Suppose you’ve found yourself accidentally wandering into a party for a child that you don’t know. Everyone there seems to be having a pretty good time. Even for yourself there are moments of amusement as you watch the children play even if you don’t have the slightest idea who those children are or why they’re acting the way they do. Now imagine that someone comes up to you after the party is over and asks what you thought of the proceedings. Do you tell them that it was great because everyone you saw seemed to enjoy themselves and those were the people that were clearly meant to be there? Or do you tell them that the whole party made no sense because you were clearly not meant to be there. That is the situation I find myself in after having seen Spongebob Squarepants 2.
I am aware that Spongebob Squarepants is a cartoon that has been on TV for quite a few years and even spawned a feature length movie in the past. However, I have never seen the show and the only knowledge I have of it is from cultural references. This makes me a prime candidate to skip this movie completely and leave it to those that may know a thing or two about it. However, My six year old son really wanted to see it, so off I went. He left happy. I left baffled.
From what I could gather Spongebob and his friends are in trouble because the secret formula for the Crabby Patty has been stolen and without it the entire community falls into Mad Max levels of apocalyptic despair. There is cultural satire here, but the movie never stops long enough to fully embrace a topic. It is a scattershot of jokes that all last about three seconds that are flung onto the wall just hoping that they stick long enough to run at a feature film length. I’m sure there was some kind of plot thread that connected the whole thing together, but even sitting here at full concentration I can’t remember what it was supposed to be. Something about Antonio Banderas as Burger Beard the pirate and a food truck that doubles as a pirate ship.
I chuckled a few times here and there, but when you throw in 1,000 jokes at least some of them have to hit right? I’m not exactly sure that’s an achievement. Normally I would take a film as its own entity and judge it based on that alone. However, in this case, the film is a sequel to an earlier film that was itself spun off of a TV show. All of which I haven’t seen. I’m going to give this movie a grade, but it’s fairly irrelevant. If you’ve seen the show and are a fan I’m guessing that your opinion will likely match the children around me at my screening and you will enjoy it wholeheartedly. I was left wishing to be anywhere else. Grade: D