Film Review: The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a joyful and weird musical comedy for fans and the uninitiated alike

  • Peter Gray
  • May 24, 2022
  • Comments Off on Film Review: The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a joyful and weird musical comedy for fans and the uninitiated alike

Whilst it makes sense that fans of the Bob’s Burgers television series will get more out of The Bob’s Burgers Movie, the uninitiated are likely to experience enough genuine joy from this weird, though consistently amusing musical comedy that straddles the line successfully between delightful and lightly demented.

As summer break approaches, the titular Bob (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and his family – wife Linda (John Roberts) and his three mismatched children, awkward tween Tina (Dan Mintz), unfiltered Gene (Eugene Mirman), and “not a baby” Louise (Kristen Schaal) – face personal issues that test them individually and as a collective unit.  Their burger restaurant, already a point of stress as Bob and Linda struggle to make payments on their equipment, is now practically customer-free thanks to a sinkhole that has opened up right at their store entrance, and their landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline), may or may not be involved in a years-old disappearance linked to human remains found in aforementioned sinkhole; you know, usual animated movie stuff.

Whilst the narrative is appropriately bonkers, it manages to keep itself remarkably grounded thanks to an emotional undercurrent stemming from Linda’s support of her husband and her family, and, specifically, Louise’s own crisis in how she’s viewed through the eyes of her peers.  Louise, who is never adorned without her beloved rabbit-ear hat, is name-called “a baby” by a student at her school, setting her on a path of seeming self-discovery as she attempts to prove her grown-up status by participating in otherwise wildly advised against stunts; one of which steers her directly towards solving a potential murder mystery that involves her landlord, his family, and the local carnies.

If it all sounds suitably nonsensical, it’s because it is, but similar to fellow animated series-turned-feature length outings South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and The Simpsons Movie, Bob’s Burgers revels in its insanity, all the while maintaining a sense of humour that will please long-time viewers and tickle the humour of first-timers; personally, I haven’t seen enough of the show to deem myself a fan or appreciate the obvious easter eggs throughout, but the irreverent humour, at-times black wit, and wholly captivating musical numbers kept me engaged.

With the show still running – it’s just finished airing its 12th season, with a 13th greenlit – after a decade-long engagement, the mere fact that The Bob’s Burgers Movie manages to feel as fresh and as funny as it does is a testament to writer/director/creator Loren Bouchard, who clearly has utilised the confidence that comes with fronting such a long-running program.  There’s always something so joyful about a film embracing the theatrical engagement too, and whilst something like Bob’s Burgers could have so easily been a streaming title, the evident merriment of this film as a communal cinema experience adds to its infectiousness.

THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

The Bob’s Burgers Movie is screening in Australian theatres from May 26th, 2022.

Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.