Film Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (PG) (USA, 2015)


Avast, mateys! Here be SpongeBob with another cinematic adventure. This time he voyages out of water, out of time, out of earth and out of his dimension. Whatever it takes to restore the cornerstone of civilisation ­the Krabby Patty.

The secret formula for this highly addictive burger has mysteriously disintegrated into thin water, and the town of Bikini Bottom rapidly transforms into a post-­apocalyptic wasteland. The blame falls on SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) and Plankton (Mr Lawrence), since they were the last to be seen with the parchment. Thus they are forced to team up and retrieve it from the ruthless pirate, Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas in the flesh).

Their quest takes them travelling through time, providing brief moments of psychedelia, and onto land, where many beautiful women are tanning in the Hawaiian sunshine. Finally, there is a Marvel ­Universe-style showdown, which is enabled by the enchanted storybook ­ a narrative twist of overt self­ awareness.

Are the original TV show and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (of 2004) less self ­aware, or just less overtly so? I know the director Paul Tibbit and his fellow writers have been in a pineapple under the sea for years now, perhaps they wanted to do something new? Or maybe by trying to please every demographic (including dads and stoners), they spent less time on what already makes everyone flop like a fish: the nonsense.

One of the exceptions is a total­-food­-war as peppered with puns as you’re likely to find. Also fun: an inept hunt for SpongeBob and Plankton, led by Mr Krabs (Clancy Brown), through an awesomely 3D Bikini Bottom. Even some live­ action moments have a bubbly, tri-­dimensional silliness.

When making the jump from television to the big screen, there is always the expectation to go for something bigger. In this case, the cook has more burgers on the grill than they could possibly flip. Luckily SpongeBob holds enough joy to give the whole family something to laugh at, whenever he gets a squeeze.

Running Time: 93 minutes

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is screening in Australian cinemas from 2nd April 2015 through Paramount Pictures.


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