Movie Reviews

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 4 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Cast:
Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants/Gary/Narrator (voice)
Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star (voice)
Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles (voice)
Mr. Lawrence as Plankton/Larry the Lobster/Talking Spatula (voice)
Jeffrey Tambor as King Neptune (voice)
Alec Baldwin as Dennis (voice)
Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks (voice)
Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs/Fish Cop#2 (voice)
David Hasselhoff as Himself
Scarlett Johansson as Mindy (voice)
Bart McCarthy as Pirate Captain

Summary:
A weak and unfunny story makes The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie a disappointment to adult fans but kids will still love it anyway.

Story:
This movie is spun off of the Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants.

When the evil Plankton frames Mr. Krabs for the theft of King Neptune's crown it's up to SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star to recover it and clear his name. They go on a quest to Shell City to get the crown back. But the way is full of dangers and unknown hazards. To make things worse, Plankton steals the Krabby Patty recipe, takes over the minds of the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom, and sends a hit man named Dennis after SpongeBob and Patrick. Will the two be able to save the day despite the fact that they aren't "men"?

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is rated PG for some mild crude humor

What Worked:
I should start by saying that I'm a big SpongeBob SquarePants fan. I often watch the cartoon with my kids and I love the twisted sense of humor of the show. I had pretty high hopes for the film. Unfortunately I was really disappointed. Simply put, many of the TV episodes were funnier than this movie. Despite this, I can point out a few redeeming qualities.

The funniest thing in the film is definitely Patrick Star. He steals practically every scene he's in. He also has a couple of nude scenes in the movie. Anyway, the sheer stupidity of the character provides a majority of the laughs of the film. If you've seen the TV series then you know what I'm talking about.

The movie also has a pretty funny opening. A bunch of live action pirates sing a version of the opening theme song. As they do their grand musical number, they storm a theater for the opening of the film. It's a promising start to the story, but it never gets better than that.

I took my whole family to this screening and my young children absolutely loved it. My 3 yr old just about died laughing any time a character's butt was exposed. The kids got the most out of the movie. Too bad it isn't equally entertaining for adults like The Incredibles or Shrek 2.

What Didn't Work:
Unfortunately this movie just isn't that funny. I desperately wanted to love it but nothing ever got me laughing out loud like on the TV show. Most of the laughs are based on Patrick and SpongeBob acting childish. Seeing the characters acting like toddlers just wasn't enough to get me laughing. There's nothing like the laughs on the show such as SpongeBob and Patrick saying profanities and it being dolphin squeaks or seeing SpongeBob stranded at a bus stop in an abyss or them trying to recreate Texas for Sandy. Everything that makes the TV show great just isn't here.

The cameos in this film are mostly wasted. I didn't even realize that Alec Baldwin played the hit man Dennis until the credits rolled. The same goes for Scarlett Johansson as Mindy. In reality any actress could have played her role. Jeffrey Tambor gets a little more to do as King Neptune. He's the butt of a running gag about baldness. David Hasselhoff ends up having the most amusing cameo as himself, but it quickly ventures into the surreal as the climactic battle in the film takes place on his backside. Yes, you heard that right. It gets a little too weird at that point.

Besides the opening song, most of the musical numbers in the movie just aren't that great. SpongeBob and Patrick sing a song about being men that comes close to being memorable, but it wasn't up to par with other songs on the TV show. At the end of the film SpongeBob sings a parody of "I Wanna Rock", but it ends up being more cheesy than funny.

Sadly, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie misses a lot of great opportunities. The film could have explored new parts of the ocean, introduced funnier new characters, featured better cameos, or even parodied Finding Nemo. Instead we get a poor story dragged out over 1 hour 20 minutes.

The Bottom Line:
Kids will love the SpongeBob movie no matter what, but adults will probably be better entertained by the TV series.

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