Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Is Silly Fun

Plus, Jupiter Ascending is pretty but incoherent, and Seventh Son is dismally dull.

by | February 5, 2015 | Comments

 

This week at the movies, we’ve got spunky sea creatures (The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, with voice work from Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke), a would-be space queen (Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum), and a witch slayer (Seventh Son, starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore). What do the critics have to say?

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

81%

He lives in a pineapple under the sea, but this weekend, Nickelodeon’s favorite invertebrate in trousers will emerge from the ocean to the delight of children everywhere. Critics say The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is funny and should satisfy the faithful, but probably won’t win any new converts. In his second trip to the big screen, SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) and his familiar cohorts are engaged in a war with Mr. Krabs’ (Clancy Brown) rival when the secret Krabby Patty recipe is stolen. Now they must pay a visit to the surface world and confront an evil pirate (Antonio Banderas) to retrieve it. The pundits say The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is gleefully zany and packed with goofy gags, even if it all feels a bit familiar and calculated to appeal to existing fans.

Jupiter Ascending

28%

No one can deny that Andy and Lana Wachowski have a certain flair for eye-popping spectacle, and according to critics, their latest sci-fi effort, Jupiter Ascending, is no exception; if only they had developed a more cohesive story to frame all those pretty visuals. Mila Kunis stars as Jupiter Jones, a sad, unlucky janitor who discovers she’s intergalactic royalty when an alien bounty hunter (Channing Tatum) swoops into her life to whisk her into space. Jupiter soon finds herself thrust in the middle of an alien sibling power struggle, with her life and the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. The pundits say Jupiter Ascending is a marvel to behold on the big screen, but its muddled narrative fails to match the execution of its impressive special effects. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames gallery of epic sci-fi films.)

Seventh Son

12%

Even Oscar contenders (and winners) star in a dud every once in a while, but rarely is the failure as epic as Seventh Son, a supernatural fantasy that critics say strands its capable cast in a flashy but derivative and exceedingly dull battle between good and evil. Jeff Bridges stars as Master Gregory, a witch-hunting knight who takes on farmboy Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) as a new apprentice when Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), the sinister sorceress he once imprisoned, escapes and decides to unleash her vengeance upon the world. Will Gregory train his new pupil quickly enough to battle the forces of dark magic effectively? The pundits say Seventh Son is full of sound and fury that signifies nothing, topped by a couple of silly performances from otherwise first-class actors, and the final result is far more lifeless than it should be. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we look back at Bridges’ 10 best-reviewed films.)

What’s Hot On TV:

Critics say Better Call Saul (100 percent) is a quirky, dark character study that manages to stand on its own without being overshadowed by the series that spawned it.

Critics say once the cliched gags of Fresh off the Boat (Certified Fresh at 88 percent) are superceded by a grounded truthfulness, the series evolves into a humorously charming family sitcom.

Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, The Walking Dead‘s (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) fifth season continues to deliver top-notch entertainment.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, a documentary chronicling the life of the gay University of Wyoming student who was beaten to death in 1998, is at 100 percent.
  • 1971, a documentary about the group of citizens who broke into an FBI office and exposed the agency’s illegal surveillance program in 1971, is at 92 percent.
  • Ballet 422, a documentary depicting life in the world of the New York City Ballet, is at 86 percent.
  • Marjane Satrapi‘s The Voices, starring Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton in a dark comedy about a serial killer who talks to his pets, is at 79 percent.
  • Enter the Dangerous Mind, starring Gina Rodriguez and Jake Hoffman in a psychological thriller about an unstable electronic musician who falls for a woman he fears might publicly ridicule him after a failed intimate encounter, is at 30 percent.
  • Love, Rosie, starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin in a romantic comedy about childhood friends who spend their lives repeatedly flirting with the idea of a relationship together, is at 24 percent.
  • Mad as Hell, a documentary profile of Cenk Uygur, the outspoken founder of The Young Turks online news program, is at 22 percent.
  • Outcast, starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen in a medieval action-adventure about a fugitive prince and the crusader who protects him from assassination, is at 17 percent.

Finally, props to Andrew LaPlant and Alex Meyer for coming the closest to The Loft‘s 10 percent Tomatometer.

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