The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water: Film Review
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Matt Berry
Director: Paul Tibbitt
Proving you don't necessarily need to have a message to tout, the animated antics of Spongebob Squarepants on the big screen is nothing more than being here for a zany time.
It's back to Bikini Bottom for a second time in this latest that blends time travel, real life and animated antics into one zany goofball fritter.
It all starts when maligned restaurant owner Plankton tries to make off with Krusty Krabs' secret formula. Continually annoyed that the Krabby patties keep flying out of the doors, Plankton's determined to get his paws on it, and somehow manages to succeed.
However, that brings around the apocalypse (complete with bondage gear for Mr Krabs) and suddenly, Spongebob's world is transformed when he has to work with Plankton to reinstate what relative order there was before.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water is little more than zaniness thrown together with some touches of surreality.
If you're a fan of the Sponge, you'll know what to expect, and to be frank, this is nothing more than an extended episode of the show with a plot stretched so thin, it's practically non-existent. Instead, a series of brightly coloured gags, moments and insanity is poured forth from the screen in a non-stop barrage of lunacy aimed at winning you over.
Mixing in some of Ren and Stimpy's visuals works for the flick, and Antonio Banderas' live action performance as a pirate that's hiding more than you realise, there's little to rail against as the story pours forth. The simple message is one of teamwork, but to be frank, it's neither here nor there as the time passes. Though the motif of the story within a story nicely collides together at the end of the piece, in a touch that's welcome but hardly original.
Nods to The Shining, The Avengers and Mad Max all play out fine; but at the end of the day, this is a film that hits its nadir with the moment when Matt Berry appears and voices a dolphin from the future who shoots a laser from his blowhole and helps Spongebob and his pals to take on Antonio Banderas' pirate in real life. ( A move which recalls the animation style of The Simpsons' venture in the real world all those years ago)
Suitably lunatic, anarchic, occasionally subversive, mercifully short and stretched about as far as it can go, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water will appeal to Spongebob's legion of fans; there's little new for those unaware of the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom even though there's just enough adult moments to amuse - but not on a par with the likes of The Lego Movie, the Toy Storys or the recent Shaun The Sheep Movie.
Goofball and day-glo, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water will amuse the youngsters over the holiday - it serves its core audience brilliantly; nothing more, nothing less.