Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I liked AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATERS. It made me laugh, which was pretty much what I was expecting of it.

What's surprised me, though, is the reaction that other have had to it. Beyond just a love it or hate it kinda thing, some of the reviews have been praising it for something that I don't think its makers have intended while others are deriding it for having a lowbrow sense of humor that is probably likewise off the mark. There have been certain reviews praising the film for its surrealist bent, but my impression is that the film owes less to Dali or Bunuel than it does to The Marx Brothers or Monty Python. Likewise, the film's harshest critics are claiming it's all nothing more than stoner humor and that's it's not funny to anyone straight, which is also incorrect. I would say that the film has probably been inspired by a certain amount of stoner humor, but I don't think that drugs are the driving force behind it. It takes a certain amount of intelligence required to create something this flat-out bizarre and you can't really do that when you're bombed out of your gord.

I've sampled the AQUA TEEN TV series a bit here and there since its been on the air and I've always found it amusing, but would never call myself a huge fan. But for some reason, I made a point of seeing the film theatrically, despite some of those bad reviews, because it was simply what I was in the mood for. I'm never in the mood for a SCARY MOVIE-type comedy anymore (that's just become a tired genre), but I saw the trailer to this and said to myself, "I can take a chance here". On top of that, I simply had to find out what Neal Peart was doing here. Peart is better known as the drummer and lyricist for Rush (or as his credit reads "Neal Peart of RUSH") and to see him here is something of a shock, since he's never done anything this out of character. He pretty much just plays himself, utters few lines and plays a drum solo or two, but his appearance (along with that of Bruce Campbell) gives you a perfect idea of the geek comedy chic that the AQUA TEEN creators are going for. Anyone taking amusement in a Neal Peart cameo isn't stoned, they've just spent too much time listening to Rush. And yeah, I fall into that category (the new album, Snakes & Arrows, in stores May 1).

The approach here is "Let's throw a bunch of jokes against the wall and see what sticks" and I'd say the success ratio is about 70-75%. Some jokes get big laughs, some get mild chuckles, but the fact that so many do is completely admirable. Obviously, co-directors Dave Willis and Matt Maiiellaro have been doing this for several years now, so they know this material's strengths, and they also wisely keep the film moving from one bizarre scene to another. There really is no plot to speak of, and that's OK, because the result is not unlike watching a bunch of ATHF episodes back-to-back and about as taxing, which is to say not taxing at all. It's important to pay attention so that you can hear all the one liners and look for sight gags and show cameos, but that's about as much as the standard viewer has to put into it. Just keep in mind that even for jaded "seen it all" viewers it's a strange thing, but if you have a taste for the absurd, you're definitely going to dig it, and maybe even recommend it to friends. It truly is something to see.

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