SpongeBob goes on a quest to discover a stolen recipe that takes him to our dimension, our world, where he tangles with a pirate.
My nephew loves Spongebob SquarePants. He watches it pretty much every day. He is 8 years-old and my other nephew who is almost 20, used to watch it when he was young so I am very proficient in the Spongebob SquarePants universe. I know a lot of people, adults especially, who hate the show because at times, Spongebob can be very irritating, making horrible, excruciatingly painful noises and laughing uncontrollably in that high-pitched, tortuous laugh but at times, the show can be pretty amusing and not just for kids. I never actually saw the first Spongebob movie back in 2004 but I know I’ve more than made up for it by seeing the latest one because I didn’t just sit in a movie theater and watch it, I sat in a movie theater and watched it in 3-D! Yup, that’s right, Spongebob in 3-D.
And to be perfectly honest, I actually had fun. The movie pretty much felt like an extended TV episode and thankfully, the producers cut way back on a lot of the little annoying mannerisms and idiosyncrasies that many of the show’s characters employ and kept them to a minimum. The story takes place in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom and revolves around Plankton (Mr. Lawrence), a small green copepod who, like in many of the show’s episodes, is trying to steal the secret recipe that belongs to Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) who runs the local eatery, the Krusty Krab. Spongebob (Tom Kenny) is the restaurant’s cook and he intercepts Plankton trying to break into the restaurant’s safe and while both are tugging on the recipe, it and all of the Krabby Patty burgers inside the restaurant magically disappear into thin air.
The town’s residents accuse Plankton of stealing the recipe and he is about to be put to death when Spongebob, who knows that Plankton is actually innocent, grabs him and escapes and while on the run, they must both figure out where the recipe has gone. In their absence, with no Krabby Patties left anywhere in the town, all the residents of Bikini Bottom turn the town into a post-apocalyptic setting, akin to the Mad Max movies, burning down buildings and cars. Spongebob and Plankton come to the realization that a pirate named Burger-Beard (Antonio Banderas), has a magic book that whosoever has it in their grasp, can write history as it happens and they figure out that it was he who stole Krab’s secret recipe and plans on opening his own food truck on land and making a fortune.
It’s up to Spongebob, Plankton and their friends Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Squidward (Rodger Bumpass), Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence) and Mr. Krabs to retrieve the recipe and restore balance and humanity to Bikini Bottom. The last act of the movie takes place on land where our heroes merge with humans and through movie magic, they are transformed into buff, muscular, pumped up versions of their former cartoon selves with super-human strength and give chase to Burger-Beard. The theater I saw this screening in was full of kids and they all laughed and cheered at the appropriate moments and because of this interaction, it made the movie so much more enjoyable. While I recommend the movie for diehard Spongebob fans, newbies might end up scratching their heads as to exactly what is going on.
In theaters February 6th
For more info about James visit his website at www.irishfilmcritic.com