The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015)

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is a 2015 animated comedy film directed by Paul Tibbitt and it is based on the famous TV series and is the second film of the franchise.

The plot follows SpongeBob and his friends who team up in order to retrieve the formula of their favorite meal. The film is split into first two thirds which are animated and the final act which is live-action. I liked the animated part much better not only because it has much better humor but also because the third act is overstuffed with action and the superhero element to it is so typical and an obvious move from the franchise to get on the superhero bandwagon as it is extremely popular nowadays. But it definitely hurts the movie as it is very expected, typical and nothing to write home about. But the rest of the film is pretty solid and a passable diversion mostly thanks to excellent characterization which the series has always had and a pretty okay humor.

The characters here are as well developed as in the TV show and better than in their last feature adventure. SpongeBob is okay but I was never the fan of him, but Patrick is of course as dumb as always and Mr. Krabs as obsessed with money as ever before and although he somehow did not get much attention, he was still good in those sequences he was in. Squidward has his very memorable moments, but the emphasis is not on him which is a shame. As for Plankton, he is stupendous here and his relationship with SpongeBob is definitely the highlight of the whole movie because they took some departure from his usual character, portraying him in a more positive light, while still concluding his as the villain. However, Burger-Beard the Pirate is very annoying, a very typical and weak character and he is quite frustrating throughout the whole running time mainly because the performance from Antonio Banderas is too goofy and not the greatest. He is also too similar to Jack Sparrow, he’s probably the worst aspect of the picture and he gave the worst performance in a film which has quite solid acting from the others as expected.

The animation is quite good and I appreciate the fact that more than half of the film is done in traditional animation instead of computer generated imagery. But those sequences in the final act are done in CGI and it is not particularly good, it is very unlikable and not pleasing to the eye, but I guess they have done the best they can with not easy to animate aquatic characters. But I wish the whole movie were just hand-drawn animated, but that is hard to get these days which is super sad.

The movie has too much action and it gets immensely and sometimes overwhelmingly fast-paced which shows that it is intended for smaller children. Also the humor, while solid and has some good lines and funny moments, is mostly not that memorable with a bunch of failed attempts at laughs. The editing and directing should have been better and the script should have been more original and not more of the same. And the approach should have been more mature and it should have offered something for adults as well.

It is incredibly overstuffed with action sequences which can get pretty overwhelming, the final act with CGI and action is pretty weak and the humor is hit-or-miss, but that humor can be good at times with a couple of funny moments, the animation is solid when done traditionally and it is overall a passable diversion and it should prove excellent for children leading to this SpongeBob movie being definitely an improvement over its so-so predecessor.

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