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spongebob_squarepants_two_ver2THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER

Written by Glenn Berger & Jonathan Aibel / Directed by Paul Tibbitt / Starring Antonio Banderas, with voices by Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke and Mr. Lawrence.

It’s just another day for SpongeBob and his pals in Bikini Bottom at the onset of THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, but what happens when the Krusty Krab runs out of its signature hamburger and loses the secret formula, halting its ability to feed the masses and turn a profit for Mr. Krabs? Why, the apocalypse of course.

That premise right there sets the tone for the ensuing hour in which everyone’s favourite underwater pineapple-dwelling character sets off on his latest adventure to find the missing recipe for Mr. Krabs and stop the violent chaos that has overtaken Bikini Bottom in the wake of the krabby patty drought. Best friend Patrick has now become an enemy, driven to madness by his insatiable hunger, so SpongeBob’s only ally is Plankton and the two are forced to work together to restore order. So where does Antonio Banderas fit in? The story is framed by a narrative in which his character, Burger-Beard, has stolen a book containing SpongeBob’s story, and along with it the ability to write/rewrite the sponge’s fate as he sees fit.


Both the film’s title and its trailers are a tad misleading, as this sponge spends much more of the movie in the water than out of it; around about the 65-minute mark, he and the rest of the gang are all still puttering around in Bikini Bottom.  And expectations aside, a lot of the humour falls flat in this one, which is made even more disappointing by the fact that the writers rely heavily on repetition and trying to get as much mileage out of each joke as possible, and then some. There really are only so many times you can get a giggle out of Plankton pronouncing “team” as “TM” or the sight of Mr. Krabs in a leather onesie (what else would a crab wear to the apocalypse?). The plot is disjointed at best, bouncing from Burger-Beard and his book to Bikini Bottom and the end of days, not to mention time travel and space dolphins. And for the record, 93 minutes is a good 15 too long, even for such a convoluted storyline.

It’s difficult to enjoy watching this movie as much as Banderas seems to enjoy appearing in it. Enthusiastic to say the very least, he treats the part of Burger-Beard as the role of a lifetime, delivering every line, prance and villainous act with the overinflated gusto you would expect from a SpongeBob movie’s live action pirate. It’s simultaneously entertaining and unnerving. But then again, this is SpongeBob and the silliness is part and parcel. The jokes that don’t come off as forced are actually pretty good and the (eventual) combination of animation and live action allow for some interesting experimentation. The key to THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER is lowered expectations. Or, as one theatregoer was overheard remarking: “I want to go higher”. She may have been talking about her seat, but she may have actually been on to something there too.

2.5 sheep

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