Thursday, February 19, 2015
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ★★
To say that a film's title exhibits little significance in this day and age would be a complete understatement, as one would have to go back at least twenty years to find a plethora of instances where a designation indicated more than just a simple restatement of events, or even worse, a lead character's name or attribute. I guess this is due to the fact that it is quite effortless to do so and much easier on the minds of Americans, who evidently have no capacity to think beyond a grade school level.
"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" continues this debacle, as the filmmakers seemingly forgot their original intent and reserved the right to deceive moviegoers worldwide. If you are expecting your lovable, and squishy, sponge hero to indulge in our world (longer than a half-hour that is), then you will be in a state of utter disappointment, along with a hint of agitation, and rightfully so.
For, the title of the picture (as well as several carefully edited trailers) implies that our protagonists will, in fact, shed the two-dimensional realm of hand-drawn animation, and yield to our three-dimensional environments. Not only is this a miniscule portion of the film, however, it is a glaring missed opportunity. The animation itself is quite enjoyable, and when compared to similar products such as "The Smurfs," it would seem downright state-of-the-art.
It is beyond my comprehension as to why the film was advertised in this manner, considering children would be just as elated to see an extended SpongeBob adventure, in its normal format, on the big screen. The problem here is that most adolescents will remain satisfied with this outcome although this is one of those times when parents must impart their judgment, and let their child know: "You've been had." (Although I'm sure it is the parental guardians who will take the hit financially speaking.)
The plot, or what can be deemed as the only noteworthy aspect of the film, proceeds like any other SpongeBob cartoon, with each character continuing their distinct roles and gag bits, albeit in the form of a third person narrative, which ultimately merges with our story to become a single account. The conflict, as tiresome as it may be, consists of the well-being of the Krabby Patty formula, the identity of which is once again in jeopardy. The only difference here comes in the construction of the antagonist, Plankton, whose character irony fuels a percentage of the dialogue, and warrants songs that teach him about teamwork and other wholesome patterns of idealistic juvenile behavior.
There are a number of occasions where the picture pokes fun at itself, which include, most notably, the realization of just how irritating SpongeBob's laugh can be. Additionally, there is an enjoyable scene where Plankton enters SpongeBob's brain to find nothing but cotton candy and other sweet indulgences, complete with a reference to "The Shining." Nevertheless, these moments of glee are too far and few between, and are overshadowed by the standard Nickelodeon humor, which is mainly composed of jokes that pertain to one passing gas. (It has come to my attention that this jocularity will never lessen although it would be interesting to see Nickelodeon's public relations analysis that proves that children still actually find this material amusing.)
Obviously, the motivation behind "The SpongeBob Movie" is to introduce this beloved individual to a new generation of youth, as the opening scene outlines the history of the Krabby Patty and Bikini Bottom in a monotonous fashion. That, and the ability to produce a whole line of new toys, so that children may emulate their favorite character after the picture's end. Yet, one must remember that nautical nonsense, presented in even the most sophisticated structure, would still be nonsense.