The popular Adult Swim cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force successfully made the leap to the big screen with 2007's Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, a no-holds-barred, R-rated elongation of the show. Now comes a new feature, Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm, that continues the fast-food heroes' mayhem. It's available via 4K Ultra HD disc, Blu-Ray, and Digital on November 8. Anyone who's a fan of the series will find plenty of laughs here to make the purchase worthwhile.
As the story opens, french fry container Frylock (voiced by Cary Means) has left the group on bad terms. He goes and gets a job in the tech department at “Amazin',” a not-so-thinly veiled version of Amazon. Its leader, billionaire Neil (Peter Serafinowicz), is an eccentric bundle of neuroses. He lives in a house shaped like a llama and has a tech expert, Elmer (Paul Walter Hauser), build a machine to physically stretch his body in an effort to become taller. Neil also has a plan to replace his workers with plant creatures whom he won't have to pay. Frylock's pals, milkshake Master Shake (Dana Snyder) and meatball Meatwad (Dave Willis), get wind of something fishy happening at Amazin' after their perpetually-masturbating neighbor Carl keeps having boxes of stuff he didn't order show up on the street in front of his house. The Aqua Team gang ends up reuniting in an effort to foil Neil's nefarious plan.
In a hilarious subplot, the 8-bit videogame characters known as the Mooninites repeatedly interrupt the film, fast-forwarding it and mocking viewers for watching it. They even give a number that they dare you to text. I did it, and they spent the rest of the movie blowing up my cell phone with insults. Yes, Plantasm is certainly interactive!
While there is a plot here, anyone familiar with the show knows it's largely just an excuse for a lot of weird, random, occasionally vulgar humor. On that level, the movie doesn't disappoint. It has all the craziness fans expect, but also some really sharp jabs at people like Bezos, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, whose vast fortunes cause them to become eccentric and often controversial. (Musk is, at one point, referred to as “a battery pimp who loves having sex with his batteries.”) Taking the Aqua Teen formula and using it to skewer billionaires and their often twisted sense of morality proves to be a funny idea.
Visually, the animation is a major step up from the TV show. It becomes quite elaborate in the third act, where all kinds of mayhem breaks out as Frylock and friends battle a very unusual foe. Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm takes the franchise up to a new level in terms of scope. Of course, it's pure silliness, although that silliness is executed well. And really, you need to watch the movie and text that number.
The extras begin with a digital copy of the movie, as well as filmmaker audio commentary. An animatic version of the film is here, with complete dialogue and sound effects. Anyone interested in seeing how an animated feature is put together will get insight from witnessing Plantasm in an earlier stage. Related to that are 22 deleted scenes – several literally only a second long - that run just under five minutes.
Elsewhere, you'll find “Aqua Teen Is Back,” a 6-minute making-of segment in which the creative team discusses giving the franchise a visual upgrade and expanding the type of story the characters are put into. Finally, there's “El Walko in SloMotiono,” a 3-minute music video where the filmmakers and actors parody those moments in movies where characters walk together in slow motion.
Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm is a nicely produced package, with excellent picture/sound quality and appealing supplementary material.
To order a copy from Amazon, click here.
out of four
Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm is rated R for language, crude sexual content and some violence. The running time is 1 hour and 16 minutes.