The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Movie

Ok, so I’ve not written anything in a while. I could blame national debt, riots, Hurricanes and various other things that are out of my control, but lets face it, none of them get in the way from my bed, to the TV to the computer, so I’m going to squarely say that I’ve been la…zing under my bed which fell on me for two weeks. Thankfully, I knew the number for the Library’s door to door service and rented a movie. Of course, at some point the order must have mixed up. I asked for The Passion Of The Christ, and they sent me…The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie.

Basically someone a long time ago thought it would be a good idea to, not only make a TV series…about a sponge and his…interesting friends…, but also to go and make a cinematic feature film of it, despite the fact that episode of Spongebob is usually light on plot and heavy on, let’s say “japes”. So the idea of “japes” for an hour and a half with little plot really did not have me itching to watch, and that’s from someone who plays games with no storyline…

But basically, the movie is about as stupid as you think it is. It starts off in a live action scene, where some pirates find some buried treasure. I immediately had to make sure I was watching Spongebob and not Muppet Treasure Island. So what’s the point of these pirates? Well, they’ve just got tickets to go see the SpongeBob Squarepants movie. Yes. It’s meta. It’s a movie within a movie. It’s Movieception, it’s the Movietrix, it’s whatever dumb trope/reference/term you want to use, and does it have any relevance other than them doing a shanty version of the theme song? Ha-ha. No.

So they board next to a cinema and raid the place before taking their seats, and the movie begins. The Krusty Krab, the McDonalds of the sea, is having a dilemma. Someone got the wrong order, so there’s mass panic and…what? There’s mass panic because there’s no cheese in a burger? Which can’t even be made underwater technically? Imagine if rioting over budget cuts happened…

So anyway, Spongebob, the manager shows up and we get a scene that makes putting a slab of cheese on a burger look tense. Yeah. Figure that out. I sure as hell can’t. And then Spongebob is treated as hero. I do that with my lunch every day? Do I get a round of applause? No. I wonder what would happen if he put some bacon or jalapeno peppers on there? He’d probably be treated as a god. So Spongebob is declared a hero and the movie ends.

No, that’s not true. He just wakes up. That’s right. All that was a dream sequence. 2 false openings. In 10 minutes. 2 FALSE OPENINGS. Where’s my copy of Muppet Treasure Island? I’m sticking that on instead.

To its credit, that scene does establish Spongebob wanting to be a manager. Which is a job he thinks he’s getting that day. He doesn’t, because he’s supposedly a kid (Don’t worry, this gets brought later time and time again) and he gets sad and depressed gets drunk off eating ice cream at a novelty restaurant…

Meanwhile, Plankton, owner of the Chum Bucket, the Burger King of the sea, irritated by the Krusty Krab’s success formulates an evil plan to destroy the Krusty Krab and do the same thing he does every night, take over the world. He steals King Neptune’s crown and blames it on Mr Krabs.

The thing is, the movie does a terrible job of introducing characters. You have to know who Spongebob is already to really see him as a protagonist, otherwise he’s a weird work obsessed nut of indertiminable…indetreminble….inter UNKNOWN age who helps his neighbour and work colleague shower and is friends with a Starfish who probably would spend the movie nude if he could, who is also mentally challenged.

Anyway, so King Neptune decides to kill Mr Krabs unless Spongebob can get his crown back. So Spongebob and Patrick go off to find it whilst Plankton (you know the puppet master behind this whole thing) brainwashes everyone and turns it into Planktopia, or Planktropolis. YAY PUNS!!! Wait, that doesn’t even work…Oh and the king’s daughter is voiced by Scarlett Johannson. Yes. That one.

And…sorry, that picture is pretty distracting….Anyway, so the plot kind of becomes pretty standard and takes a back seat to aforementioned “japes” including going to a Country bar for tough guys and having a bubble fight, being tricked into nearly being eaten by a fish, which is then eaten by another fish…again, which doesn’t make sense considering most characters are fish, and dying. Yep. Spongebob and Patrick die. The pirates cry and it fades out and the credits roll.

That last part doesn’t happen, they get brought back through Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution (topical gags are fun) and are brought into live action real world. You know, that trope that’s used in every kids movie these days. Thankfully, they don’t milk it and get back to the story with the help of David Hasselhoff Ex Machina. I’m not kidding. He shows up and swims them back to Bikini Bottom, they save the day, orders restored and blah blah, movie ends.

The thing that I find curious is how there’s very little attempt to actually up the production, it looks and feels like an extended episode, but with better guest stars. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing, it does capture the essence of the show and is genuinely pretty damn funny. The problem is, it’s only enjoyable if you know who everyone is, otherwise you just won’t care. I suppose if you watch it with children, they’ll tell you who the crab guy is, or the squirrel with the oxygen suit. It’s essentially a kids movie, and I guess they’ll probably enjoy it, despite the fact there are a couple of scenes of UNQUENCHING HORROR!!! Seriously, the facial expressions in some bits are pure nightmare fuel and so’s Patrick’s star. (I’ll let that one sink in)

It’s a pretty funny movie and for a kids movie that isn’t made by Disney or that Bluth guy, it’s a lot of fun, the dialogue’s amusing. the characters are pretty daft and likeable, the only problems I really had watching where the double use of Deus Ex Machina within about 10 minutes and two really awful musical numbers and the lack of DR PEPPER IN MAH FRIDGE! But that’s not Spongebob’s fault…OR IS IT?


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