Appetite Lost 

This sad 'Aqua Teen' fan was bored by the force's big-screen debut

From the looks of the first few minutes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, it seems like it's going to be a fun night at the movies.

After one of those goofy concessions-stand promos where a soda, a popcorn bag and a hot dog sing a jingle about eating snacks, another group of snacks delivers their own angry, punk version. The lyrics are hysterical, and it's a funny riff on an old joke.

Then this film becomes truly boring, a disappointment for fans and the uninitiated alike.

I've laughed hard at nearly every episode of the Cartoon Network Adult Swim series I've come across. A box of fries (Frylock), a milkshake (Master Shake) and a meatball (Meatwad) have a series of unimportant adventures, mostly involving their cranky New Jersey neighbor (Carl). It's very random humor that works well in compact, TV-snippet form.

I don't know if it's proper to blame the big screen for what goes wrong. With a better script and tighter action, this could have been a lot more fun. There are far worse things to view for 90 minutes than Aqua Teen, and an elongated format could've worked just fine. As it stands, creators Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis made a mistake in that they lacked focus with the characters, and they failed to come up with enough of the bizarre dialogue and moments that make the show so great. I've never been bored by Master Shake before, but he had me getting blurry-eyed during this one.

There really isn't a concrete plot, but from what I could gather, the film seems to be a satirical take on the "origin story." The movie tries to solve the mystery of who parented the ATQH, and that's a funny idea. It's the execution that is decidedly unfunny.

There are some good giggles. Meatwad's impromptu concert involving the shooting of kittens from cannons is good stuff. The Mooninites, those little finger-giving space invaders that managed to shut down Boston in a bomb scare a few months ago, deserve their own movie. I especially liked a sequence where they tried to steal a coffee table in slow motion.

Regrettably, Carl, one of the funnier characters from the show, is given little to do. The hairy, cranky one winds up strapped to some whacked-out robot that's destroying cities, which removes him from the action. He gets minimal dialogue, and that's a letdown for any Aqua Teen fan. An entire movie that involved the Aqua Teens screwing around in Carl's pool would've been a blast, but they don't go in the pool once in this film. They talk about peeing in it, but we never see any pool action. Pool action is mandatory in anything involving the Aqua Teens!

I had seen Internet buzz some time ago that this film was going direct to DVD. It may have been just a rumor, but it wouldn't be surprising to learn that producers had considered the option. This is a film that might play better on a smaller screen.

The funniest thing about this movie would be Master Shake farting every time he flexes his muscles, and that doesn't bode well for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Their first big-screen adventure will more than likely be their last. Let's hope the Simpsons fare better later this year.

Dammit, I wanted to have a good time at this one. Thankfully, I've got many DVDs with wondrous Aqua Teen goodness to get me over the letdown. If you possess some of these DVDs, might I suggest watching them rather than attempting to see this movie. As for animated features, it kicks ass on Meet the Robinsons. Other than that, there isn't all that much positive to say.

More by Bob Grimm


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