The Simpsons Movie

As I desperately race to get 50 reviews by the end of 2008, I’ve been frantically searching for suitable things to review. What better than the first big-screen adventure of everyone’s favourite yellow family? Well, probably a lot of things, but it was the only film I had to hand.

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Like most people my age, I grew up watching “The Simpsons” on T.V. As I got older, I started getting more of the jokes and appreciating it more. What I’m trying to say is that “The Simpsons” has had a large effect on me for many years now. So, on paper I’m the movie writers’ worst enemy- the hardened Simpsons fan who’s seen it all and can quote it all. Did the film win me over? Find out the answer to the lamest cliffhanger ever, after the next paragraph!

Homer: Don’t you just love being with someone who’s recklessly impulsive?
Marge : Actually, it’s aged me terribly.”

The story basically follows Homer’s (Dan Castellaneta) accidental pollution of Lake Springfield, which leads to the city of Springfield being declared toxic and encased in a giant dome. The Simpson family are forced to become fugitives after the townspeople discover that Homer is the one to blame. The plot is at least functional, although I’m not a big fan of the whole dome idea. In fact, I’m not really a fan of the story. It’s OK, but after the time it took to bring the Simpsons to the big screen and drafts this feckin’ film had (158!) I expected it to be the new Jesus in animated form. My main problem with the whole thing is the villain. For some reason, they used a new character called Russ Cargill, voiced by Albert Brooks. Why not Mr. Burns? He’s such a great character and one of my favourites. He’s done dastardly things such as blocking out the Sun in the series, so why is he apparently incapable of encapsulating the city in a giant dome? When it comes down to it, Russ Cargill isn’t a funny character.

The film raises a lot of questions too. Why did they make the Arnold Schwarzenegger parody character, Rainer Wolfcastle, actually Arnold Schwarzenegger? Why did people think the Spider-Pig thing was so hysterically funny? Why has Lisa’s (Yeardley Smith) new love interest got the worst “Oirish” accent I have ever heard? Why are the making some jokes a bit ruder (Homer giving double middle fingers) and then making others more child-friendly? (“He’s not Spider-Pig anymore, he’s Harry Plopper”- I’m sorry, but if you are over 10 and laugh at that, you’re an idiot) When it comes down to it, I don’t think “The Simpsons” works as a film. It feels a bit overstretched, considering it’s around 4 times as long as your average episode.

“Homer: Homer do good?
Bart: Actually, you’ve doomed us all. Again.”

All of the above are minor things, really. Okay, I’ve just said I don’t like the story, the villain and that I don’t think it works as a film-but all those grievances go away when you’re laughing this much. It’s very, very funny and so much better than most of the crap out there, posing as “comedies”. The only reason I seem to be quite harsh to it is that I love “The Simpsons” and you always hurt the ones you love most- especially if you’ve been drinking. These days, episodes of “The Simpsons” are hit-and-miss, but the movie is like a longer good episode. I love the fact that Green Day and especially Tom Hanks lend their voices to proceedings too. As I’ve said, “The Simpsons Movie” is funny, satirical and intelligent. Word of warning though- does contain animated wang.

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