Reviews by Joyce Glasser The Bob’s Burgers Movie (May 27, 2022) Cert. PG, 102 mins
The hit Disney television series, Bob’s burger, created by Loren Bouchard, made it to the big screen as a family film in its own right. Staying true to himself, Bouchard co-co-directs with series producer Bernard Derriman and co-writes with Nora Smith, who co-created another music series. central park, with Bouchard. This is a film that the whole family can enjoy, although adults who aren’t fans of the television series may be less amused than the children by the comic antics.
Key to the success of the series and film lies not only in the authenticity of the family dynamic, but also in the filmmakers’ refusal to succumb to sentimentality or moralizing. Humor tinged with genuine compassion is used to great effect.
Unlike the movies from the TV series Absolutely fantastic or Downton Abbey, the working-class Belcher family does not travel to exotic places in the film. In fact, the film doesn’t differ much from a single episode of the series, despite being four times longer.
The animation hasn’t changed either. The filmmakers maintain the leisurely 2D animation style that is atmospheric without being stop-frame realistic. There’s something simultaneously reassuringly familiar and surrealistic eerie about the set design and animation.
Newcomers might miss some inside jokes and have trouble understanding the film’s particular rendition of the hilarious lines that aren’t highlighted as such in the dialogue. But nobody will have a problem understanding the headstrong family members and the way they interact as a unit.
Husband father and small business owner Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin) worries about finances for good reason. Business is bad and the rent is due. Wife-mother Linda (John Roberts), either by nature or by necessity, is the family optimist who always looks on the bright side of life (and initiates the first musical number as she sends her three children to school) even when the situation is tough is really gloomy.
Teenage daughter Tina (Dan Mintz) has discovered the opposite sex and fantasizes about a certain classmate, but doesn’t dare speak to him. Son Gene (Eugene Mirman) is in a band called The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee waiting for his big break, and 9-year-old Louise (Kristen Schaal) is inseparable from her pink bunny hat. Because of this and her cowardice, she is bullied at school. The film devotes much of its time to the story of how her parents contributed to this pink hat obsession, and Louise’s coming of age when she realized she was anything but a coward.
The problem that triggers the action is not only murky, but well-known to the point of cliché. Bob, a chronic problem child, is so worried about his inability to pay off the bank loan, let alone the rent, in seven days that he doesn’t even care for Teddy (Larry Murphy), a loyal customer and an impatient passerby who wants one , can cook burgers and doesn’t get one.
The current economic situation in Britain has transformed the plot from a cliché to a highly topical one. Audiences can identify with money worries, depressed high streets, corporate foreclosures, and high inflation and food shortages driving prices up.
In the case of the Belchers, the food shortage hasn’t hit the unknown coastal town where Bob and Linda run a traditional burger joint and live above the store. A take-out burger and a side of fries are turned down by the ruthless manager, who tells the Belchers he’s reducing his meat consumption and watching his weight.
Worse still, a giant hole opens up in front of their shop that, despite a makeshift alleyway access, ensures that even the hungriest burger lover is put off. And just when things couldn’t get any worse, her landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline), who might offer a reprieve, is arrested for the murder of pier employee or “Carney” Cotton Candy Dan.
While the Belchers take to the streets with Teddy’s makeshift burger truck and dodge the health inspectors, the kids, who have taken on their father’s problem without fully understanding it, set off to find the real killer of Cotton Candy Dan, so that Calvin can be freed. Clues in the drain hole eventually lead the kids to Calvin’s brother, Felix (Zach Galifianakis), and a case builds that he’s the culprit, until the movie’s big lawyer joke blows it all up.
The no-frills, rather goofy crime thriller isn’t for grown-ups, but it’s just the kind of situation inquisitive kids can get themselves into for all the right reasons. Its purpose seems to be to entertain the younger viewers as they watch the Belchers cruising around in go-karts and the Fischoeder trapped and adrift in a disused submarine.
Unlike many children’s films where the kids take the initiative and outwit the parents, it’s ultimately the parents who must save the kids, who find themselves at Fischoeder’s Secret Club House, their treacherous bikes abandoned on the pier. But it is the family, working as a team, that is stronger than any individual.
Despite the clever one-liners and more upbeat ending, there’s something sobering about the Belchers’ financial dilemma, the deserted Main Street and the run-down wharf that has seen better days. If the Belchers end up considering changing their beef-based menu, more serious changes are on the horizon that may even include pay-TV subscriptions.
Fans will be thrilled that the Belchers have made it to the big screen with this topical musical crime thriller.
Source link Fans will be thrilled that the Belchers have made it to the big screen with this topical musical crime thriller.