Movie Review: “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” (Rated PG)

getty_020515_SBSPmovie(NEW YORK) — In the second Sponge Bob movie — which comes nearly 11 years after the first, 2004’s The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie — things are status quo in SpongeBob’s hometown of Bikini Bottom.  That is, until Plankton’s attempt to steal the formula for Mr. Krabs’ Krabby Patties goes awry!

The formula doesn’t just disappear — Krusty Krab runs out of Krabby Patty burgers, and in Bikini Bottom, Krabby Patties essentially sustain life, sort of. It’s a lot like coffee, and when the Patties run out, it brings on Bikini Bottom’s version of the apocalypse.  Mr. Krabs believes SpongeBob was in cahoots on the caper with his arch-enemy, Plankton, and convinces all of Bikini Bottom to turn on SpongeBob.

Plankton and Bob become a team — or as Plankton calls it, a “TEE-am.” They even invent a time machine to try to get the formula back. What ensues is a run-in with a dolphin from the future, and a pirate played by Antonio Banderas, who has clearly seen too many Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

At some point, SpongeBob and friends realize they need to go to the surface to get the formula back.  This is when the plot becomes all wet (or dry?). The surreal silliness that takes place in Bikini Bottom doesn’t translate well to the surface, when SpongeBob and friends are rendered with a mix of CGI animation and live action.

It’s hard to feel great about movies that both children and stoners can love equally, but the fact is, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water has a significant amount of entertainment value for each, and maybe even some for folks who aren’t familiar with the kindly, multi-cellular sea creature.  The problem is, this sponge’s adventure isn’t absorbing for the duration of the film. Even so, SpongeBob fans — children, sober and non-sober adults alike — will be singing the theme song together by the movie’s end.

Two-and-a-half out of five stars.