Film Reviews

The Simpsons Movie

FOX Broadcasting Company
Out Now

Yes, The Simpsons, Americas answer to wit. Just made a 90 minutes long episode they’re selling as a “movie”, they let you know that within the opening sequence; add some expensive new graphic software, Bart’s “doodle”, microscopic controversy, some political yarn and you have yourself a Simpsons Movie.

I did wonder how long it would take before the creators decided to attempt this historic milestone, and I think they’ve managed to get the timing just right, after the immediacy of the “war” and before the collapse of the o-zone layer. The Simpsons Movie is exactly what you want from The Simpsons; humourous, sly, rude and lovingly warm-hearted. Considering The Simpsons Movie is making the same jokes, mocking the same things and people its still if not more clear than ever that this accident-prone, magnet for trouble, five-some of nutters really do belong together. And Homer puts it perfectly when he says, in an uncommon second of poignant honesty, “I’ve really come to like you guys.”

There are some brilliant parts; an encounter between Homer and a large breasted medicine woman in the desolate snowy wilderness of Alaska (they’re home after they leave Springfield). And after hours and hours of watching hundreds and hundreds of episodes of The Simpson on rubbishy TV screens, suddenly seeing Springfield on a cinema screen, you get a buzz of excitement as it pans through the almost realistic animated town.

Obviously The Simpsons Movie is not the epitome of animated films so far, nor does it try to be. Honestly it basically feels and looks like 5 episodes all put together, back to back. What The Simpsons Movie does, and really does well, is to return to the some of the series’ most stable and regular situations and themes while boosting it up just enough to give everything a new spark and level of excitement and suspense.In the film, Homer’s thoughtlessness and stupidity not only puts the rest of his family in danger, but it almost wipes Springfield off the map. Whilst Homer is causing a national blunder, he also manages to humiliate Bart when he challenges him to a dare. Causing Bart to go on a search for a more constant and loving father figure, and possibly finds one. But one of the more touching side stories involves the ever-loving Marge.

When she is suddenly forced to scrutinize her marriage to Homer, to see if anything there is worth salvaging. The film ends with one of the deepest examinations of the meaning of “I do”. And believe it or not, it does the last thing that you might expect The Simpsons to do; it leaves you with a lump in your throat.

I love The Simpsons, and I loved this film. It wasn’t spectacular; it doesn’t stay with you hours after you’ve seen it, or make you want to talk about it with everyone you bump into. But it was funny, touching and much like watching 5 episodes of The Simpsons, which is still better than the majority of films out at the moment.

Emily Paget