Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
Normally I'll know if I'm interested in seeing a film long before it's even released. I'm a pretty good judge, by now, of what I will and won't enjoy seeing in theaters. There have been mis-steps, on occasion, but overall I've kept myself on a pretty good course. If there's a film I don't think I'll enjoy, I just don't go.
But Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters complicated this pattern of mine. It wasn't a movie I wanted to see; I had no interest whatsoever in seeing Frylock, Meatwad and Shake on the big screen. Yet, in my heart, I knew that Adult Swim really deserves to be making films...and I felt compelled to support their endeavor. I had decided that, no matter what, I'd donate the cost of admission to the Adult Swim Movie Fund.
The only question was, would I enjoy it?
Amazingly, yes, I did. I enjoyed it very much.
I need to make it very clear that I am not a fan of the show. Not even a little. In fact, I frequently hate it. The best that an episode has ever gotten out of me is a couple of laughs and an admission that, "Okay...that one wasn't so bad."
Even at eleven minutes, the show bores me. The characters aren't interesting, the dialogue is just a mess of rudeness and non-sequiturs, and the plot...well, it's not even worth discussing "plot" when it comes to Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
I know, I know, I know...I'm missing the point. That's what all of you fans will say to me when you read this. It's not about interesting characters, snappy dialogue or clever plot twists. I know. I know, I know, I know.
But the fact is that other Adult Swim programs manage to make me laugh enough that I don't care how much the plot is lacking or how little sense it makes. Tom Goes to the Mayor is brilliant. So is Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Hilarious. Metalocalypse is far better than it has any right to be. And I remember watching Space Ghost Coast to Coast long before Adult Swim even existed (it later adopted the program as its own) and being one of the few people I knew who found it funny.
It's not that "the comedy of irrelevance" is lost on me. It's just that so many other shows do it better.
Which explains why I wasn't looking forward to seeing the trio of talking foodstuffs in a feature-length film. If eleven minutes drags by, how on Earth was I going to make it through an hour and a half?
Quite easily, actually...and I'm very happy to report that. Because there's a crotchety little old man deep inside of me that really wanted to hate this film. He really wanted to write a bad review. He was looking forward to it.
You know what, though? He died. About ten seconds into the film, he ceased all vital life functions and I was left alone to enjoy what--let's be honest here--was really just a lot of fun.
I say that the movie won me over ten seconds in, and that probably sounds like an exaggeration. But, honestly, it wasn't. The opening scene...the very first thing in the movie...was easily one of the biggest laughs I have ever had in a theater.
Nor was I alone in feeling this way. The room was full of people who sounded like they were laughing too hard to even breathe. It was an uproar. And you know what? It was worth it.
I'm going to caution those of you who haven't seen it to try not to read too many reviews beforehand...if only because one of them is bound to spoil the opening scene.
It's best to go into it fresh. As I did. As we all did.
Because it was a brilliant opening, and it did a lot to get the entire audience on the film's side right from the start. It got everyone's attention (did it ever...), got us all laughing, and made everyone in the theater--even me, the guy who didn't want to like the film at all--happy they chose to set aside an evening for the Aqua Teen movie.
Is it worth discussing the plot? Probably not, because it's really just a collection of jokes around one or two general themes, but that's okay...films can get away with that.
Maybe that's what I disliked about the television show...there's not much history of absurdism on television. There's a rich and varied history of it in cinema, however...is that why I was more receptive to a box of speaking fries in the theater? I don't know. It's possible.
Anyway, the Aqua Teens have a new nemesis in the form of The Insanoflex, a diabolical exercise device. In their apocalyptic battle against the machine they are joined by the Plutonians, the Mooninites and The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From the Future, all of whom, particularly the latter, were good inclusions in the film, as an hour and a half of just the Aqua Teens would have been very trying.
The assortment of characters helps to break the film up a bit, and most of the biggest laughs come from the minor characters. Other favorites from the show, such as MC Pee Pants and Willie Nelson (not the singer...more an onion) pop up to say hello (receiving huge whelps of recognition from the audience I was with), and both Carl and Dr. Weird have very important roles, but The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past wins MVP in my book.
Just about everything he said was hilarious...there were very few lines of his that didn't get at least some laughter out of me. He's a good, funny character. He manages to help drive the plot without actually moving it forward at all...and of all the minor Aqua Teen characters, I was really glad to see him get so much screen time.
I was impressed by this movie. It wasn't a masterpiece...it wasn't brilliant...but it was a good solid comedy, and what more would anyone really expect from this team? The writers are going to set up preposterous situations, and they're going to populate it with characters indifferent to what is going on. That much is a given. The only thing you can hope for is that they will make a lot of jokes, and that enough of them will be funny enough to justify the film.
They are. And it's a very cathartic moment for me to be able to say that.
I could go on and list my favorite scenes from the film...my favorite lines (there are plenty) or gags...but I don't want to ruin anything for you. In a movie like this, there's so much there, and you sort of need to find your own way. Though I do have to say that Bruce Campbell playing the ill-fated fourth Aqua Teen (a chicken nugget, no less) was just delightful casting.
It's obvious that fans of the show are going to be fans of the movie. No matter how many bad reviews you might read, you're still going to go see it, and you're still going to laugh.
Less obvious was the appeal it had to at least one non-fan, and for that reason I can recommend it to those of you who might have been nonplussed with the show.
Is it a great movie? No. But it's very funny. And I left the theater with a smile on my face...which is something I never would have predicted.