Music has constantly evolved from the punk days of CBGB in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Eventually evolving into bands like Guns N Roses, the movement of grunge within the early to mid 1990s to the gothic musings of Marilyn Manson at the tale end of the decade. At the end of the decade and millennium, art felt like it was evolving once more but staying somewhat familiar. With things like Hot Topic, “guy”-liner, tight pants and Warped Tour – the genre of emo seemed to give birth in the underground. Only to hit the height of popularity in the early to mid 2000’s. With this new breach of culture, other areas of pop culture were bound to try their hand at this new craze. 2001 seemed like the bed rock for such a movement. Ushering in films like Donnie Darko and a little show called Invader Zim.
Invader Zim premiered on Nickelodeon in late March of said year. Offering a dark and gothic alternative to the otherwise bright and colorful shows the network was offering. Thus the darkness eventually lost. After 2 seasons and 27 episodes, Zim was cancelled before the completion of its second season ever took flight. The series eventually concluded on a sister network four years later in 2006. Still since its cancellation, Zim has enjoyed an increase of popularity thanks to platforms like Hulu, Hot Topic and Nicktoons. The series eventually got a pseudo sequel, thanks to Oni Press, through a comic book. Zim returns once again to give the completion to his story with the new Netflix special, Enter the Florpus.
Florpus focuses on Zim returning to reality after many years in hibernation planning his next phase of takeover. Zim’s arch nemesis, Dib, has gone into a depression without his foe – only to also come back to reality, after Zim remerges. The majority of the film focuses on Zim’s take over of the Earth finally coming to fruition; only to backfire in the end. In some ways, the story of Zim feels strangely complete. The entire series and franchise has revolved around him coming to Earth – only to dominate it. Zim, not the brightest alien in the galaxy, is either strangely lucky or extremely intelligent. Along the way, him and his sidekick, Grr, craft a series of hijacks on the path to domination that allow for some of the film’s funniest moments. As dark as the series looks visually, the writing behind the sci-fi cartoon has always been witty and comical. Breathing new life into these characters that signature humor once again returns.
Though, perhaps the strongest factor of Florpus, isn’t its’ titular character but it’s antagonist in Dib. Depending on how you look at it, the series could portray Dib as the antagonist or protagonist. For the safety of this article, though, we’re gonna refer to him as the antagonist. Since the majority of the series and film focus on Zim and is told through his eyes, he is the true hero of his story. Logistics aside, Florpus does an extraordinary job at humanizing him as a character. For the majority of the series, he’s also felt like the crazy kid in class, the annoying little brother or the misunderstood son. Though, his arc, not only welcomes the discussion of mental health but also brings much needed depth to his relationship with his father. Allowing for some of the film’s most heartwarming moments existing within the confides of some of the weirdest spots. Invader Zim has always existed in the realm of weird. Though there are moments within in Florpus were that button is pushed more for the sake of shock value rather than actual narrative choices. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are well paced. Specifically, the third act is the one in question with the weird cranked up to 11. Florpus has a bit of a slow start but excellent execution upon its’ finale.
Overall, Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, is the satisfying conclusion to the cult favorite Nickelodeon series. The movie boast beautiful, gothic graphics that would make even the darkest of souls smile. The signature humor and weirdness return in brilliant fashion. Though, there are times where the shock value of the film can be a bit overwhelming. Seeming to just exist with no real purpose. Still the slow burn of Florpus crafts a satisfying finale that is paved with heart warming and terrific character moments with Dib and Father along the way. Be like Zim and believe that dreams do come true because Florpus is a sweetly sinister adventure that was worth the wait.
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Credits: Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is property of Netflix and Nickelodeon. We do not own nor claim any rights. Music by Beggars.