Spongebob Squarepants 2 Movie Review

Spongebob Squarepants 2 Movie Review
Directed by Paul Tibbit
Written by Glenn Berger, Jonathan Abel, Stephen Hillenburg, and Paul Tibbit
Release Date: 6 Feburary 2015
Running Time: 92 minutes
Editor’s Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Deus-Ex-Machina’d Superpowers

I was really nervous about this one, folks. I’m never usually a fan when a beloved animated series jumps the dimensional rift from 2D to 3D. Winnie the Pooh did it, Mickey Mouse did it, and now Pooh’s button eyes are soulless accessories in a vast yellow sea of cuddly bearflesh instead of cute facial features, while Mickey stares blankly into the uncanny valley as he waves the children watching his shows to come and play like some crazed 3D-rodent version of Dora the Explorer. Basically, I’m saying that something gets lost in translation.

However, that wasn’t the case here. The trailers had me believing the film was mostly CGI, but only the last twenty minutes were, and it was well done. So, yay, no problems there.

So this time around, the Krabby Patty secret formula has vanished. The Krabby patty, the miraculous sandwich invented by Mr. Krabs and cooked up by Spongebob Squarepants, the one thing that brings Bikini Bottom together for a brief moment of togetherness, one shining moment of happiness in every citizen of Bikini Bottom’s simple, rural lives, goes away. And of course, no one has any idea how to make them from memory, because Mr. Krabs expressly forbade Spongebob and Squidward, his only two employees, from memorizing it. Well, as per the natural order of things, complete anarchy reigns supreme, and crazed Bottomites go all Mad Max to the landscape.

At the center of it is Spongebob and his mortal nemesis, Plankton, an evil single-celled organism bent on stealing the Krabby Patty formula and owner of the Krusty Krab’s only “competition,” the Chum Bucket. In Plankton’s most recent attempt to steal the formula, he and Spongebob were playing tug-o-war with the glass bottle it’s contained in, and out of nowhere, it disappeared. Since they were the last two to be seen with the formula, everyone thinks that Spongebob and Plankton have conspired to take the Krabby Patty away from them for some nefarious purpose. Turns out fish mobs actually have a lot in common with people mobs. Who knew? Anyway, it’s up to Spongebob and Plankton to work together as a team and solve the mystery, bring the Krabby Patty formula back, and turn Bikini Bottom back into the burger-centric utopia it once was.

I do dig this film, but that last sentence makes me think. If Bikini Bottom was held on only by a burger, does it really mean that it was worth saving in the first place? Shouldn’t they all be moving to New Kelp City or Rock Bottom or somewhere else where they can make a real connection with their own fish brethren? Don’t they deserve to live their own lives, and not one that revolves around some greasy sandwich crafted by a spongy manchild and his P.T.-Barnum-like boss?

Or maybe this is a kids movie and no one is really asking these questions when Spongebob is fighting Antonio Banderas IN 3D! Oh yeah, Antonio Banderas is in this film as well. Which by all metrics should have beaten out David Hassellhoff’s appearance in the first film, but David nailed it so well that basically nothing can top him. Banderas does a fine job, but in the end, no one hassles The Hoff.

The story here is actually a bit dark for Spongebob, with real moments of terror, depression, and hopelessness, but thankfully it’s dispersed with the humor that the series is known for. The film’s climax, while spectacle-based and obviously geared for a 3-D viewing audience, is still funny and wraps the film up nicely.

All in all, I’d definitely say that this film is worth the price of admission, especially now since it’s available for purchase. It’s a worthy follow-up to the first film, and a great film on its own. Grab the kids, get some popcorn, and have a great night.

**I rented this film. I was not compensated for this review.**

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