There are few things in the media that can get away with stupidity due to the stupidity being part of its charm. One of the leaders in this has to be, without a doubt, 'SpongeBob Squarepants', which has delivered the goods through silly fun and using its stupidity in a sort of clever way. Speaking for myself, I only watch 'SpongeBob' if I need a good laugh, but don't need to think about what I'm laughing at. It sort of follows the Nickelodeon tradition of things like 'Ren & Stimpy' or 'Rocko's Modern Life', but makes it all innocent enough for kids.
However, for as much fun as SpongeBob provides, it's not an example of a cartoon I'd try to convince people to like. There is a somewhat annoying aspect to SpongeBob and Patrick, which is part of the humor, but if someone ever said "I can't stand that sponge", I'd get it. One could say SpongeBob is an acquired taste, and you'll never like it if you have an inability to throw your brain out the window. That said, I tend to lean towards the appreciative side of things. I enjoy 'SpongeBob' for a good laugh, but it's not something I appreciate quite as much as some other animated series out there. My list of viewed material is pretty much a few odd episodes of the series, and the first film from 2004. Alas, I did not catch 2015's 'Sponge Out of Water'. So with that, let's keep in mind I'm not reviewing this as a biased fan boy, but one who can see both sides of the coin.
So much of the show revolves around a little villain named Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) who is constantly after the secret recipe of Krusty Krab burgers. The Krusty Krab is run by the greedy, but good-natured Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) while SpongeBob (Tom Kenney) whips up food in the kitchen, and the miserable Squidward (Rodger Bumpass) handles the register. To no one's surprise, the film opens with Plankton formulating a new plan to steal the recipe, but his robotic assistant, Karen (Jill Talley) informs him that he's been so focused on getting Mr. Krabs out of the way, he hasn't realized that SpongeBob has been the one constantly thwarting his plans (much of the time by accident).
Plankton then devises a plan to get rid of SpongeBob by kidnapping his pet snail, Gary, and giving him to Poseidon (Matt Berry), who uses snail slime as a moisturizer, and is constantly running out because he squeezes them dry. This will send SpongeBob on a mission to find his missing snail, along with his best friend, Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke). That way, he can't possibly interfere with the stealing of the formula. However, without SpongeBob around, everyone involved eventually discovers how much they miss, and somewhat need SpongeBob in the picture. Meanwhile, the laughs are definitely delivered through a series of events involving celebrity cameos, not the least of which is Keanu Reeves as a tumbleweed, calling himself the Sage and guiding SpongeBob and Patrick on their journey. The other cameos popping up, however, I feel like one needs to see for themselves. It's a lot like telling someone Bill Murray was in 'Zombieland' at the time.
Although 'SpongeBob' was never something I truly followed, I always did appreciate it for what it was. This movie is no exception. I can't really look at this in any other light that the simple fact that it's 'SpongeBob', and you can't expect to get Oscar-worthy material from something so silly. That's not to put it down or anything, that just isn't what 'SpongeBob' is, and there are many beloved movies that fall under such a category, like 'Dumb and Dumber' or 'Galaxy Quest' - great for what they are, and they don't need awards to prove they're any good. If you like 'SpongeBob' then you'll probably like this movie, if you don't, then you probably won't. It's as simple as that. Personally speaking, I'm not going to pretend I had a blast with it, but it made me laugh, tugged on the heartstrings ever-so slightly, and I got exactly what I expected to get. So although it's pretty average, you'll hear no real complaints from yours truly.
On a side note, one might be wondering why this is "late" as a "Now Playing" review. Well, Covid has made things very uncertain with various theatrical releases, and dates are all over the place. Hell, IMDb still has its official release date for this as March 4, 2021, and here we are on February 10. Seeing as I just don't get what's happening with a lot of these titles and how they're dealing with the whole Covid situation anymore, all I'll say is don't be surprised f you see a title like this in "Now Playing" for the next while. Anyway, just to top off the review, despite its supposed March 4th release date, one can currently find it on Prime as a simple $5 rental. If you're a fan, I say go for it. If nothing else, it's a lot of fun.