The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Review by Rich Cline | 3.5/5

The Bob's Burgers Movie
dir Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman
scr Nora Smith, Loren Bouchard
prd Loren Bouchard, Janelle Momary-Neely, Nora Smith
voices H Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy, David Wain, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Kline, Gary Cole, Stephanie Beatriz, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Jenny Slate, Sarah Silverman
release US/UK 27.May.22
22/US 20th Century 1h42

sw galifianakis kline

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Tina, Linda, Louise, Gene, Bob and Sergeant Bosco
After 12 seasons on TV, the Belcher family hits the big screen for a sharply amusing adventure. Subtly beefing up the animation while expanding the story to include some big set pieces, the movie will keep both fans and new viewers chuckling at a constant stream of sardonic wit. And because the characters are genuinely likeable, there are punchy deeper themes without the need to shout them.
In a financial pinch, Bob and Linda (Benjamin and Roberts) need to sell a lot more burgers this week during festival on the wharf theme park at the end of the street. Then a water main bursts in front of their shop, and a body is found in the hole. So the three kids step into action to solve the crime and save the cafe. But teen Tina (Mintz) is distracted by a classroom crush, middle son Gene (Mirman) has too many crazy dreams, and the younger Louise (Schaal) is in a crisis of confidence.
This cold case involves a murdered carny, which leads police to siblings Felix and Calvin (Galifianakis and Kline), who own the theme park, and their sidekick cousin Grover (Wain). Other big-name voices pop up as well, which livens things up, although the central characters have such riotously vivid personalities that they easily hold the interest. Internal monologs, dream sequences and random asides add punchlines along the way, and a madcap chase ramps up the action in the final act.

While the hand-drawn character animation is relatively simplistic line art, it's boosted strongly by expressive actors who make the jokes funnier with their deadpan delivery. And the filmmakers also make some inventive choices along the way, bringing out both humour and internalised feelings. For the big screen, animators add shadings as well as some eye-catching effects work to both create some bigger gags and to increase the scale and the stakes of the story.

Cleverly weaving together several threads into a cogent narrative, the script gives each character his or her own issues to tackle, which makes them remarkably easy to identify with. Like the Simpsons, the Belchers are a working class family who genuinely care about each other. They also feel the pressures of modern life and don't mind bending the rules to survive, sometimes gleefully so. And most endearing of all, they understand that they must rely on each other to get through each scrape.

cert pg themes, language, violence 27.May.22

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© 2022 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall