Foodfight! is a 2012 computer-animated adventure/comedy film directed by Larry Kasanoff, who also produced the first two Mortal Kombat films.
The movie was supposed to come out in time for the Christmas 2003 Season, but in December 2002, all of the film's footage was stolen by unknown robbers (in what was quoted as an act of "industrial espionage".) The movie was released 10 years later, but at a point where the film was incomplete. The film's state would lead it to become one of, if not the worst animated movie of all time.
Foodfight! takes place in the "Marketropolis" supermarket after closing time. The supermarket transforms into a city, in which all the citizens are personified well-known marketing icons, also known as "Ikes". The story opens with the protagonist Dex Dogtective saving kittens before he tells his friend, Daredevil Dan, that he is about to ask his girlfriend Sunshine Goodness to marry him. However, Dan attempts to draw a picture of Dex proposing using the smoke exhaust from his plane but crashes and Sunshine goes to assist Dan before Dex can propose. Dan returns, but has no idea of what happened to Sunshine.
Six months later, Mr. Clipboard, a representative for a mysterious company known as Brand X, arrives at Marketropolis to persuade the owner to stock products made by Brand X. While there, he crushes some potato chips, which becomes a large topic of discussion with the Ikes. At the Copabanana, Dex's club, Dex talks to the Ike whose chips were stomped, before meeting the Brand X detergent Ike, Lady X. A fight breaks out, forcing Dex to order everybody out of his club. Lady X leaves with Daredevil Dan.
Later, back in Dex's home, Lady X drops in on Dex where she attempts to seduce him while using him as an alibi for when they find a group of Ikes dead in the street, which causes their respective products to expire. Dex is asked to investigate but doesn't want to get involved until he finds out Dan is missing. New Brand X products and Ikes quickly replace the destroyed products, which causes Dex to suspect Lady X, who tries to bring him over to her side. He refuses and gets locked into a dryer with Dan to be melted, but they escape. Dan and Dex find out that the secret ingredient in Brand X is addictive and toxic and decide to send for a recall with the owner's computer.
They get to the computer find out that Sunshine and the Ugly Prune brand were recalled and the computer gets shut off by a Brand X Ike before they can be sure their recall went through. They decide to fight, and Dex has a plan where everyone puts lightning rods on their buildings while one Ike goes to cut the power while the Brand X Ikes are distracted in a massive food fight. The cut power somehow causes a lighting storm that destroys the Brand X buildings because they don't have lightning rods.
Dex goes inside a Brand X tower to find that they have Sunshine and are holding her hostage. They escape the building with the help of Dan to see that Mr. Clipboard has entered their world, but it's soon revealed that he was just a robot with Lady X inside (as it was hinted by his stiff and bizarre movements). Lady X reveals that she is actually Priscilla Prusly, the Ugly Prune Ike. She had grown jealous of Sunshine and had them both recalled. She got a makeover and was able to create Brand X using Sunshine's essence. Priscilla then tries to kill Dex, but Sunshine fights her and reverts her back to her true form - a hideous hunchbacked woman, much to everyone's shock and disgust. Priscilla is then taken to the expiration station to be disposed of. The citizens of Marketropolis find a cure for the poison, and Dex and Sunshine get married.
Lawrence Kasanoff and a Threshold Entertainment employee named Joshua Wexler created the concept in 1999. A $25 million joint investment into the project was made by Threshold and the Korean investment company Natural Image. The producers of the film expected that foreign pre-sales and loans against the sales would provide the remaining portion of the budget. The estimated remainder was $50 million.
The film was created and produced by the digital effects shop at Threshold, located in Santa Monica, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In late 2002/early 2003, Kasanoff reported that hard drives containing unfinished assets from the film had been stolen in what he called an act of "industrial espionage". The film was supposed to be computer-animated, with an exaggerated use of "squash and stretch" to resemble the Looney Tunes shorts, but after production resumed in 2004, Kasanoff changed it to a style more centered in motion capture, with the result being that "he and animators were speaking two different languages".
Lionsgate established a distribution deal and the financing company StoryArk represented investors who gave $20 million in funding to Threshold in 2005 due to the Lionsgate deal, the celebrity voice actors, and the product tie-ins. A release date in 2005 was later announced, but missed. Another distribution deal was struck in 2007, but again, nothing came of it. Lionsgate had a negative reaction to the delays. The investors had grown impatient due to the film production company defaulting on its secured promissory note and the release dates that were not met. Finally, in 2011, the film was auctioned for $2.5 million. StoryArk investors had ultimately invoked a clause in their contract that allowed the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, which had insured Foodfight!, to complete and release the film as inexpensively and quickly as possible.
Why It Sucks
- Scarily ugly visuals and creepy character designs.
- Dreadful and horrendous animation.
- The animation's lip-syncing is completely off-track.
- Revolting character models (like the shopper lady). The old versions of said models are much better.
- The appearance of the main protagonist Dex is a blatant rip-off of Indiana Jones.
- Sunshine Goodness is supposed to be the Sunmaid Raisin woman, but they made her look like a humanoid cat person.
- The characters are either annoying, cringey or both.
- Poor attempts at humor that results in kitsch lines from the characters. Dex's constant food puns are an example. The line he says that's most infamous for not making sense is "Let's strawberry jam out of here!"
- Extremely poor sound mixing.
- The motion-capture arm acting and facial expressions were absolutely terrible, with jokes and even rumors of how it was made using Kinect. Two notable examples would be when Doctor Si Nustrix (who has an extremely big nose and is voiced by James Arnold Taylor) is talking to Dex, you can see in the background that Dan's looking like he's spazzing out. Another one would be when the Brand X army are marching, they constantly throw their hands around.
- The poster is a lie for no reason, since it pushes the main characters to the lower-left corner and showcases the side characters. The box art also rips off the box art of Over The Hedge.
- Certain scenes are stolen from well-known films like Casablanca where the French people use their National Anthem to fight against the Nazis.
- The film’s just a half hour of continuous product placement.
- Awful splatter special effects.
- Nazi references and racial stereotyping that are inappropriate for children.
- The film's climatic battle scene goes on for 30 minutes, consisting mostly of the mascots throwing food at the Brand X army, complete with recycling shots repeatedly.
- Inconsistent and nonsensical writing.
- The creators of the movie clearly know nothing about animals. For example, at the beginning of the film, Dex is fighting a criminal that is obviously a rat, but for a weird reason, Dex keeps on calling him "Fat Cat". The creators don't even know the difference between a rat and a cat and also throughout the movie Dex eats raisins despite them being poisonous to dogs. In another scene Dex offers cheese to some hamsters even though it is dangerous for hamsters to eat cheese.
- It wasted the talents of Charlie Sheen, Wayne Brady, Hilary and Haylie Duff, Eva Longoria, Cloris Leachman, Robert Costanzo, Jeff Benett, Christopher Lloyd, Ed Ashner, etc.
- Some scenes have sexual acts and innuendo that are also inappropriate for children. The film would have worked better as an adult animated film instead.
- In the scene where Dex and Lady X are dancing, Lady X says "I wanna scrub your bubbles, Dex!"
- During the battle scene, there is a point where it looks as if a bunch of airplanes launched right out of Lady X's crotch.
- There's a scene in the middle of the fight where Daredevil Dan says "Are those melons real?"
- Before Lieutenant X dies, his last words are "I think I just wet myself. It feels rather nice...", which are very inappropriate.
- Larry Kasanoff had no experience as a director or producer, leading to scenes being redone repetedly, the contrast between motion capture and squash-and-stretch, and the approval of sex jokes.
- Continuous padding.
- The music and songs are actually nice to listen to.
- The partially found early version did show better animation than the final product.
- Great voice acting.