Remember the Hamburglar, the McDonald’s character that drove innocent children to deviant lifestyles? Where was the positive influence – aside from the under-achieving clown known as Ronald? Who was there to save our children from entering a world of crime and debauchery? If ever there was an evil, super-sized villain that cried out for a noble foil, it was Hamburglar.

Film Reviews

The freakish trio known as the Aqua Teen Hunger Force probably doesn’t fit the mold for the ideal role model, but it’s a sizeable nemesis for the evil Hamburglar. The troop returns with Cartoon Network’s latest installment, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Vol. 4.”

Frylock, the intelligent, powerful mastermind, leads the crime-fighting group. Master Shake, easily the funniest character, is constantly at odds with his two housemates and always searching for material gain. The socially crippled and endlessly mocked Meatwad rounds out the team of dimwit heroes.

The fourth volume sees the return of “Aqua Teen” staples like their sex-offender neighbor, Carl, and the 2D Mooninites – an angry, moronic version of Pinky and the Brain. Fortunately, these hilarious villains open every episode – short skits entitled “Spacecataz” – and appear in several others. After wasting so much time in previous seasons with less interesting characters, the show’s creators appear to finally have gotten wise to the comedic brilliance of this demented duo.

Even though the Mooninites appear more often, the show still lacks consistent humor and novel ideas. The show’s creators attempt to throw scenes from every episode into a “Brady Bunch”-type collage in an attempt to keep things interesting. Unfortunately, the “Video Ouija” runs much too long and is too incomprehensible to be funny.

Several of the episodes are similarly mundane and overdone. “Unremarkable Voyage” has enough potty humor to fill a stock Adam Sandler film, and “Little Brittle” is a poor attempt at shock humor – a crippled rap star returns to try and take over the world before he’s eaten by a vampire.

Luckily, there are two episodes with the Mooninites that are as funny as the other two where they appear. Meanwhile, “Gee Whiz” uproariously mocks the FCC and their regulations on television. These flashes of brilliance are among the show’s few saving graces.

“ATHF” is occasionally over-the-top and almost always outrageous, far beyond conventional cartoons.

The freakish events, as well as the domestic problems between the crime fighters, are always funny. And even though the three are unable to defeat most of their enemies without outside help, Hamburglar doesn’t stand a chance against these misfits.

 

Show: 3 and 1/2 stars out of 5

Picture/Sound: 3 and 1/2 stars out of 5

Special Features: 2 stars out of 5

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