“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water” is a strange, yet enjoyable experience.
The follow-up to the 2005 hit, based on the popular Nickelodeon TV series, revels in its oddballness, creating an experience that will clearly differ for the young audience it is aimed at and the parents forced to endure it as well.
Was it weird? Very much so.
Was it entertaining? Surprisingly so.
This installment is a dual story – one in the animated world of Bikini Bottom and the other live action centering around a pirate named Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas).
In the animated portion, Bikini Bottom is thrust into anarchy when Plankton’s latest attempt to steal Mr. Krabs’ secret formula for his famous Krusty Krab burgers ends with the formula mysteriously disappearing.
Determined to make things right, SpongeBob convinces Plankton to help him go back in time to save the formula, only to make things worse.
It looks as if all is lost until SpongeBob discovers the formula has been taken by Burger Beard and the only way to get it back is to cross over into the live action world.
Making SpongeBob and his friends into live action characters is obviously the hook for “Sponge Out of Water,” but those sequences are the least effective in the film.
“Sponge Out of Water” is at its best in the animated world, with an endless stream of sight gags and smart jokes that really keeps the film zipping along. You get time-traveling dolphins, “Mad Max” homages and some clever one liners that the kids might enjoy, but are clearly aimed at the adults.
If the live action sequences could have had as much life, then “Sponge Out of Water” might have really been something special.
As is, it proves to be a mild diversion that serves its purpose – entertaining the children, while keeping the parents interested as well.
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water”
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Tom Kenny (voice)
Director: Paul Tibbitt
Rating: PG for mild action and rude humor
Playing at: Regal Greenwood Mall Stadium 10, Highland Cinemas (Glasgow)
Also in theaters
Entertaining is not a word that can be used for this week’s other major release “Seventh Son” (D), the long-delayed fantasy adventure that has finally been dumped into theaters.
Despite the presence of one Academy Award winner (Jeff Bridges) and a perhaps soon-to-be Academy Award winner (Julianne Moore), this is forgettable fluff where the mind tends to wander long before the closing credits begin.
In “Seventh Son,” Ben Barnes plays Tom, a young man who becomes the apprentice to a witch hunter named Master Gregory (Bridges).
The witch hunter is trying to find Mother Malkin (Moore), who has escaped captivity and has hatched a plan to unite fellow witches and rule the Earth.
“Seventh Son” is about as pedestrian as a fantasy film can come, with the script full of the obligatory check marks and Sergei Bodrev’s direction about as flat and uninteresting as possible.
The acting is just as flat. Moore is only one who seems to realize she is in some B-level schlock.
She brings a little life to the role, having some fun and escaping with her front runner Oscar status in check. It’s a much more redeemable turn then best actor front runner Eddie Redmayne in “Jupiter Ascending.”
But it’s not nearly enough to salvage a film that probably should have stayed on the shelf forever.
“Seventh Son” is PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language and is now playing at the Regal Bowling Green Stadium 12 and Highland Cinemas in Glasgow.
— To read Micheal Compton’s thoughts on all things movies, visit his blog at bgdailynews.com/sports/blogs/straight_outta_compton or on Twitter at twitter.com/mcompton428. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.