Based on the original reviews of this film, I was expecting extreme randomness and the essence of simply four episodes strung together. That's not what it was at all. The entire show was quite coherent throughout, although I will concede only if you had the mental makeup to appreciate absurdity as a vehicle for comedy.
One of the characteristics about great sci-fi is the ability to take complex social issues, apply them to a different world altogether taking any personal biasness out of the equation, then re-examine the problem in a way that simplifies the problems and makes more sense out of them. This wasn't great sci-fi, but it did include this characteristic and was Douglas Adams-esqe in it's capacity to think completely outside of the box.
The movie features the Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They are unique in appearance and therefore stuck together with a familial relationship. Frylock is the logical and responsible one, Master Shake is abrasive and aggressive yet lacking common sense or intelligence (very much like a teenager who thinks jackass is brilliant programming and deems himself intelligent for knowing good TV when he sees it) and Meatwad, who is naive and irresponsible, but otherwise good hearted and just along for the ride. They know not where they come from, but are making the most of life in New Jersey and have a nextdoor neighbor who is a Ron Jeremy wannabe named "Carl" (who also owns a pool which makes him 'better' than most).
For those that deem themselves of higher intelligence, you should at least be able to appreciate the manner in which characteristics of the stupid are brought out to play in this world. The rest of the cast are very lifelike in the fact that the less intelligent they are the more aggressive and greedier they are. The Moonites are two dimensional and resemble atari figures and have lame 70's technology to match, yet are full of smack talk. I knew a 5'4" drummer just like this. The Plutonians consist of Oglethorp, who is also quite dumb but yet has an apparent leadership role, and his compatriot Emory. Emory is obviously more "with it" yet he just goes along with the ride much like the employees in "The Office". Finally there is the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past, who comes onto the scene as one of great capability including the apparent ability to look into the past, present and future. Although he speaks authoritavely and confidently as one with this knowledge, in truth he knows as little as everyone else and just likes talking. He is the great uncle you try and avoid at reunions. "A thousand years ago I ran for treasurer of the student council..." I'm still laughing at that.
The team tries to put together a piece of exercise equipment (ne'er an easy thing to do) even though they are warned not to, which leads to the potential destruction of mankind to the tune of a one-line techno song, which I found extremely poetic (the manner in which it moved was likewise hilarious). All of this perpetrated by a talking watermelon slice who is lucky enough to have Neil Peart, the drummer for the greatest rock group on Earth, to have as a compatriot.
Is it as funny as the "Knights Who Say Ni"? I certainly think so.
Admittedly, Walter's rational for creation was a little lame, but one could say it gives tribute to those who wonder if life on Earth was created simply to provide entertainment to our creators.
Another brilliant aspect of the show was the timing. Space Ghost C2C (which many of the ATHF producers worked on before this) was brilliant for it's pauses...something ludicrous and somewhat inane would be said and there would oftentimes be a pause as everyone stood perfectly still with perhaps a blinking or two before any kind of response. The ATHF movie introduces another dimension of this...Character 1 would say something inane (often times the hilarious Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past), then there would be a humorous pause, then a 2nd character would reply in an attempt to make sense of what Character 1 said and instead of a return pause, Character 1 would answer immediately and crisply although even more inane in order to support the first statement.
Finally, a note about the beginning. After the beginning musical sequences, there is a story set in New York thousands of years ago at 3 PM in 1492 which appears to take place in Egypt. Many are confused by this, but you should know this not part of the greater plot. It is simply Master Shake telling a story. He is not a procurator of the Truth, nor is he intelligent, but he tries to make up for it in aggressiveness and stubbornness. Therefore, everything is made up on the go and loosely strung together. What follows is the opening theme of the movie, THEN the actual movie begins.
In short, this movie is not stupid. In fact, this movie patronizes the irresponsibility, greediness and shortsightedness of the majority in today's world. Shake, Meatwad and most of the minor characters will rely on Frylock only to the extent they get what they want, then once again cast reason aside until the next "high". Shake even goes so far as to shoot Meatwad in the head while clowning around and not considering anything about the consequences of his actions. Once again, it is the Wise to the rescue in the form of the Professor (Mr. Peart). Never once do Shake, Meatwad or Oglethorp give credence to other's ability but instead try to take credit for the work of others. Inane? Yes. Absurd? Definitely.
But stupid? I don't think so.
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