Logic and continuity are necessary elements for most shows to function, but Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup breaks that rule. One of their most popular shows, Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF), was given the feature-length treatment a few months back and now arrives on DVD, full of extras.
Fans of the ATHF show will know what to expect with the movie, and those who have no prior experience are advised to check out the television version before tackling the film. ATHF is difficult to describe accurately. Created, directed and written by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis, the basic premise brings a milkshake, french fries and a meatball together as crime-fighting roommates.
The supporting cast consists of their overweight, perverted neighbor, Carl; various eccentric aliens; and an insane scientist, to name a few.
Each episode is literally a bunch of hilarious non-sense. There are non-sequiturs, random explosions, plots and situations that are thrown out of the window within seconds in order to jump to something completely different. Nothing really makes sense here, but those who are demented enough to understand it love it. The film is almost as good as its quarter-hour TV counterpart.
The film’s plot barely brings cohesiveness to the madness that ensues. In finding their origins and history, the Aqua Teens release a killer exercise machine upon the city. There is also time travel, killer ex-presidents and Neil Peart of Rush playing watermelon drums for a power-hungry fruit in outer space. There are many small gags, quotes and scenes that will rank as classic ATHF.
Perhaps the best part of the film is the opening, which spoofs the corny concession food sing-a-longs of a few decades ago, courtesy of the band Mastodon.
Overall, the film is simply an extra long episode that, if possible, makes even less sense than the show. It is vulgar, violent and vastly funny. However, it is also a little disappointing.
For all of its brilliant/stupid ideas, ATHF was always hit or miss with its jokes because of how weird and random it is. With the movie, this is more evident.
In the show you can sense that the writers carefully chose what gags to use; for the film it seems like they put in whatever popped into their heads as they were writing. It does work often enough, but there are noticeably more failed attempts in the film adaptation. Some things simply lose their charm as they are stretched past their comedic limit.
The DVD comes in a two-disc form, and it is full of worthwhile material. There is commentary, deleted scenes, interviews, fake promos and more. There is even a whole new deleted movie. Part of it is a taped table reading of the script. The extras are a great addition to the movie and make the purchase a must.
Adult Swim, programming and ATHF in particular, appeal to an audience with a twisted sense of humor. However, the film makes it clear that the program is better in small doses, but is still hilarious in its absurdity. Hopefully, in the event of a sequel, the writers put a little more attention and care into what jokes they use.