In the sea, out of the sea, up in space (or at least it seems like space, Mr Bubbles the talking Dolphin will have to confirm once he removes the nautical clan from his mouth) The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is a chaotic jumble of events but for all its mayhem the film proves to be a pretty solid two thumbs up.
Trouble is stirred up when once again Mr Krab’s pint-sized nemesis Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) attempts to steal the Krabby patty formula. SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) does his utmost, over-enthusiastic, best to stop him but there is nothing either can do when the note-in-the-bottle secret recipe mysteriously disappears in thin air, throwing Bikini Bottom and its burger-hungry residents in to anarchy.
The yellow sponge forms an unlikely alliance with Plankton to retrieve the formula, one which finds them hopping through time machines before joining with the rest of the team to become the queerest superheroes with…unique abilities.
Despite having a strong, structurally sound narrative there’s something a little rambling about the Sponge Out of Water. As the name insinuates, SpongeBob and co. are expected to resurface for what will presumably be a land-bound adventure. However, viewers are forced to consume an entertaining yet lengthy preamble before the anticipated land voyage begins creating a frustrating ‘are we there yet’ tinge to the movie.
That said, the film is packed with nuggets of actual laugh-out-loud moments to keep things ticking on in the mean time. The usual suspects: SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr Krabs (Clancy Brown), Squidward (Rodger Bumpass) and Plankton with his failed diabolical plans, are the source of most of the laughs.
Antonio Banderas makes a great addition to the crew elevating Burger Beard the pirate from mere ‘intro-guy’ to a character well worth keeping an eye on.
The visuals are also impressive. So spoiled by 3D CGI are mainstream big screen flicks these days, Sponge Out of Water is a refreshing reminder that 2D can be just as stunning (even if it is a mix of the two).
John Debney deserves a virtual tip of the hat for creating the insanely catchy soundtrack of the movie.
A great film that doesn’t quite push into excellence thanks to the delayed start to the real action.