Simpsons Movie (2007) – movie review

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring (voices of): Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright

Director: David Silverman

That loveable yellow family from Springfield, USA have finally hit the big screen. Now we can appreciate Homer Simpson’s full body frame in all of its glory. Being the most successful cartoon of all time, THE SIMPSONS TV episodes have always been a sharp observing commentary on the absurdities of life. It cannot be expected for the movie to retain this sort of format as the story would need to be bigger than anything seen on the small screen and it would need to keep the audience’s interest going for 87 minutes. Somehow it does manage this feat.

Green Day is playing a gig on a floating stage on the Springfield lake. They try to bring up environmental issues to the Springfield locals, who are not the least bit interested and Green Day meet a titanic ending. As the local lake becomes more polluted, Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith) takes charge revealing this fact to the residents of Springfield. She somehow convinces the town to close off the lake, deterring anyone else polluting the lake.

Meanwhile, Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) and Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) are having a father and son moment, playing dare. One of the funniest sequences in the movie is Homer daring Bart to skateboard naked over to Krusty Burgers. Bart obliges but when the cops finally catch up with him, Bart expects Homer to take responsibility for the prank and he does not. Disappointed with his father, Bart is drawn to another individual who becomes a father figure to him, none other than Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer). In the meantime, Homer Simpson has taken to a pig that was about to be slaughtered and brings it home. As time passes, Homer spends a lot more time with the pig instead of with his own family. He builds a large steel container to store all of the pigs waste and when that becomes full, Homer’s wife Marge (Julie Kavner) tells Homer to take it away and have it dumped properly. Along the way, Homer’s mind has other ideas and he illegally dumps the container in the lake, totally contaminating it. The US government finds out about this and encases Springfield in a huge glass dome. The locals find out that Homer has caused all this and they are out for revenge. Can Homer, a huge man with a small brain, save his family or will it be one of his offspring, smaller frame with a larger brain, who will save them all?

As with a lot of comedies, it is difficult to maintain a constant laugh rate throughout the movie. Some of the jokes are hit and miss, but when they hit, they are funny. The funniest section of the movie is easily in the first half hour, before the main plot kicks in. Once we know what Springfield’s dilemma is, the laughs ease off and we get a lot more characterisation than what we would normally get in the TV episodes. Homer must decide whether his own selfishness or the welfare of others best suit his interests. Marge revaluates her relationship with Homer. Lisa finds a boyfriend and Bart finds a new father of sorts. While any one of these plot points might find their way in a 22 minutes episode, all of these come together in a way that fully engages the viewer from start to finish. Just like on TV, you have to stay to the very end to get a final, and one of the funniest, jokes in the whole movie.

4 out of 6 stars