Monday, April 16, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theatres

by Ryland Walker Knight

Time Travelin' to Nowhere

Erupting with an anti-audience escapade parade of heavy-metal candy-stand refreshments and continuing to an Egypt millions of years ago that happens to also be New York at 3 pm and filled with shake-drinking Sphinxes and modern airplanes roaring overhead the titular trio’s throw down with an oversized poodle with laser eyes, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theatres says it quite clear right up front: Trying to make sense of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters is tough—and mostly pointless. The joy of the film is that, in delirious out-of-left-field tangents, there is no real point. The movie wants your money and that’s it. Once you’re in the seat, they’ve got your money and that’s about all that matters, really, when it comes to, uh, the real world.

In the “Aqua Teen” world, however, forget about logic. There’s nothing coherent—even the exposition. Or, as much exposition as there is crammed into the 86 minutes, none of it holds any water: it’s all made up all the time. So, it’s at once a hilarious trip from a nowhere New York to a nowhere New Jersey shore castle and an exercise in “How much absurdity can we thrust on the audience and see if they’ll play along?”

I have my doubts whether or not the stoner set this film is obviously marketed towards will even like this thing. The “Aqua Teen” show is really hit-or-miss but when it hits it hits hard, in twelve minutes or less. Stretching that much freakish inanity to a feature-length film might sour the go-nowhere joy of the giddy late-night target audience. However, as the movie-film plays on its audience’s expectations, I may be plain wrong: it may be the surprise blunt-hit of the spring. Chances are, sober or not, previous fan or not, you’ll laugh—even if you don’t know why. But the why is hardly important. As a surreal experience, you should simply abandon yourself to it and see where you wind up. It’s kind of like submitting yourself to the best headache around: it hurts but you keep smiling, bewildered.

What then, you may ask, will we be submitting ourselves to? Well, since there’s no real plot to follow, I don’t know how to answer that other than there’s one event after another after another and each calls attention to itself, to its falsity and to its hilarity. Even if you don’t enjoy yourself watching this movie-film, you can’t deny these stoners know exactly what they’re doing. And what they’re doing it something both profoundly stupid and profoundly brilliant in its surreal, nonsensical approach. Since nothing connects, the dis-logic approaches Dada heights, employing that very anarchic and irrational attack on art one associates with Ernst and Duchamp. This movie is a toilet with the word toilet scrawled all over its jagged 2-D curves and flash-animation explosions. There’s a lot of explosions.

[The review is supposed to be available here but The Daily Californian's website is mostly unreliable.]

02007: 86 minutes: written and directed by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis

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