Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Futurama feature length movie

As a massive fan of Futurama, I'm glad it's back with Bender's Big Score, and IMHO as good as ever. After the first few minutes having a go at the "Box Network" who "cancelled" their delivery contract (hem, hem) we get into the story proper. Bender downloads porn which is linked to an obedience virus which puts him under the thrall of evil nudist aliens who want to steal everything, including planet Earth. And it all spirals downhill from there...

The gags are sharp and follow each other rapidly throughout the film. It also manages to avoid the plot-dragging weakness of the Simpsons Movie (the last feature-length production from the Groening stable). One criticism of the Simpsons on the big screen was that it felt like an extended version of a TV episode, but one of the weaker episodes. This was intended to be an extended episode, and came out as one of the better ones.

My only crit would be that they try and squeeze every bit-part character into the film, many of whom will only be recognisable to ardent viewers of the TV show. Why the Robot Devil would be leading his diabolical string quartet at a wedding is never explained. And, although it's nice to see Don Bot, Joey Mousepad and Clamps fighting on the good side for once, it seems odd that they'd be fighting at all, and not cutting some kind of deal with the naughty naturists.

And as a tease to all those Matt Groening fans, see if you can spot Bongo the Rabbit taking a break from Life in Hell to cross-promote himself. And if you're a fan of delicious irony, Mark Hamill, AKA Luke Skywalker, guests as the voice of the Chanukah Zombie (don't ask), flying a TIE Fighter with a Star of David on the side. Al Gore - who shows a Futurama clip to his audience in An Inconvenient Truth - also appears a couple of times (including as a cab driver in a hybrid electric car). And then there's Hypnotoad... ALL GLORY TO HYPNOTOAD!

This is the first of four planned full-length features coming straight to DVD over the next year. I can't wait for the next one!

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