Unfrosted review: "Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix movie is a deliciously silly, spoofy tale"

(Image: © Netflix)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

A deliciously silly, spoofy tale of the 60s battle for breakfast domination, filled with high-fructose fun.

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As packed with yuks as a Pop Tart is with fruit-adjacent filling, Jerry Seinfeld’s wacky, pastel-coloured comedy turns the sorta-true story of the 1963 Kellogg's/Post Foods ‘boxed breakfast pastry’ wars into a hilarious, The Right Stuff-styled battle to be the titan of toaster treats. 

Taking on the ruthless Marjorie Post (Amy Schumer), wily Kellogg’s marketing exec Bob Cabana (Seinfeld) and freewheeling food tech Donna ‘Stan’ Stankowski (Melissa McCarthy) assemble an eccentric team of Taste Pilots, whose exploding/disgusting/downright creepy inventions splatter the film with sight gags. 

Resurrecting the zany, gag-crammed, scattergun comedy of Airplane! and its ilk, Seinfeld nimbly packs Unfrosted with fond film spoofs. Bob and Stan are menaced Godfather-style by murderous milkmen – and after enlisting a Narcos-style sugar baron, they find that their cereal war has JFK threatening nuclear armageddon. 

A knowing twist on the ‘product origin story’ trend that brought us Air, Flamin’ Hot, BlackBerry, et al, it’s unashamedly a gags-first film, rather than an Anchorman-esque absurdist parody. So the mad rush to see how many jokes, pastiches and celebrity cameos it can pack in (there’s a terrific Mad Man interlude) produces a periodically frantic feel, amped up by the many 60s hits on the soundtrack.

Lovers of TV classic Seinfeld will spot traces of Jerry’s wisecracking deadpan in Bob. But otherwise big, broad performances (like Hugh Grant’s turn as an actorish, mascot-revolt-inciting Tony The Tiger) are the order of the day. Seinfeld’s assured direction (he’s a first-time helmer at 70) keeps the story popping like a hot breakfast treat, including a shot-for-shot Apollo 13-homaging toaster take-off.

Unfrosted is available to stream on Netflix from May 3. Here's our guides to the best Netflix movies and the best Netflix shows to stream now.

Freelance Writer

Kate is a freelance film journalist and critic. Her bylines have appeared online and in print for GamesRadar, Total Film, the BFI, Sight & Sounds, and WithGuitars.com.