‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ Serves Up Solid Summer Laughs - Knotfest

‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ Serves Up Solid Summer Laughs

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on June 1, 2022

The Belcher’s first big screen adventure may not break the mold of the show but it also proves that it may not need to

When you’re a hit show like Bob’s Burgers, the animated series that hit the airwaves in 2011 and has steadily become one of the most beloved staples of television in the decade since, a good rule of thumb is to not shake up the formula very much. Bob’s Burgers is a sitcom through and through, the kind where a lot can happen in any individual episode but nothing actually changes much at all. The characters don’t age, the setting stays the same, and everything is basically reset by the end of each episode in order to be ready for the next one.

That doesn’t have to be viewed in any kind of negative light. It’s just the kind of show that Bob’s Burgers is, one that you can simply put on (any episode, any season), get some good laughs in, and go on with your day. So while it may be just a little disappointing, it’s certainly not a surprise that The Bob’s Burgers Movie doesn’t try to break the mold in any real way either. But for those who have come to love the Belcher family and all of their eccentricities, or those looking to jump into the series for the first time, this big screen adventure delivers the humor and heart that it needs to.

The movie has a setup much like any other episode. Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin) and his wife Linda (John Roberts) are trying their best as always to keep their humble burger restaurant afloat. Things are especially tough at the moment, as the couple has just been informed that they have exactly one week to pay up on a business loan or the restaurant is history. The good news is that it’s the anniversary of the nearby Wonder Wharf, which will be celebrated all week long and promises to bring in plenty of customers. The bad news is that a massive sinkhole has opened up directly at the entrance to the restaurant and isn’t gonna be patched up anytime soon. No way in = no customers.

While Bob, Linda and their one loyal customer Teddy (Larry Murphy) attempt to take Bob’s Burger mobile in order to scrounge up whatever cash they can, the Belcher kids are dealing with issues of their own. The eldest, Tina (Dan Mintz), is just as hopelessly infatuated by her classmate and neighbor Jimmy Pesto Jr. (H. Jon Benjamin yet again) as she’s ever been. Gene (Eugene Mirman) is determined to get his band to headline at a concert on the wharf. Louise (Kristen Schaal), the youngest, wants to prove that she’s brave despite teasing from the older kids at school. When a grisly crime is uncovered in the sinkhole and the Belcher’s landlord, Mr. Fischoeder (Kevi Kline), is the prime suspect, it’s up to Louise and her siblings to get to the bottom of the mystery and possibly save the restaurant while they’re at it.

Playing out much like an extended episode, the whodunit plot of the movie is ultimately secondary to what the series’ greatest strength has always been: Just letting these characters bounce off of one another. The Belchers and their various friends and enemies are as hilarious as they’ve ever been, and the show’s signature wit and rapid fire jokes miraculously manage to stay consistent even when pushed to an over an hour and a half format. That’s no easy feat for a series whose episodes don’t usually venture too far past the twenty minute mark – a testament to the comedic timing of the talented writers and cast.

As always, there’s also new original songs to be enjoyed throughout the film, though not nearly enough to call it a full-fledged musical as some promotional stuff has implied. There are only three musical numbers and sadly none of them are too remarkable or even very catchy. You can find better songs in most episodes of the show, which further accentuates how this feature length adventure is good but not nearly as grand as it could be. You can find a good 3-4 episode run that stands stronger both comedically and emotionally.

Even so, old and new fans of the Belchers and their antics will find plenty to love and enjoy. The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a perfect encapsulation of what people continue to love about the series. It doesn’t take full advantage of the big screen opportunity it has but at the same time it may not particularly need to. 

‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ is now playing in theaters.

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