Thursday, February 12, 2015

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Review

SpongeBob SquarePants is a kids cartoon on Nickelodeon that has been around since 1999 and has now released its second theatrical movie. Love it or hate it, there's no doubt that this is a very popular cartoon. What's baffling to me personally is how popular this is among adults. I understand how this can be popular among the younger crowd. This seems like a fun cartoon that a 6-year-old would enjoy. Yet there are people that are my age and older who love SpongeBob. If they grew up on it, I understand. There are a lot of cartoons that I watched when I was little that I still love today mostly because of the nostalgia factor. But there's people that were in their mid to late teens when this show started that love the show. I don't get it. I've watched my fair share of SpongeBob and I just don't understand how or why this is so popular among adults. This is not a show that entertains me. So why would I decide to go see The SpongeBob Movie? A few reasons. First is watching and reviewing movies is what I do. I wanted my opinion on SpongeBob officially out there. Second, I heard from some review that you don't have to be a fan of SpongeBob in order to enjoy this movie, so I figured I'd go give it a shot. Third, I was honestly interested in how this live-action CGI SpongeBob was going to work out, because that's what we were getting, right? Ha!

First and foremost, I want to let you all know that this has been false advertising to the extreme. Every single trailer, TV spot, and advertisement has emphasized the fact that this is a movie where SpongeBob and friends leave their world and enter ours. They even put it in the title: The SpongeBob Movie: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (emphasis added). All this leads you to believe that the movie is going to start in their world, spend 10 or 15 minutes there, then go out and spend the majority of the time in the live-action world. That's not what happens here. If each episode of SpongeBob were about 20-25 minutes long, then this movie is the equivalent of watching four straight SpongeBob episodes where the first three episodes are classic in-the-water episodes with part of the last episode being live action. Like really, it's over an hour into this 93 minute long movie before we go on land. Then they spend about 15-20 minutes there before it's back in the water. I was shocked. I feel they lied to us, but yet I haven't decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing because they earned a whole heck of a lot of money opening weekend that I don't think they would've come anywhere near had they not tricked everyone into thinking the whole movie was live-action.

In thinking about this, I've decided that when they were discussing this movie that someone mentioned the idea of doing a live-action SpongeBob movie in order to separate this movie from the rest of the SpongeBob universe. This idea was well received, but suddenly they got cold feet because they thought this idea would alienate their fanbase, so they ultimately just made it a small part of the movie and did classic SpongeBob for the rest of it. If you are a SpongeBob fan, I think you'll actually appreciate this. In the movie, the secret recipe for their beloved Krabby patties goes missing and because of that all of Bikini Bottom goes into an apocalypse. SpongeBob ends up teaming up with the villain Plankton in order to try to find the secret recipe and restore order. The kids in the theater were laughing. A lot of their parents were laughing right along with them. The movie went in all sorts of different directions making it very good for people with short attention spans and taught all sorts of good lessons for kids like having teamwork to solve problems.

So like I said, I think this is a very good movie for kids. If your kids love SpongeBob, then this is an excellent movie to take them to. If you are a SpongeBob fan right along with your kids or you don't have kids but you still like SpongeBob, this might be the movie for you. I personally was bored through most of it, just like I always am when SpongeBob is playing. So if you are like me and you don't like SpongeBob, then don't think this will convert you, because it won't. It plays to its fanbase and it does that well. However, despite me being bored for most of the movie, when they finally went on land, that's where I actually got into it. It was clever, whitty, and fun. The CGI made them look like big, plastic toys instead of actual characters, but whatever. That didn't bother me that much. Being that I thought this was the best part of the movie, I actually wish that the movie played out like they advertised it by spending most of their time on land. But oh well. When it does go on land, Antonio Banderas is in the movie as a pirate and he looks like he is having a lot of fun in this kids movie, so kudos to him.

In the end, if you are a SpongeBob fan and this movie had you worried because it seemed like it was going to spend most of the play time on land, then rest assured that it actually isn't like this. You get classic SpongeBob for most of the movie and I think that fans of SpongeBob will really appreciate that. Also, if you have kids that like SpongeBob, then this is a very good movie to take them to. They should love. All the little kids that were with me in the theater looked like they were really enjoying their stay. So I have to give kudos to this movie for playing well to its target audience. If you are part of that target audience, my personal opinion isn't one that you shouldn't really trust. It feels weird saying that, but it's true. People who like SpongeBob enjoyed this movie and that's what's most important. However, I do have to let my opinion be known and I have never been a fan of SpongeBob. I went in hoping that I would enjoy this movie anyways, but I didn't. I was bored for most of. Yes, I was entertained for the 15-20 minutes that we spent on land, but that wasn't enough for me to be entertained and call this a great movie so my personal grade for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water is a 6.5/10.

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