Starring: The voices of Dana Snyder, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Andy
Merrill, Neil Peart, Bruce Campbell. Rated R.
As Matt Maiellaro and
Dave Willis, creators of Aqua Teen
, state matter-of-factly on their website, if you have to ask what
the show is about, it’s probably not a show for you. The same is true of Aqua
Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
, an 86-minute slice of
animated absurdity sure to satisfy fans and leave everyone else scratching
their heads. There is a half-hearted stab at a plot – something about an
exercise machine from the future that threatens to exterminate mankind – but ATHF
is basically an excuse for
its heroes, a trio of anthropomorphic
fast-food items from the Jersey Shore, to riff on each other and watch TV.
It’s sporadically funny, rarely more so than during an opening
sequence that cleverly skewers the “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” shorts from the
’50s. From there, the action focuses on Frylock (voiced by Carey Means), a
hyper-intelligent box of fries, Master Shake (Dana Snyder), a smugly
self-centered milkshake, and Meatwad (Willis), a simple-minded mass of
compressed meat. Together, they take on the offending exercise equipment, chill
with Abraham Lincoln, and discover the secret of their mysterious origins.
There’s no point in dissecting the story because Aqua
Teen Hunger Force has never been concerned with compelling or even cohesive
narratives. It is, at its core, an exercise in abstract silliness, tenuously
held together by the charisma of its stars. It is also an exercise best sampled
in small doses. As one of the Cartoon Network’s longest-running shows, it has
enjoyed modest success in 15-minute increments. Here, stretched to feature
length, it labors toward the finish line, redeemed somewhat by its crudely
subversive sense of humor. It’s a mixed bag, to be sure, but for the initiated,
it’s worth a look.