Film Spotlight: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

The subtitle to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, the sequel to 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie that opens Friday at area theaters, suggests the film's concept revolves around a mix of animation (underwater) and live action (out of water). While the "out of water" part of the movie is its most creative aspect, the movie ultimately isn't clever enough (though we did appreciate some of script's many puns) to sustain the interest of either adults or kids.

Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas), a pirate, serves as the movie's narrator and tells us how life in Bikini Bottom revolves around the Krusty Krab, a hamburger joint known for serving up some fantastic grub. Its owner protects its secret recipe from rival Sheldon J. Plankton (Mr. Lawrence), owner of the Chum Bucket, the Krusty Krab's competitor, who keeps trying to steal the recipe that's kept locked in a safe.

It's not giving away too much of the plot to say that the recipe ends up in the wrong hands and that Bikini Bottom goes to hell as its citizens start looting the place and rioting because they can't get their burgers. If this all sounds rather ludicrous (and dull), that's because it is. Since this is a kids' movie, it's not like it has to have a particularly complex plot. But to make so much of the movie revolve around a recipe for a hamburger is quite a stretch (and even the kids at the screening we attended squirmed with impatience as the storyline dragged on and on).

Once SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) and his pals end up on dry land, the pace picks up some as the team cavorts on the beach. The movie's theme has to do with teamwork and SpongeBob has to rally his friends together to take on the evil Burger Beard.

Ultimately, Burger Beard and SpongeBob square off in the film's grand finale and a wild chase ensues. But the action simply arrives too late to redeem this dull flick.