de facto film reviews 1 star

Jerry Seinfeld needs to stop making movies. If not as an actor, at least as a director and writer, because Unfrosted is easily the worst film this reviewer has seen in the last few years. A film so bad and wrong that it deserves little respect, and a film which unfolds in a way that only as you are about a quarter into it, do you realize how wrong it is. I am not sure that there are any drugs left in the state of California, after this one. I’m not sure there was any taste or intelligence in the making of this, either.

Despite a cast of very talented people, this is an utter failure. That is not to say there are not moments which are slightly amusing. But there is a cruelty here and a flippancy that goes beyond comedy. This is not satire. This is idiocy. When a film contains historical figures, it owes those figures a modicum of truth, and this film denies the figures any truth. While I understand where the humor is coming from, it is both misguided and exceedingly poorly executed. Now, what is that, you may ask, and why, or how?

Unfrosted - Tony the Tiger

Courtesy of Netflix

How about a film that rather than skewering things, in a way that makes you think or laugh, merely celebrates cruelty, ignorance and stupidity and consistently makes the opposite argument it thinks it has made? A film that is so bad, I will proceed to save you the time of seeing it, so as to ruin what this film has to offer, and that is not much.

Kids swimming in garbage, looking for leftovers. Milkmen as a criminal syndicate. Kellogg and Post as warring factions run by absolute buffoons, who hire even dumber people to front for them. John F. Kennedy being a panicky, angst-ridden and moronic fool, on live television. The same for Walter Kronkite, and some unfortunate Silly Putty. A mocking of the space program, and those who participated in the early days of the program. Now, before you get angry and say “it is just a comedy” or “that’s the point, they were stupid to think the worst of all these wonderful people” well, that is not how it plays. It plays like the characters-and makers-are convinced of their positions. Is it heightened? Yes, because it is a comedy, but this is a comedy with hardly a grunt or chuckle, let alone a laugh. There might be a smile, or two, and that is only when Don Draper and Roger Sterling, of Mad Men, show up.

Unfrosted - Awards Show

Courtesy of Netflix

Oh, and before I forget, the complete and utter insult of making light the January 6th attack on the Capitol building. To take a performer like Thurl Ravenscroft, a true professional, and recast him as a pretentious Jacob Chansley figure, is appalling. This is only one problem, though. The film thinks it is being clever and pointing out how sad the January 6th attack was, while ignoring how dangerous it was and what it represented. It is satire without bite because it has no depth, no meaning and does not understand what it is trying to be about, so becomes something else entirely. It would have been better for the entire film to be about a fictional company based on Kellogg, and something similar to the creation of Pop-Tarts, rather than this broadside that leaves its audience looking for an exit. (along with the poor creature two characters create in a lab)

Unfrosted - Bags

Courtesy of Netflix

I laughed not once during this film. I chuckled perhaps twice. I grinned and smiled once, only during the aforementioned Mad Men cameo. Did I mention that they treat historical figures in the most racist and ethno-stereotypical ways, too? Italians, Germans, Latinos, all get their moment to become props, as does a black man in black face, on the stage, doing a terrible routine. Do not see this one. Hopefully, Netflix has a server malfunction and loses the master copy.

Unfrosted is now streaming on Netflix.