Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis
AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATERS is essentially an eighty minute long episode of the TV series. Sure, there’s a flimsy plot that barely carries it through the longer running time, but like the show, the film is comprised of completely random, oftentimes dumb, scenarios and jokes. And when I say random I mean you can’t predict what’s going to happen five seconds ahead. Most of the time the creators don’t even seem to be trying for jokes in the traditional sense. It’s just utter inanity…on purpose. Will a character arbitrarily be on fire (and a chicken)? Sure. Does Abraham Lincoln appear as a time traveling witch doctor? Why not. Will Neil Peart from the band Rush appear to play a kickass drum solo? You bet your ass.
I’m not a diehard follower of the show, although I’ve seen and mildly enjoyed it on occasion, enough to where I wasn’t staring in abject horror at my TV during the film. If you are a huge ATHF fanatic, you’ll be pleased to know that all your favorite characters show up—Dr. Weird, the Plutonians, Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future and the Mooninites (who never cease to crack me up). There are even some great cameos by Cartoon Network’s own Space Ghost and demigod Bruce Campbell. The quality of the “humor” is fairly consistent and on par with its television counterpart; however, the style is tiresome after a while and can be taxing on the viewer’s patience. Completely bizarre and stupid humor might work great at fifteen minutes intervals, but the concept just cannot sustain an entire hour and a half movie without getting old. (Okay, the pelvic thrusting cyborg chicken made me laugh consistently.)
I will say that the film begins incredibly strong, with one of the best pre-movie openings ever: violent concession snacks (performed by metal band Mastodon) singing about movie theater etiquette. They should seriously show this in front of every film from now on.
For people who like this kind of humor: 3.5 out of 5.
Everyone else: 1 out of 5
Commentary by singer Patti Smith, The Onion editor Todd Hanson, Dana Snyder (voice of Master Shake) and actor Fred Armisen: First of all, it’s fantastically bizarre that activist/songwriter Patti Smith is on this commentary despite having nothing to do with the series. And she critiques the movie in a very serious way (using the word “Godard-ian” at one point). Having outsiders record their thoughts as opposed to the traditional cast and crew is a good idea, offering a fresh take on a very offbeat film.
Deleted Movie (1:19:52): This “new” film follows a similar plotline, with mostly just new alternate dialogue and scenes. It’s not exactly a stretch considering how random the movie is, allowing them to just stick different stuff in at any point without it seeming any more bizarre. The animation quality looks okay, save for the fact that characters’ mouths are not animated, which takes some getting used to. I say if you like the show and the movie, you’ll probably want to watch this.
The Thing We Shot Wednesday Night (26:14): A fun, low-key behind the scenes documentary featuring a table Read of the script, voice and song recording (with Mastodon) and interviews. It’s cool seeing all the very different-than-you-imagine people doing the voices.
Fake Endings (6:22): Ten obviously bogus finales, most of which parody traditional film endings. I actually found a couple of these funny, but most are pretty stupid.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (33:37): You get eight extra scenes of randomness, more misses than hits. The stuff with the Mooninites is good though.
Music Videos: Four videos and five behind the scenes looks at the various recording sessions. Seeing Mastodon record the opening bit is a blast.
Pete Promos: A variety of ad material that appeared on Cartoon Network. There’s an interview with Bob Odenkirk that unfortunately not very good.
Jon Schneep 3D (2:56): A montage of some of the very crude 3D animation used in the film.
There’s also an Art and Music Gallery, a Sizzle Reel, a Theatrical Trailer and an Alternative Trailer narrated by a young child.
Extra Tidbit: Back in January, Cartoon Network put up a bunch of LED-lighted ads featuring the Mooninites to promote the film. Out of the ten U.S. target cities, only Boston decided the signs looked instead like IEDs and deemed the marketing campaign a terrorist threat. The head of Cartoon Network (for 13 years) resigned as a result