Sunday, May 31, 2020
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Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters

When Cartoon Network launched its Sunday night ‘Adult Swim’ programming block nearly six years ago, they packed it with a variety of short, bizarre, original cartoons in the tradition of the equally bizarre ‘Space Ghost Coast to Coast.’ For whatever reason, the most enduring of these has been a show about a milkshake, a ball of meat and a carton of French fries. And now you can pay 10 bucks to watch 87 minutes of it in one sitting.
Despite the popularity of ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force,’ it’s nonetheless surprising that co-creators Matt Maeillaro and Dave Willis chose to adapt it for the silver screen (apart from the money angle, naturally). Arguably, a major part of what makes the show work is the shotgun blast of absurdity it packs into each 11-minute episode. It’s long enough to tell a story, but short enough to leave you wondering afterwards what the hell just happened.
It doesn’t usually make sense, but then again, it’s not supposed to; expecting anything else out of ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters’ is a losing proposition. As a particularly ill-tempered heavy-metal bon-bon screams at the beginning of the film, ‘If you don’t understand it, you do not belong here.’ He speaks the truth.
Attempting to sum up the plot would be missing the point. Suffice it to say, it deals with the Aqua Teens’ origins, Doctor Weird’s past, the Plutonians and the Mooninites, a certain cybernetic ghost, another certain-death evisceration of Carl and the offspring of a gigantic sentient exercise machine running rampant through New Jersey, not to mention a half-hearted attempt to explain the events depicted in the show’s closing credits (a montage of scenes including Ancient Egypt, Abraham Lincoln and a wooden rocketship). Throw in a cameo by Space Ghost and glimpses of ’12 Oz. Mouse’ and ‘Perfect Hair Forever,’ two of Maeillero and Willis’ more perplexing (and polarizing) projects, and it’s pretty much everything ‘Aqua Teen’ fans would expect.
Unfortunately, those fans might also expect that it doesn’t always work so well, and they’d be right. While there are certainly moments of hilarity, trying to spread the ‘Aqua Teen’ sensibility over the length of a feature-length film results in some problems. While an ‘Aqua Teen’ movie without the aforesaid characters would be nearly unthinkable, there’s the distinct impression that most of them have been shoehorned into the story solely for the sake of pleasing the most rabid of the show’s devotees.
Of course, it’s hard to argue against pleasing existing fans