By Christopher Hill –
Are you ready, readers?
Aye, aye, reviewer!
I can’t hear you!
Aye, aye, reviewer!
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
A marketer’s dream of a cash grab is he!
If nautical nonsense be somethingyou wish,
Then this unmemorable feature is a perfect dish!
Ha, ha, ha!
The laughter is not from the audience. Instead, it comes from the Nickelodeon executives who decided it was time to roll SpongeBob SquarePants back to the big screen to improve bonuses this year. For fans of the series, of which I am one, there is a similar ring to the story as Bob’s arch nemesis Plankton is back, and as always, he is trying to steal the famous formula for Krabby Patties, the apparent addiction of choice for the residents of Bikini Bottom. The recipe mysteriously disappears, and their home rapidly turns into an apocalyptic mess. For the uninitiated, if neither of those sentences makes sense, don’t worry — neither does the movie.
Of course, that is a part of the charm of SpongeBob. The bottom line is that Sponge and his team have to go to the surface to find and return with the recipe. If you had seen the film preview or any of the advance marketing, you would have thought the movie was a three-dimensional SpongeBob adjusting to life in our world, a sponge out of water story, so to speak. Instead, it takes an hour just to get to the surface, and unfortunately, not much is done with the 3-D world. Instead, the executives cash in on trends, with Sponge and his team being granted powers. As the Bikini Bottom version of the Avengers, all have odd and amusing skill sets, where they each conveniently find their way to stopping the bad guy and turning everything back to normal by the time the credits roll.
Watching the review in a theater filled with children, including one of my own, had me braced for raucous laughter. The theater was relatively quiet. Sure, everyone applauded at the end, but I wondered if it was for the craftsmanship or for the brief duration of the film. As an adult, I think one of the best parts of SpongeBob is the nods above the heads of their main demographic — stray comments crafted to keep the older set engaged. Will kids like it? Sure. Will you enjoy sitting through it? Probably not. There just isn’t enough for adults to enjoy over the full 92 minutes of the film.
Of course, this wasn’t written for adults. It was written for college-aged kids in between bouts of the munchies and for young kids. If you are in those subsets, you will find reasons to enjoy the film — and there are moments to enjoy. Unfortunately, these moments are just too few and far between. This is a typical show from the series slightly dressed up to rob you of your gold. No wonder the main villain is a pirate. Arghhhhhh!
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Now Showing: In Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: PG