×

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters

In one of the sillier recent instances of terrorist paranoia, Boston filed criminal charges against hirelings who installed cryptic electronic street signage promoting this Cartoon Network spinoff. Resulting controversy didn't spike ratings for the latenight cable series, and probably won't significantly impact a movie that will draw members of the show's ardent fan base but few others before ancillary release.

With:
Voices: Dana Snyder, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Andy Merrill, Mike Schatz, Matt Maiellaro, Fred Armisen, Bruce Campbell, C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, mc chris, Chris Kattan, Neal Peart, Tina Fey.

In one of the sillier recent instances of terrorist paranoia, Boston filed criminal charges against hirelings who installed cryptic electronic street signage promoting this Cartoon Network spinoff. Resulting controversy didn’t spike ratings for the latenight cable series, and probably won’t significantly impact a movie that will draw members of the show’s ardent fan base but few others before ancillary release. Still, this feature-length expansion offers a diverting package of surreal, rude stoner- and pop culture-based humor that will delight youthful viewers while bewildering stray elders.

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” is a cartoon “Hellzapoppin’ ” for those weaned on videogames, hip-hop and overblown mall flicks. Its protagonists are talking, animate fast-food items. Dairy product Master Shake (voiced by Dana Snyder) is a vain, bossy type whose bright ideas are invariably dim ones.

His bullying works well enough on gullible Meatwad (Dave Willis, who, like series co-creator Matt Maiellaro, voices numerous characters). Meatwad is a blob of expired ground-beef-like matter capable of surprise morphing and other talents. The operation’s brains belong to Frylock (Carey Means), a goateed pocket of salty fries that can be fired at will like rockets, yet his voice of intelligent skepticism is rarely heeded.

The Aqua Teens (a moniker that, like much else here, has no practical explanation) live in a dumpy New Jersey house next to slobby human Carl (Willis), who’s forever irked by their intrusions into his lowbrow lifestyle.

A big leap beyond the 15-minute Cartoon Net segments, “Colon Movie Film” is more elaborate in technical terms, drawing on a wider array of deliberately clashing animation styles. Still, it hews faithfully to the series’ anarchic, scatological tenor.

Characters are intro’d in a parodic 1960s-style “Intermission Time,” with singing concession items rudely interrupted by aggressive, heavy-metal snacks shouting aggressive audience exhortations (“If I see you videotaping this movie/Satan will rain hot acid down your throat”). Then titles identify the setting as “Egypt, Millions of Years Ago, 3 p.m., 1492, New York.” The Aqua Teens are seen breaking out of a pyramid crypt, only to be attacked by a giant poodle.

All this turns out to be another fabrication of the trio’s collective backstory by the braggarty Master Shake. But don’t expect plot logic to kick in once this prelude is exposed as a sham.

There is a semblance of a narrative thread to the feature’s remainder: The Insane-O-Flex, a home exercise machine Shake has stolen from Carl, turns out to be an unstoppable killing thingy that wreaks havoc on the general populace.

Force trio attempts to stop the Insane-O-Flex in its usual disorganized fashion, fending off numerous others who want to control the machine for their own obscurely nefarious purposes. Among them are megalomaniac mad scientist Dr. Weird and hapless assistant Steve (both voiced by C. Martin Croker); Err and Ignignokt, 2-D tributes to old Atari game figures; Oglethorpe and Emory, would-be conquerors from the “Plutonian League”; their often inappropriately horny ally, Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past; and drummer Neal Peart, from veteran progressive-metal trio Rush.

If this all sounds like a bunch of nonsense, rest assured, it is — gleefully so. Perhaps the best description of what both the feature and its long-running TV-show source aim for was supplied by Maiellaro in an interview: “If it’s not funny, at least it’s weird and unexpected.”

“Colon Movie Film” is not laugh-out-loud stuff most of the time. But its sheer imaginative arbitrariness can be delightful, provided viewers can connect to its admittedly limited-access wavelength.

R rating is fully merited by frequently tasteless content, though the absurdism at work feels less offensive than loutish tube toons like “Family Guy.” Soundtrack choices are another platform for in-joke satire, with Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” particularly flogged.

Popular on Variety

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters

Animated

Production: A First Look Pictures release of an Adult Swim presentation, in association with First Look Pictures, of a Williams Street production. Produced by Dave Willis, Matt Maiellaro, Jay Wade Edwards, Ned Hastings. Executive producers, Mike Lazzo, Keith Crofford. Directed, written by Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis.

Crew: (Color); supervising editor, Jay Wade Edwards; editors, Phil Samson, Ned Hastings, John Brestan; art director, Bob Pettitt; animation director, Craig Hartin; animation, Radical Axis, Big Deal Cartoons, Matthew I. Jenkins Studio; sound designer (Dolby Digital), Michael Kohler; re-recording mixer, Brandon Proctor; line producer, Vishal Roney. Reviewed at Variety Club screening room, San Francisco, March 14, 2007. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: Voices: Dana Snyder, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Andy Merrill, Mike Schatz, Matt Maiellaro, Fred Armisen, Bruce Campbell, C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, mc chris, Chris Kattan, Neal Peart, Tina Fey.

More Film

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Lays Off 35 Corporate Staffers

    AMC Entertainment has laid off 35 corporate staffers and will not fill an additional 15 open jobs. The Kansas-based chain made the announcement Thursday as part of a previously announced “profit improvement plan” intended to achieve operating and administrative efficiencies. AMC, which operates more than 10,000 movie screens, had disclosed the plan on Aug. 8 [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Take Me Somewhere Nice review

    Ena Sendijarevic on Migration, Identity and the Question of Belonging

    Bosnian filmmaker Ena Sendijarević had an auspicious debut with “Import,” a short film which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. Drawing on her own family’s personal history, the Amsterdam-based director crafted an idiosyncratic tale about a family of Bosnian refugees trying to make a new home in the Netherlands. With her feature debut, [...]

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Haugesund Prizes ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire,’ ‘Him,’ ‘Ballon’

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Celine Sciamma’s intellectually dexterous, bittersweet love tale “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” has claimed another heart, taking home The Norwegian Film-Critics’ Prize at the Haugesund Film Festival’s closing night on Thursday. The festival, which runs over August 17-23, capped its 47th edition with a screening of André Løyning and Kristian Landmark’s [...]

  • Motherless Brooklyn Edward Norton

    Edward Norton Investigates Murder in 'Motherless Brooklyn' Trailer

    The trailer for Edward Norton’s forthcoming crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn” is officially out. Warner Bros.’ drama, based on the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem, follows Lionel Essrog, a young man who works for a small-time mobster in Brooklyn while struggling with an intense case of Tourette Syndrome. “Okay, listen, I got something wrong with me, [...]

  • Summer Box Office

    Box Office Report Card: Studios Get Their Summer Grades

    Studios got badly burned this summer. From May to August, popcorn season in movie speak, the film flops piled up and the big hits were few and far between for nearly every company except Disney. As a whole, summer did little to instill confidence in the state of moviegoing. To be sure, there were successes [...]

  • Port Authority

    Nate Parker's 'American Skin' to Play in Deauville

    Nate Parker’s politically charged drama “American Skin” is set to play at the 45th edition of the Deauville American Film Festival following its world premiere at Venice. “American Skin,” which tells the story of a Gulf War veteran whose son is killed by a police officer, marks Parker’s first feature film since the news resurfaced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content