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I loved watching Spongebob Squarepants growing up! I watched Spongebob almost every day as a kid, it was one of my favorite shows. While I haven’t watched the show in some time, I watch the 2004 Spongebob Movie from time to time still. I’ve always loved the first film because of it’s sense of adventure, zany fun, and classic Spongebob style humor. However, I was not a fan of the second Spongebob film, I thought it lacked that sense of fun and humor that makes Spongebob so great. Because I loved the first film and didn’t care for the second one, I wasn’t quite sure how this one would turn out…. but I’m very happy to report that this Sponge on the Run film is a blast!
The screenplay is the main thing that makes this third entry in the Spongebob film franchise a winner. This screenplay is chock full of both lively fast paced adventure and jokes that land well. This film is reminiscent of the first film because of Spongebob and Patrick’s road trip and journey – and I love that! I’m glad they decided to take what they did right with the first film and incorporate that into this new one. The road trip is peppered with a lot of fun and they find ways to get all the favorite Spongebob characters involved.
They did a pretty good job when it comes to the comedy too. Most of the jokes are delivered well and I laughed pretty consistently. The comedy isn’t quite as good here as it was in the first film but it’s still well done overall. On top of the fast paced adventure and wacky comedy, there’s also some very touching moments. They include several brief flashback scenes to when all of them were kids at “Camp Coral” and I just loved the uplifting sweet nature of these scenes. These scenes are all included to show us how Spongebob has always been there for all his friends since they first meet. All these scenes are especially sweet and I couldn’t help but beam from ear to ear while watching them, especially the flashback that involves baby Squidward – oh my it’s unbelievably adorable. I
It’s not only the writing that makes these scenes precious though, the animation style and visuals are a big factor too. I could not get over how stinking cute they all were as kids, they really did a great job with the animation. And it’s not just these few scenes with which I was impressed by the animation quality, the entire film looks fantastic. The new animation style is stunning and while I don’t know which animation style I prefer, I have to say that the style they used here is immaculate. It’s really amazing to see how far animation has come.
Not only do the individual characters look great visually but the locations they travel too look flawless as well. Atlantic City is full of grand scale visual treats that add a lot to the scope of Sponge on the Run. I also really liked the look of the Wild West type sequence. The animation department really brought their A game to this one! This animation style isn’t the only thing that’s new here, there’s also several new cast members in this film. Keanu Reeves, Tiffany Haddish, and Awkwafina are all involved. To be totally honest, both Awkwafina and Haddish are kind of wasted, they both have small roles that don’t play a very big part in the story.
I can’t say that I was upset by this though because the vast majority of the screen time needed to be taken up by the main Spongebob characters. I was very happy with Keanu Reeve’s presence though! Reeves plays a bigger role than both Haddish and Awkwafina and he understands the silly nature of all this and just has fun with it. I have a lot of respect for actors who play parts in fun silly films like this, it shows that they can cut lose and have some fun. I liked Keanu a whole lot better in this than I did in Bill and Ted Face the Music, that’s for sure! The only negative thing I have to say about Sponge on the Run is that I thought Snoop Dogg’s cameo was kind of awkward and just felt shoehorned in there.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run really is a well made blast of a film. Pop some popcorn, sit back, and join the residents of Bikini Bottom for this fun ride!
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