In the early 2000s, the Cartoon Network came up with the novel idea of showing animated shows late at night that were themed for adults. It made sense. After a certain time of the day, their target audience is usually in bed. Hence, how do you fill the other twelve hours or so of the day where they are not parked in front of the television and hopefully tuned into your station? The network answered that question by airing such insanity as Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I was among those who watched the so-called Adult Swim lineup on Cartoon Network, of which Aqua Teen Hunger Force was, and I believe still is, a part. It is another one of those oddities of modern American culture that defies description. In fifteen minute segments (less if you take out commercials), you have what can be loosely called a food fight living in suburban New Jersey and solving crimes. I cannot emphasize the word “loose” enough. After a few years, they decided to make a feature film out of this stuff called Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007). It was basically like watching an extended episode, and to make matters weirder, there was a hand-written survey to fill out after seeing the movie in the theaters. Never in my theater going experience, before or since, has that been asked of me. Do not worry. There will be no survey to fill out here in this hopefully blessedly short review.
If you ever watched an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, then you will not be surprised by anything that happens in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. There is some vague plot in it about from where it is that the title team originated. It consists of Meatwad (voiced by Dave Willis), Master Shake (voiced by Dana Snyder), and Frylock (voiced by Carey Means). Put in laymen’s terms, a burger, shake, and fries. They can all talk, the result of long-ago experiments by the insane Dr. Weird (voiced by C. Martin Croker). It never truly answers the question of where they came from, and it all appears as merely a plot-fake (if I may coin a term) for something more sinister. There is always something more sinister, which is equally absurd as a concept. Inside the food fight’s house (because, despite living together, they constantly bicker) is a workout machine that has not been put together properly. It had been taken from their slovenly neighbor Carl (also voiced by Dave Willis), and Frylock wants to see it assembled. As per usual, he is the only one capable of thought (Meatwad’s problem) or action (Master Shake is notoriously lazy), and thus its construction is left to him. At the same time, it is being pursued by a whole host of characters from other dimensions and outer space that are too silly to enumerate. Long story short, Frylock finally gets his hands on the last piece, a kind of mother board to power its exercises. This is where everything goes completely off the rails. Of course, the only one with the anatomy to operate the machine is Carl, being a human and not anthropomorphic McDonald’s options. As soon as he sits down in it, the machine immediately transforms into a giant work-out robot that begins stomping through the city. It destroys everything in its path to the sounds of loud, techno dance music, and lays eggs along the way that hatch into mini, but equally deadly, versions of itself. The machine gives Carl an impressive set of muscles from the excessive lifting, which he is then promptly killed for by Dr. Weird. There is something added on at the end here about the team’s true origins, but whatever.
There is no earthly reason to watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. It is violent, bloody, completely irreverent, and seems to promote devil worship. There is cursing, drug use, and awful music. There is sexuality, both suggested and open, of all kinds. So why did this Catholic see this movie? As with so many things you watch, you almost as quickly forget it. This can be a blessing and a curse. It is annoying when I cannot remember every single detail of every episode of Downton Abbey. With its superior writing, likable characters, and lofty principles (with a dash of the common), it is everything that Aqua Teen Hunger Force is not. We were all young once. There is a lot of wisdom to the statement that youth is wasted on the young, especially when you watch shows and movies such as this one. Thankfully, God gives us the grace to forget them. I suppose I should look at my recent viewing of this film as a grace, too, since everything is when viewed in the proper way. It serves as a reminder of why I do what I do, using the tools with which I have been blessed. This is all a long way of saying: do not watch this movie.