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"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water": Paul Tibbitt's SpongeBob Flick Is Actually Much Better Than It Looks 

Wednesday, Feb 4 2015
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The second feature film based on the long-running animated series, Paul Tibbitt's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is actually much better than it looks. If that sounds like backhanded praise, it's only because the marketing has been emphasizing the weakest elements. Yes, SpongeBob SquarePants (Tom Kenny) and his compatriots do emerge as CGI superheroes in the real world to battle a pirate (Antonio Banderas), but thankfully, that doesn't occur until the third act. Until then, the picture mostly justifies that eventual crowd-pleasing climax, with plenty of detours into the creative silliness that's a hallmark of the show. In other words, this is not the Smurfs movies (which are unfairly maligned, but that's another issue entirely). The 2-D events leading up to the above-water stuff are much more interesting, as the residents of Bikini Bottom promptly descend into fiery chaos when their favorite hamburgers are no longer available. (If anything, the descent into post-apocalyptic madness of squirrel Sandy [Carolyn Lawrence] as she attempts to appease the Sandwich Gods should have gotten more screen time.) As feature versions of cartoons go, it's not The Powerpuff Girls Movie or My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, but for its first two-thirds, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water embraces what makes its source material so good.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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