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3 out of 5
Spongebob has returned! Oh wait, Spongebob never really went anywhere did he? Okay well, after eleven years Spongebob has returned to the big screen! Time has been kind to our favorite sea sponge. In fact, I would say that he looks better than he did back in 2004’s first movie but maybe that’s just digital enhancements. At any rate, I was semi-excited to hear that this sequel was happening because I loved the first movie but I feared that lightening wouldn’t strike twice and that this sequel might not be as good. Was it? Stayed tuned to find out!
Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water starts off with basically the same concept as most episodes of the television show. Plankton attempts to steal the Krusty Krab secret formula and fails. But Plankton, being the ever determined sea organism that he is has a back-up plan this time including multiple waves of chaos that Eugene Krabs and his ever vigilant crew must stop to keep Plankton from stealing the formula. This time however, Plankton nearly succeeds until Spongebob catches him. The two have a literal tug-of-war over the formula but before either one can claim it the formula vanishes leaving Krabs assuming that Spongebob and Plankton are working together. After being fired from the Krusty Krab Spongebob and Plankton must work together to build a time machine and go back in time to stop their past selves from letting the formula disappear. Through their time travel they learn that there is a much more sinister force that must be stopped above the surface who may very well write the ending for Bikini Bottom as they know it!
There are elements of this movie that I love and there are elements that I don’t care for. I thought that the 2004 movie was a rock solid film; it was hilarious, interesting and fun. This sequel gets all of those things but rarely at the same time. The first hour of the movie that takes place in the water is brilliant. Any scenes that take place on land were miserable for me. Anyone who remembers in the first movie they went on land as well and that was WAY more fun so I don’t know why it didn’t work as well this time around. I guess I really missed David Hasselhoff.. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would say.
My favorite part of this movie is how much screen time Plankton received. He’s an unsung anti-hero and one of my favorite characters on the show and the scenes where he’s trying to learn about friendship from Spongebob are genuinely funny and poignant. There are some comic gags in this movie that really work but there are also some weird elements that almost seem drug induced. I saw this in a theater with at least five other families and my wife and I were the only ones laughing. To that point, my wife can barely stand 11 minutes of a Spongebob cartoon but she actually enjoyed this movie so that has to say something for it.
I could write a whole section about the voices but honestly, the show has been on for sixteen years and if you don’t already know about them then you’re probably not going to see this movie anyways. I’ll just succinctly put it by saying that Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Doug “Mr.” Lawrence and Rodger Bumpass are all amazing at what they do and they continue to bring these characters to life in new and fun ways!
This movie teaches a lesson of teamwork and friendship and how you can do anything you set your mind to if you have a strong support group and I think that’s a message that may get lost or overlooked because this is just a “dumb comedy” but it’s always important to take away something from the movie. I had a decent time watching this; I still say the first one is better but I would welcome a third movie in the series. So if history repeats, expect my review of Spongebob 3 sometime around 2026!