Review: A Fun Summertime Mystery with the ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Crew

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Fans of “Bob’s Burgers” will find plenty to savor in the long-awaited big-screen adaptation of the Fox comedy about the odd Belcher family.

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” looks a lot like the original show – just on an oversized scale, which is all it needed.

It’s almost summer in this unnamed place that looks like a number of the bully beach towns on the Jersey Shore. For the Belcher kids, that means endless possibilities.

Eldest daughter Tina (Dan Mintz) dreams of summer boyfriends. Gene (Eugene Mirman) forms a band (his instrument is a napkin holder and spoons held together by some rubber bands) and hopes for a big gig on the nearby boardwalk.

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And Louise (Kristen Schaal) tries to prove to her classmates (and herself) that despite her bright pink bunny-eared hat, she’s NOT a baby.

Their parents, meanwhile, have more serious concerns: the bank is threatening to take back their kitchen equipment if they don’t repay a loan. Bob’s (H. Jon Benjamin) corruption burger (which he made especially for the bank clerk with an extra egg and all) doesn’t work. And he and his wife Linda (John Roberts) have to scramble to make a payment in two weeks.

Their wealthy and eccentric landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (an ever charming Kevin Kline) says he might consider waiving rent for a month as he drives off on a golf cart drinking champagne with his brother Felix ( Zach Galifianakis) and his lawyer cousin Courtney (David Wain). But things are further complicated by a massive sinkhole that has opened up in front of the burger joint, leaving the only way into the rough aisle.

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Naturally, the burger restaurant’s finances aren’t among the kids’ top priorities, especially when the remains of a long corpse appear, and they decide to skip school and help solve the employee’s murder. from Cotton Candy Dan Parkway. They are related, but we will not say how.

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” feels very easy and lived-in thanks at least in part to the fact that its voice cast has been doing it for over 200 episodes. The film was also co-directed by series creator Loren Bouchard and his longtime supervising director and producer Bernard Derriman and co-written by Bouchard and showrunner Nora Smith.

They know the recipe for success by heart and didn’t feel they needed to push the envelope and be something else to make a splash in theaters. This includes sticking to its signature 2D animation.

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There are even a few song and dance numbers sprinkled throughout. The songs are a study in contradictions: somehow atonal, catchy, charming and clumsy at the same time. That’s a pretty impressive feat. And yet, there are so few of them that it seems a bit of a stretch to market this as a musical.

Eleven seasons later, the characters may not be ubiquitous enough to recruit newcomers to start the film. The Simpsons and South Park were arguably best known when their movies came out. But “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is also not inscrutable for a novice. Like this no-frills burger joint with just one customer at the bar, it may even be worth the risk.

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” a release from 20th Century Studios in theaters Friday, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “coarse/suggestive language and material.” Duration: 102 minutes. Three out of four stars.

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