It’s been 11 years since SpongeBob and company made their first appearance on the big screen. To add context to that time span, when “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” debuted in November 2004, George W. Bush had just won a second term as president of the United States, and the first iPhone was still three years away from being released. Flash forward to 2015 and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” is drawing in crowds of families and college students alike.
While the movie is called “Sponge Out Of Water,” only about a third of the movie actually involves our aquatic characters walking topside in 3D. The rest of the live action scenes revolve around Antonio Banderas as the film’s villain, Burger-Beard the Pirate. A majority of the first half of the film was set in Bikini Bottom, specifically the Krusty Krab. A good deal of these scenes paid homage to the television series as many characters and quotes were easily recognizable. Unfortunately, many of the best supporting characters such as Mrs. Puff, Pearl Krabs and the Flying Dutchman had little or no time on screen.
As the characters interacted with the human world, they eventually gained superpowers. Each of the main characters’ powers reflected parts of their personality, and came with a costume and name. It’s as if the writers needed to top the first film, where the characters also walked onto dry land, by adding superpowers. Surprisingly, there was no appearance or even mention of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, the series’ iconic superheroes. Regardless, when our heroes put their powers into action, the scenes were funny to watch.
At a runtime of one hour and 30 minutes, the movie didn’t overstay its welcome. Although some of the jokes didn’t land, and some parts of the story were too surreal, it was clear that the studio put a lot of time and effort into the movie. It isn’t just a cash grab for fans of the television show. Besides more appearances from minor characters, the only thing that could have made this movie even better would have been some kind of cameo from David Hasselhoff, who had a memorable one in the first film.
Still, if nautical nonsense is something you wish, along with some super-powered action, then “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” will definitely satisfy.