Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Review

Man, it's been ages since I've seen Spongebob...
Spongebob and I have had a very sordid history. I remember watching the very first episode when it first was aired and I remember passionately watching every episode as a kid. I was one of the first people in line for The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, and I was one of the biggest fans of Spongebob growing up. But then, I just stopped. I don't remember why, but it was in 2006. I was just watching it on TV, and I just didn't find it funny. It didn't have any spark or passion to it. I just fell out of it and stayed that way for nearly a decade. I still remember it, but I remember it in the same way that a kid remembers Rocko's Modern Life or Aah! Real Monsters; they were fun shows that we look back fondly on, but wouldn't exactly be up to watching a whole season of it.

Fast forward now to being a surly adult, and I'm at a crossroads here. Society says that I shouldn't be vocal about liking Sponge Out of Water because it's aimed at kids, but I can't help it. I thought this movie was a riot and it reminded me why I loved Spongebob so much as a kid. It gave me a spark again and reminded me that even though I left Bikini Bottom as a kid, I came back into it with open arms. And as soon as I got there, I forgot that everyone in the town is insane and demented and OH MY GOD THEY'RE TRUNINGINTOMADMAX!!!

Yeah, this movie was absolutely nuts, there's no question about it. I remember the show was always weird, but this was just sheer insanity. The movie itself is split into two parts. The first half deals with Spongebob and Plankton going on a quest to find the missing Krabby Patty formula while everyone in Bikini Bottom has gone post-apocalyptic out of fear that without Krabby Patty's, society will fall. The other half of the movie is the much anticipated superhero segments that you've been seeing in all of the posters and trailers. In there, they discover that the formula was taken by the villainous Burger Beard, a pirate that wants to use the Krabby Patty formula to open up his own restaurant and have the world's most successful food truck. In actuality, the superhero segment, as well as the segment when they're up on dry land, is only for about 20 minutes. The rest of the movie is classic Spongebob animation and style.

Truth be told, I'm glad that most of the movie is done in classic Spongebob animation. Generally speaking, I will always prefer 2D animation to 3D animation. There's just something more colorful and vivid about it than watching animated models. I'll do whatever it takes to support a classic 2D movie, plus it just fits Sponge Out of Water more. It's Spongebob on a bigger budget, so the sequences that you get from it are really well done and trippy as all hell. There are several sequences in this movie that left me confused, but rolling in my chair based on how ludicrous the movie got. Spongebob and Plankton pretty much meet God in this movie and take over his job for a little bit.

One criticism that I've been hearing a lot about this movie is that it's pretty much two completely different stories just mixed together. The Burger Beard section and the Post Apocalyptic plots are only tied together by the thinnest of threads, but it doesn't really matter all that much. So what if it feels like two completely different stories? Both of them are still funny and enjoyable.

And oh my God the jokes. I know I said before that it's been a while since I've dabbled in the world of Spongebob, but nearly every joke in this movie was on point. I was laughing, chuckling, smirking, and outright terrified at some of the jokes in this movie. It says a lot when a movie, in one segment, features a dirty adult joke, a Shining reference, whimsical kid humor, and psychedelic candy animation. There wasn't a scene in this movie I wasn't laughing at, and for a kids movie, that's a very high compliment.

The biggest surprise for me though was that this really wasn't a Spongebob movie. Sure the character was in it, but he wasn't the main focus of the movie. Really, this was a movie about Plankton. He was the best character in the movie by far. Whether it was his dry cynicism or his shenanigans with Spongebob, Plankton was in nearly every scene and featured heavily on the plot. While characters like Mr. Krabs and Patrick were strong supporting characters and had some of the best jokes in the movie, Plankton is what really drove the plot forward and made him come out as a better person by the end of it (kind of).

While I was a bit disappointed that Sandy or Squidward didn't get as much screen time (and not even a mention of Doodlebob!!!), that's still very hard for me to complain about. I didn't feel like a kid again while watching this movie, but it reminded me why Spongebob was stuck around for so long and is still one of the greatest cartoons in existence. The jokes work, the characters are great, and it's just a show that had endured the test of time.

Is there really anything else to say about this movie besides the fact that it's a Spongebob Squarepants movie? Kids will love it, teenagers will get a kick out of it, and parents may even dig it. I know I did. There's a stigma that animated movies, especially ones based off of kids shows, aren't as good as "adult" movies, or movies that are aimed at older audiences. At the end of the day, who cares? Movies are movies and should be judged on their own merits, regardless of who the intended audience is. If a movie is good, more power to it! If a movie is bad, then it's a bad movie. Genre and audience does not dictate if a movie is going to be good or not. Hell, I'm going to be seeing 50 Shades of Grey, and even though it most likely going to suck, it won't be because it's an adult romance movie. It's because the source material is awful. Likewise, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is a good movie not because of it's genre, but because it's a great movie.

Oh, and it has an Epic Rap Battle of History tribute to it at the end. This movie kicked ass.


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