In film number two, everyone’s after the delicious Krabby Patty recipe that Bikini Bottom residents live for, including evil, scheming Plankton (again), Spongebob’s notorious, microscopic enemy. But when The Krusty Krab owner, Mr Krabs, finds Spongebob and Plankton next to an empty safe that contained the sacred recipe – after it mysteriously vanishes in front of them, both Spongebob and his mini nemesis are blamed.
The unlikely pair are ostracised by the community, but set about teaming up to find out just who has the recipe. This involves coming out of water into the real world – and a pirate called Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) who is up to no good.
Unlike the first film in 2004, this one brings you up for air into the live-action hemisphere, and constantly changes tune in animation style, probably to stretch out the frenetic Spongebob formula into feature film length, when it’s usually only watched in bite-sized TV episode chunks. There is plenty for both adults and kids alike to be thrilled by, with lots of adult action-flick nods, including the arrival of the apocalypse to Bikini Bottom that sees every one in Mad Max mode – and dressed in leather.
Sponge Out Of Water’s plot is simple, but it gets away with wayward tangents, the funniest being the introduction of a celestial, space-aged dolphin called Bubbles (voiced by the brilliant Matt Berry of The IT Crowd fame) who has one of the funniest (albeit, toilet humour) gags going. The reasons for his arrival do become apparent, but it shifts the gear of the film once more, rendering the viewer utterly in awe of where things will go next? Another consistent giggle are the snails, a gag repeated in the finale that will have you crying with laughter as the ridiculousness of it.
Where the film falters a little – where it loses the trademark absurdity – is actually the live-action sequences. Sure, there is a thrill at seeing ‘life-sized’ versions of our Bikini Bottom heroes battling it out with the real culprit of the Krabby Patty theft, but this action-packed battle becomes a little ‘samey’, even if the kids’ gleeful smiles make it all worth the while.
There are also the odd, tonal moments involving semi-clad females and the animated characters on the beach that feel awkward in a kid’s film, even if it’s all done in saucy, tongue-in-cheek humour – quickly recovered by another bonkers scene involving Spongebob, Patrick and a large amount of candyfloss.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water offers far more craziness than David Hasselhoff could in the first film, with Banderas just having fun dressed as a pirate, like a kids’ party entertainer, complete with talking seagull sidekicks, who’s had too much sugar. It may still not convince those who are not already fans (indeed, they may question your sanity), but if you want to tire out the kids this Easter holiday, without doing several laps around a park, this film is an alternative answer – be prepared for the catchy tune sticking in the brain a long time after too.