Third ‘SpongeBob Film’ evaluate: A delight for followers outdated and new

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In the event you’ve in some way missed 13 seasons of “SpongeBob SquarePants” (created by the late Stephen Hillenburg) on Nickelodeon and two earlier function movies of this animated absurdity (raises hand), “The SpongeBob Film: Sponge on the Run” shortly establishes the beloved characters for the uninitiated. But it surely’s clearly the followers, each younger and outdated, who’re the audience for the franchise’s first all-CGI-animated journey. Nonetheless, “Sponge on the Run” does function an pleasurable entry level to the phenomenon if cultural osmosis hasn’t supplied an schooling for these to know the distinction between SpongeBob (voice of Tom Kenny) and Squidward (Rodger Bumpass). All of it is sensible — or at the least as a lot sense as it could actually make — whereas nonetheless being pleasant nonsense.

A significant plot level in “Sponge on the Run” — sure, there’s a semblance of a narrative amid the candy flashbacks, goofy musical numbers and live-action dream sequences — revolves on the youth-chasing undersea god Poseidon (Matt Berry) and his desperation for snail mucin to maintain his face wrinkle-free. (This acknowledgement of the real-life anti-aging powers of the creature’s excretions is the movie’s closest factor to science.) With no Okay-Magnificence retailer contained in the boundaries of his area of the Misplaced Metropolis of Atlantic Metropolis and his personal snail provide contemporary out of slime, Poseidon places out a name for a brand new snail to maintain his pores and skin glowing.

The devious however inept Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) sees a chance to lastly snag the key Krabby Patty burger recipe from Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown): He’ll lure SpongeBob far-off from the the Krusty Krab restaurant, which he can do by snail-napping SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail, Gary. Is it the very best plot (on behalf of both Plankton or the movie’s screenplay from director Tim Hill)? Nope, nevertheless it does set SpongeBob and BFF Patrick (Invoice Fagerbakke) off from Bikini Backside and on the highway to the Misplaced Metropolis of Atlantic Metropolis to rescue Gary, pushed there by robotic Otto (Awkwafina), a creation of ever-inventive Sandy the squirrel (Carolyn Lawrence). In impressed casting, Keanu Reeves — or at the least his head — seems because the face of a smart sagebrush named … Sage. who helps SpongeBob in his quest. Danny Trejo, Snoop Dogg and Tiffany Haddish (taking part in a fish named Tiffany Haddock, naturally) all present up too as a result of, effectively, why not?

Hill’s film does elevate questions — “How is there a lake below the water?” “Why is Patrick consuming the snail litter” and “How is Sage nonetheless dry and fluffy within the ocean?” — although all logic is rightly forgotten in a sea of foolish jokes. This journey is full of goofy enjoyable, although it wanders sufficient to sometimes take a look at the eye spans of these neither younger sufficient nor excessive sufficient to be within the movie’s audience.

‘The SpongeBob Film: Sponge on the Run’

Rated: PG, for impolite humor, some thematic components and delicate language

Operating time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Enjoying: Accessible March 4 on PVOD and streaming on Paramount+

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