Friday, February 6, 2015

Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge out of Water [2015]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-I)  ChicagoTribune (1 1/2 Stars) (2 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B+)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (G. Ihnat) review

Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge out of Water [2015] (directed by Paul Tibbit, screenplay by Glenn Burger and Jonathan Aibel, story by Stephen Hillenberg and Paul Tibbit based on the Nichelodeon television series [IMDb] [wikip] by Stephen Hillenberg) is an UTTERLY SAFE if EVER FRENETIC film that will certainly give joy to all small kids (and kids at heart).  The film's an hour and thirty nine minutes of almost heroically sustained goofiness and features all the main characters of the animated series. 

These characters include the ever-optimistic SpongeBob himself (voiced by Tom Kenny); Mr. Crabs his "crabby boss" (voiced by Clancy Brown) at the Bikini Bottoms' very popular "Crab Shack"; the extremely jealous of Crabs' success Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence); Patrick Star, S.B's nice (can't really say "goodhearted" when talking of a starfish ;-) but certainly rather "simpleminded" (again he's a STARFISH) BFF (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke); Squidward Tentacles, S.B.'s much more pessimistic even surly at times coworker (voiced by Roger Bumpass) and Sandy Cheeks an amiable rodent who hangs-out at BB in a deep-sea diving suit (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) who's not exactly a "fish out of water" but ... it's not easy to explain why she's there ... but everybody seems to like her just the same ;-).

The story in this film takes place both on land and in the sea and, even for a brief moment, somewhere far far away in space where a lonely but super-responsible (and super intelligent...) dolphin named Bubbles (voiced by Matt Berry) protects the earth from otherwise certain cometary/asteroid disaster.

Okay, so what kind of story can one come-up with this cast of characters? Well all kinds -- the television series has been running since 1999.  In the current film, an appropriately goofily named pirate, human actually, Burger Beard (played by an appropriately desperately looking Antonio Banderas) arrives at an island where, following a treasure map, he hacks his way to a long lost tomb at the center of which is a book which magically determines the course of all things: whatever is written into the book takes place.

Well, getting his hands on the book, he uses it to ... Now Readers, if you got your hands on such a book, what would you it for? ... Now forget all that ;-) ..  Instead, ask yourselves: If you were a 4 year old and a big fan of SpongeBob SquarePants, what would you use the book for? ;-) 

Well, isn't it obvious?  Pirate Burger Beard uses this "Book of Destiny" to STEAL "Mr. Crabs' Secret Crab Cakes Recipe" the the recipe that makes his Crab Shack soo successful (and Mr. Plankton SOO JEALOUS) and keeps all the residents of Bikini Bottoms both HAPPY and (probably) addicted to said awesomely tasty crab cakes ;-).  He then buys a restaurant truck and begins to make a killing selling his newly awesomely tasty crab cakes to (human) tourists on a beach nearby.

Well the loss of "Mr. Crabs' Secret Crab Cakes Recipe" results in an INSTANT collapse of "civilization as we've known it" at Bikini Bottoms.  And the rest of the movie follows ...

WHO STOLE THE RECIPE?  Everybody thinks it was Mr. Plankton.  But if he did, wouldn't he soon start selling the awesome crab cakes himself?  SOOO ... Even the not overly bright SpongeBob comes to realize that Mr. Plankton couldn't be the one.  But WHO-DONE-IT? ... And could a bunch of amiable if NONE TOO BRIGHT "bottom dwellers" figure things out ;-)

In the end, the film becomes a "who done it?" / "thriller" for four year olds ;-)

Again, kinda fun and ALWAYS REALLY, REALLY CUTE ;-)

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