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Aqua Teen Movie: Neither Cheap nor Awesome

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Ever since it started in 2000, Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force has been one of the weirdest, awesomest, funniest shows on TV. For the pitiable uninitiated: The animated Aqua Teens are Frylock, a floating, super-intelligent box of french fries; Master Shake, a dickwad milkshake; and Meatwad, a possibly (no, probably) retarded lump of raw hamburger meat. Together, they live in a shitty house in Jersey, where they fight and/or befriend monsters.

You either think that's a brilliant concept or you don't. If you don't, I have no time for you. If you do, you likely already love ye olde Aqua Teens, so you're probably amped about their feature film, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.

So let's do the good first, 'cause there are some great things about Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. That title, for one! And the first 20 minutes! And the last 10! And one or two jokes in the middle!

Aaaannnd... done. Moving on to the crappy stuff (i.e., everything else in the movie): Movie Film for Theaters is basically like three episodes of the show strung together... but only one of 'em is any good. Sure, the film delves into the Aqua Teens' origin (both ancient Egypt and a teleporting Abe Lincoln are involved), there're a few voiceover cameos from the likes of Bruce Campbell and Tina Fey, and when the Aqua Teens' brilliant side-characters show up (like their neighbor, Carl, or alien invaders the Mooninites and the Plutonians), there are some genuine laughs.

But Aqua Teen Hunger Force—like, oh, about 100 percent of Adult Swim's lineup—is targeted at stoned college kids, and apparently written by the same. Which is totally cool for about 20 minutes, but for over an hour? Movie Film for Theaters ultimately feels forced and—worse—fucking lazy, with its acerbic characters, sardonic quips, and fantastic non sequiturs gradually turning bland and predictable.

And yeah, the Aqua Teens have always felt this way: amateurish and random, with the show's crappy animation somehow making the hilarious dialogue and characters all the more charming. But it turns out our once-heroic Aqua Teens are a lot more hilarious and charming in 20-minute doses—and when they aren't milking you for $9 a ticket.

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