Overview: Spongebob and his friends must unite in the most zany, epic fashion to save Bikini Bottom from a post-apocalyptic fate. (Hang on, folks. It’s only going to get more outlandish from here.) 2015; Paramount Pictures; Rated PG; 93 minutes.
The rumors are true: If you know anyone who’s seen this movie or you follow movie news at all, you’ve probably heard that it’s trippy. Like, really trippy. I want to be sure that anyone reading this review understands that I am not exaggerating when I say that the rumors are true, and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen. It is absolutely, positively, quite literally out-of-this-world bizarre. After leaving the theater (I went with two friends my age), no one knew what to say. Even I was speechless, and anyone who knows me can tell you how rarely that happens. Even now it’s hard to talk about a movie this weird, but let’s start with the basics.
The comfortable: Most of the film, despite the misleading title, is spent underwater with an animation style and a story that we’re used to. Through a series of mishaps, Spongebob and Plankton are forced to team up when the secret formula for the Krabby Patty goes missing. It’s nothing new for the show, but it’s all solid stuff. Spongebob and his cast of friends and fellow Bikini Bottom citizens are always fun to watch, and the jokes hit hard at an impressive rate.
The interesting: Things get a little more interesting when, near the middle of the movie, Spongebob and Plankton build a time machine. In a few of the most outlandish scenes of the film, the two travel through time as music (that I’m pretty sure Seth Rogen smokes weed to) plays in the background and bright, vibrant colors dance across the screen.
The bat-shit crazy: The point of no return comes when the two travel forward through time (I think it was forward? Maybe it was a different dimension? I don’t know anything anymore) and meet a dolphin wearing a long dark cloak. It is this dolphin’s job to keep watch over the universe to be sure that order is kept in the world. He leaves for a bathroom break, because he’s been keeping watch for a long-ass time, and Spongebob and Plankton screw up and let two planets crash into each other. Yep. Seriously. And things truly only get weirder as Spongebob and the supporting characters leave the ocean and transform into giant creepy superhero sea creatures.
I could go on and on about how loopy everything gets, but nothing I say will do the film justice. Basically, this movie is totally a stoner comedy for kids. It’s ridiculous, and I love that it exists.
Overall: Strange enough to become a cult classic, fun enough to entertain a young audience, and clever enough to keep adults engaged, there isn’t much to complain about with The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and even as a 21-year-old, I still feel completely justified in loving this show.