“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is co-directed by Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman and stars H. Jon Benjamin (Family Guy, Archer), Dan Mintz (The Awesomes, Adventure Time), Eugene Merman (Archer, Delocated), Larry Murphy (Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Delocated), John Roberts (Watch What Happens: Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), Kristen Schaal (My Spy, Gravity Falls), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Missing Link), and Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda, Wild Wild West). This is the film debut for “Bob’s Burgers”, a show that currently airs half-hour episodes, Sundays on Fox. When the Belchers find themselves in a financial rut, specifically one that could potentially close their restaurant, things only get worse when a sinkhole forms right in front of their establishment, heavily affecting their potential traffic. Meanwhile, the Belcher children attempt to solve a mystery that could potentially save the restaurant.
“Bob’s Burgers” was never my goto show, but it was one of those shows that I would watch from time to time when nothing else is on and I want a quick, easy laugh. Because just about every time I put it on, I get that. The concept is simple, a dysfunctional family lives together and operates a burger joint. Within each episode, new shenanigans happen, and there are usually ridiculously fast-paced comedic attempts. The humor is the definition of mile a minute. That said, when I heard they were making a “Bob’s Burgers” movie, two thoughts came across my mind. First, why are we getting a “Bob’s Burgers” movie before “Family Guy?” On that note, if anyone at Fox would like to talk to me, I have an idea for a “Family Guy” movie. Actually, three of them, I’m still working on the third one, but bear with me. Second, I thought an idea like this can work. This is not the first time an adult Fox cartoon got the theatrical feature treatment as we have seen that with “The Simpsons Movie,” which I thought was particularly delightful. And in a show that has spawned as many iconic lines and memes as it has today, “The Simpsons Movie” doesn’t shy away from giving more. There is a joke in that movie where Homer literally gets caught between a rock and a hard place, and I arguably died watching that scene. My ghost is writing this review as we speak.
I have watched more of “The Simpsons” than “Bob’s Burgers” over the years, so I do not know as much about the latter. That said, when it comes to movies, I honestly think I liked “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” as much as “The Simpsons Movie” when I watched that from start to finish. And if you know the “Bob’s Burgers” show, chances are that the writing style and execution of various jokes and concepts in this film may be somewhat familiar to you. The movie is not short on quickly-timed, mile a minute humor. There was a laugh out of me almost every other minute or two. This movie felt good for the soul. Laughter truly is the best medicine. So if you are at home, you are sick, turn on this movie. You might feel better afterwards.
Now the movie, like the show, is titled “Bob’s Burgers,” therefore you would expect Bob, wonderfully voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, to be the shining star of the show. To me, he was not the beacon that illuminated the plot. That honor instead goes to Kristen Schaal’s character of Louise (right). Of all the characters in the film, she had my favorite arc. The film dives into some school drama where she is often referred to as a baby because of her potential avoidance of select scenarios. This comes into play throughout the film and by the end of it, I was perhaps rooting for her more than anyone else. I have no idea how much the film’s events are going to have an impact on the Fox series, but this film introduces some backstory to Louise’s character that I found rather touching. It gave depth to her and the Belcher family, it was well-executed.
At the same time, Tina, played by Dan Mintz, had some school drama that caught my attention. I say that lightly however because the film, as it is sort of advertised, takes place around the start of summer, so everyone is supposedly finishing school. Tina spends much of the film fantasizing about a boy, which provides for one, a perhaps relatable and look at teenagers fantasizing or fancying someone else they know, and two, a couple of my preferred comedy gags in the film. There is an entertaining scene where the two imaginative lovebirds are riding horses through the desert that had me chuckling quite a bit.
Bob and Linda are two hearts and souls of the show, and obviously, they make their presence visible in the film. The dynamic couple spend much of the film doing whatever they can to save their restaurant, either by convincing their banker, convincing their landlord, or convincing a bunch of people in an amusement park. The chemistry between these two is on point and I was not disappointed with how these two were written. That said, I think the film’s supporting characters had the more memorable journey to back them up.
Over the years, “Bob’s Burgers” has become somewhat known for crafting various original songs. And this leads me to my first big problem with the film. The film has a marvelous, catchy opening song, but the rest of the music did not quite live up to what that first song ended up bringing to the table. I do not hate musicals. Granted they are not my goto genre, but I do not hate them either. That said, one thing I recognize is somewhat hard to do in a musical is create a moment where someone can instantly jump into song and have it feel authentic enough either in that world or close enough to reality that the viewer can buy it. “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” has one of those moments, in addition to one or two songs that I may have already forgotten. As of writing this review, I somehow recalled one particular song, and immediately cringed upon remembering it, if you would like to further affirm my thoughts on the film’s music.
The other flaw of the film comes within the third act. I would be dropping massive spoilers if I went into it, so I would rather not talk about it. Especially considering how the movie has not released to the public yet. But I will just say that something happens in this third act that is incredibly crucial that was one, not executed in a fully satisfying way, and two, lacking in verisimilitude. “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is a cartoon, therefore verisimilitude is not always the first thing that comes to mind. But I think even for a cartoon like this, there is something towards the end of the film that feels a little over the top. There’s a lot of imaginative concepts this movie was able to get away with for me because it felt real enough within the context of the “Bob’s Burgers” universe. But there was one thing that I think pushes it over the limit. I will not say what, but my complaint still stands.
In the end, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is like a long, entertaining episode of the show. It is hilarious, fast-paced, and adventure-filled. I think if you are a fan of the show, this could be a longer, but familiar dose of entertainment. If you have never seen the show, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” could be a solid starting point. I do recommend it. I do have my problems with the film, and there are better movies that have come out this year, but for my two cents, I am going to give “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” a 7/10.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is playing in theatres starting tonight, May 26th and will be released everywhere tomorrow, May 27th. Tickets are available now.
Thanks for reading this review! This weekend, I am going to be seeing “Top Gun: Maverick,” so stay tuned for my thoughts on that film whenever they come about. Also, coming soon to Scene Before, I will be releasing an updated article, diving into heavy detail, on why Mamoru Hosoda’s new film, “Belle,” has jumped from being a great flick, to one of the best films I have seen in years. If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “The Bob’s Burgers Movie?” What did you think about it? Or, which film based on a Fox animated show do you think is better? “The Bob’s Burgers Movie?” Or “The Simpsons Movie?” Personally, I would put them on the same level. I would have to think about it. But let me know your thoughts down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!