Review: ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ utterly absurd 

As Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis, creators of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," state matter-of-factly on their Web site, if you have to ask what the show is about, it’s probably not a show for you. The same is true of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters," an 86-minute slice of animated absurdity sure to satisfy fans and leave everyone else scratching their heads.

There is a half-hearted stab at a plot — something about an exercise machine from the future that threatens to exterminate mankind — but "ATHF" is basically an excuse for its heroes, a trio of anthropomorphic fast-food items from the Jersey Shore, to riff on one another and watch TV.

It’s sporadically funny, rarely more so than in an opening sequence that cleverly skewers the "Let’s All Go to the Lobby" shorts from the ’50s. From there, the action focuses on Frylock (voiced by Carey Means), a hyper-intelligent box of fries, Master Shake (Dana Snyder), a smugly self-centered milkshake, and Meatwad (Willis), a simple-minded mass of compressed meat. Together, they take on the offending exercise equipment, chill with Abraham Lincoln and discover the secret of their mysterious origins.

There’s no point in dissecting the story, because "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" has never been concerned with compelling or even cohesive narratives. It is, at its core, an exercise in abstract silliness, tenuously held together by the charisma of its stars.

It is also an exercise best sampled in small doses. As one of the Cartoon Network’s longest-running shows, it has enjoyed modest success in 15-minute increments. Here, stretched to feature length, it labors toward the finish line, redeemed somewhat by its crudely subversive sense of humor. For the initiated, it’s worth a look.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters **½

Starring Dana Snyder, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Andy Merrill, Neil Peart, Bruce Campbell

Written and directed by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis

Rated R

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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