateness, and the movie doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt in my opinion.
Last but not least, the writing and performances in this movie are about as bad as any I have come across. The plot is primarily pulled out of other movies, most notably (and baffling) from “Casablanca”. There is an argument that it is just an homage, but I think it goes more than a few steps beyond a mere send-up: it treads the line pretty close to being a full-blown re-imagining of the story. The dialogue is both lazily recorded and poorly written: you are given a mix of lack-luster, dull performances (Charlie Sheen), excessively over-the-top deliveries (Christopher Lloyd, Wayne Brady), and nearly inaudible ramblings (Chris Kattan). It all ultimately blurs together into the twisted mess that is this movie, however.
It is hard to separate this film out into its individual, abysmal parts: it all synthesizes together into a maelstrom of incompetence, that has contributed to this film becoming a cult favorite of bad movie enthusiasts since its 2012 release. I can personally recommend watching this movie at least once: not because there is much humor to be had, but because it is a spectacle and experience that must be seen. There is nothing quite like “Foodfight!” out there, and who knows if we will ever see something like this again.
Here are a couple of popular reviews of “Foodfight!” worth checking out: