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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm

2022 | United States | 79 min | More...
A still from Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm (2022)
C+: 3 stars (out of 5)
on Thu Aug 31, 2023

For better and worse, it plays like an extended episode of the series.

The script by creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro sees Frylock get a tech support job at mammoth online retailer Amazin. In true Aqua Teen fashion, this morphs into an apocalyptic story about plant zombies taking over the world.

Though some supporting players like Markula pop up, this doesn’t offer a plethora of cameos like Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. Carl returns with a significant role, as do the Mooninites who—as usual—steal the show.

Their meta commentary interruptions throughout provide some of the film’s funniest lines.

Take their first scene, which sees them insulting the audience. Ignignokt closes the bit by saying, “We’re going to come up with some other wicked barbs to berate you with, but until then, choke on your pathetic excuse for entertainment. You just wasted $3.”

“No, it’s $19.99,” says Err, referring to the film’s video-on-demand price.

“What? For this?” says Ignignokt.

“Robbery!” says Err.

“No, this is nothing but a pathetic cash grab. Theaters rejected it,” says Ignignokt, referring to its direct-to-video nature as the pair waddle offscreen.

Peter Serafinowicz plays the most prominent new character, Neil, the founder of Amazin, whose diminutive stature has left him with an inferiority complex. He feels plucked from a typical eleven minute episode, but lacks the resonance of an MC Pee Pants or Dr. Weird.

Frylock intrigues Neil with a plan to splice DNA from a giraffe and ex-NBA basketball player Shawn Kemp (who plays himself) to create a taller clone of Neil. After some comical failures, Frylock succeeds, but no one thinks through the reality that cloning duplicates rather than transfers consciousness. This leads to both the original and the clone (named Big Neil for clarity) coexisting, only for the clone to imprison the original Neil and usurp his empire.

The humor remains on-brand throughout, mixing masturbatory jokes of Carl’s sexual arousal at his rising property values thanks to Amazin buying much of his block, with social satire regarding corporate responsibility as Amazin indentures its alien workforce by pushing their homeworlds into the sun.

Like the original series, the absurdist humor hits-and-misses. The longer running time means more misses, but they’re offset by the Mooninites.

“He’s a madman and he’s coked to the gills,” says Ignignokt, referring to Err as they interrupt the film yet again.

“Yeah! I got nowhere to go,” says Err, “except the liquor store before it closes.”

“Liquor is our guide,” says Ignignokt.

“Big-time!” says Err.

Series fans should enjoy it, but it won’t make any new converts. Indeed, it’s telling that a gag that would have eliminated the entire third act elicited big laughs, hinting that perhaps—even and only seventy-six minutes—this entry runs too long.

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Thu Aug 31, 2023 via Max