THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN (NETFLIX) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom hit the big screen in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event. After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship.
I hate to say this but the latest Spongebob movie just isn't funny.
Despite its popularity and also being Nickelodeon’s longest running series, this third big-screen outing of the famous yellow sponge feels tired after a mere 15 minutes. Imagine the ordeal of sitting through an entire 90 minutes.
When Spongebob’s pet snail, Gary is “snailnapped” by King Poseidon for cosmetic purposes, Spongebob and Patrick must embark on an adventure to the Lost City of Atlantic City to save him. In a human world, that’s Las Vegas. Yes and that’s the entire story in case you are wondering if there’s more to it.
Of course, the entire mishap is caused by none other than Spongebob’s longtime nemesis, Plankton. What else is new in Bikini Bottom? Since a Spongebob movie can’t really do without the recurring characters, we have Squidward, Mr Krabs and Sandy making appearances as well. The only new character here belongs to Awkwafina from Crazy Rich Asians who voiced Otto, a fumbling robot who drives the duo all the way from Bikini Bottom to Atlantic City.
John Wick aka Keanu Reeves cameos as Sage, a wise man trapped in a tumbleweed who advises Spongebob and Patrick along the way. When Snoop Dogg performs in a music number and Danny Trejo (Spy Kids) appears as a supernatural evil, El Diablo for no particular reason, you know the movie is in deep trouble.
Almost shockingly devoid of hysterical gags and zany moments, the entire plot is a weak message about having true friends. There’s intermittent cute, heartfelt flashbacks to how Spongebob met his bunch of buddies at Camp Coral when they were young which is the sole endearing factor. Comparing this to the previous two big-screen outings, this one lacks the flair and material to differentiate it with the usual episodic TV adventures.
The Spongebob Movie: Spongebob On The Run are some of the titles which skipped the theatrical runs locally because of Covid19. Let’s just say it makes total sense to watch this on Netflix even though making sense are not words we can associate in 2020.
Review by Linus Tee