A movie made for (and presumably by) Cheeto-eating stoners has no reason to have such a convoluted and intrusive and overbearing plot. I finally pick something up that I WANT to be meandering and pointless and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters actually manages to fuck THAT up with some ridiculousness about an exercise machine that has the power to destroy the universe. This actually wouldn’t be so bad if it were just some goofy thing to hang gags on. But what kills this movie is the assumption that we actually care. We don’t. Directors Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis have gotten by HOW LONG on the Cartoon Network with random bullshit and fart jokes? And they deviate to the Syd Field method NOW?
I used to watch the eleven-minute weekly cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Cartoon Network with some regularity, until I realized that every eleven-minute episode was the SAME eleven minutes over and over, just with a revolving door of oddball supporting characters. Of course, now that I said that, I will have gotten some nerd’s geek-panties in a twist and they will educate me on the subtle and minute differences between “Baloonenstein” and “The Broodwich.” And I’d tell these folks to use the energy they expend cataloguing the adventures of talking junk food to go out and get laid, but I’m not sure I want the people who worship this show breeding.
I am now tasked with the unenviable chore of explaining to some of you who may have never heard of Aqua Teen Hunger Force to tell you what this movie is about. You have a talking lump of uncooked meat (Meatwad, voiced by Willis), a talking milkshake (Master Shake, voiced by Dana Snyder), and a floating, talking order of fries (Frylock, voiced by Carey Means). They yell at each other and go on the occasional adventure. The adventure in this movie entails their possession of the Insane-O-Flex, an exercise machine so diabolical and coveted that it attracts the attention of TWO sets of aliens, a mad scientist, a robotic ghost from the future, a flying watermelon, and their next door neighbor Carl (Willis again). Somewhere in here Chris Kattan, Fred Armisen, Tina Fey, and Bruce Campbell show up to do a little bit of voice-over work and then they leave.
There are some funny moments to be found in this film. The opening parody of concession stand ads is amusing. As is the scene where the Robo-Ghost tries to distract one of the heroes by telling him a long-winded and grandiose story about how he ran for Student Council Treasurer. But where the movie most consistently came alive is the scenes where Frylock, Meatwad, and Master Shake bicker and yell at each other. They are well-acted, distinct characters (as far as talking fast food goes) and hearing them play off of each other induces more than a few chuckles. Eighty-five minutes of THAT was all we needed.
But then the plot monster comes along and dangles its balls in our faces, and we have to wait through THAT to get back to the funny again. It’s neither humorous, nor interesting. It’s like they used it as a transparent checklist to bring in supporting fan favorites. It would have been funny if they did something with them, but it never pans out. The slavish and devoted adherence to the “story,” in a way, is an open admission by writer-directors Maiellero and Willis that no, there’s NOT an eighty-five minute feature to be had of their stoned ramblings that air every week on basic cable. It’s like they have to give themselves something to do, or else make it plainly obvious that they have NEXT TO NOTHING to project onto the screen.
This is one of my shorter reviews, because this film is living proof that EVERYTHING related to Aqua Teen Hunger Force should be limited to eleven minutes. Including your reading of this review.
And how much of this eighty-five minute movie is actually funny.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: The DVD features deleted scenes, alternate endings, a music video, a roundtable discussion of the film, and a whole bunch of other crap I didn’t look at because the movie failed to provide an incentive to care.
*1/2 out of 4
Directed by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis