Take a Drink: every time Plankton incorrectly pronounces “team.”
Do a Shot: every time someone says “formula.”
Do a Shot: for every psychotically bizarre visual trip.
Take a Drink: for every joke Burgerbeard is involved in that doesn’t make you laugh.
By: Hawk Ripjaw (Four Beers) –
We open on a very cheap, soundstage-looking island where a pirate, Captain Burgerbeard (Antonio Banderas) is searching for a book. At the center of the jungle, hidden behind a series of spike traps, in the arms of a skeleton, sits the book. Burgerbeard takes the book, which awakens the skeleton. They have a boxing match for the book and the skeleton uppercuts Burgerbeard so hard he flies off the island and lands on his boat.
Already I’m a little bit nervous, but I press on as Captain Burgerbeard starts to read the story to his talking seagulls, one of whom loudly and randomly shits over the side of the boat.
Another day, another plot by Plankton to steal the secret formula for Krabby Patties from the Krusty Krab. This time, however, as SpongeBob and Plankton wrestle over the formula, it vanishes into thin air. With no Krabby Patties, the world immediately (and I’m talking there’s a smash cut) dissolves into Mad Max-style post-apocalypse, and everyone is out for Plankton’s blood. SpongeBob, knowing that Plankton was for once not at fault, teams up with the villain to figure out what happened to the formula.
SpongeBob fans won’t be disappointed for the duration of Sponge Out of Water. A great majority of the film, mercifully, takes place under the ocean where none of that horrible above ground nonsense factors in.
There are some nice moments of complete batshit insanity, mostly involving an extended psychedelic time travel sequence with Plankton and SpongeBob sure to give anyone with enough marijuana in their system some serious mental scars. I’m surprised there wasn’t screaming in the theater when they introduced a dolphin as the Watcher of the universe. It’s shit like this that really drives the movie, and I wish it was a little more consistent.
Remember those old Spongebob episodes? About 15 minutes of divine weirdness. Can you imagine how strained that might feel when spread out over a length six times that? More strained than the time I pulled too hard while unwrapping a Snickers. More strained than trying to explain why you liked Jupiter Ascending. More strained than if you had a dinner party with all of your exes with the only rule being that there is no sex allowed.
There are some sublimely strange scenes here that are the pure, fantastic SpongeBob that we’ve all come to know and love, and the film has many instances of hilariously nutty writing. It’s oil and water, however, to some frustratingly juvenile pieces elsewhere. Captain Burgerbeard, played by Antonio Banderas as a bargain basement Captain Jack Sparrow, occupies intermittent live action sequences with his talking seagull crew where he’s reading the book of SpongeBob’s story as a framing device. These scenes are painful. Back underwater, aways into the film SpongeBob and Plankton have a musical number about teamwork. Luckily, I don’t remember it at all, except that I hated it while it was playing. Why are there such epically unfunny moments when elsewhere in the movie there are legitimately hilarious jokes?
The movie screeches to a halt when our heroes reach the surface. Again, we are lucky in that the trailers, which suggest that they spend the whole fucking movie out of the water posing as lame superheroes with groaner jokes that the kids don’t even laugh at, are inaccurate. This is just the final act. But those last 30 minutes are weaker than the charm of those Vine Vera mall kiosk salespeople that apparently use an actual script to try to make you feel good to then sell you product, which is made with wine. This happened to me the other day. The guy told me I had great skin but my pores were open and then he started touching my hand and rubbing some stuff on it and all I wanted was to go get some fucking Chinese food. Is it too much to ask? The only time I want wine on my face is if I’m too drunk to aim properly.
Really, once our heroes are on the surface the movie just tries to tie everything together and get to the ending.
A perfectly average SpongeBob adventure, though there is not much of a discernible reason why this couldn’t have been a TV special (I mean, yeah, money, but come on).
Really, it all boils down to how much you like the current version of SpongeBob. This is not as good as the original episodes or even the first movie. Sponge Out of Water follows the recent trend of the show of stuffing as much screaming, loud colors, and insane shit into the picture as humanly possible without literally having a seizure. I like all of those things, especially when I’m with a woman, which is probably why I don’t have much luck past the first date. But even Sponge Out of Water starts to push it a little. Sadly though, this is not anything near that great older material the show used to serve up.
And seriously, fuck Burgerbeard.