Wednesday, 25 July 2007

The Simpsons Movie

The most fun I’ve had at the cinema all year.

Yes, that’s how I’d sum up the greatness that is The Simpsons Movie. It is just plain uninterrupted fun, filled to the brim with jokes, self-references and imaginative humour.

I laughed constantly for it’s 80 minute running time, probably on average a decent laugh-out loud joke every 30 seconds. Finally a movie this year that delivers on it’s promise!

Don’t get me wrong if you’re not already a Simpsons fan there’s nothing overly new here that’s going to entice you in. It really is just three episodes back to back (be that 3 very good episodes) and it does exactly what it says on the tin.

It reminded me how funny and dynamic the Simpsons is. I’ve been a fan since the first series (when I was five years old) and I still watch it today some 17 years later (as do most fans).

I think it’s agreed that the best episode are in the first ten seasons (which I love), where each episode has an obvious story (maybe two) that it wants to tell, ever since then it’s gone a bit downhill. I don’t know why, but it seems to be that the focus of one or two solid stories has been lost and they just try to cram lots of crazy situations/jokes into an episode now with out the heart, and so it lost some of it’s appeal to me.

With the movie though you get the best of both worlds, here you have a core story that the movie focuses on completely (with a few side stories that interweave around it) and lots of genuinely funny jokes and situation mixed in as it goes along (that add to it rather than just being there for the sake of it).

I also particularly liked the fact that the movie stays centred on the Simpson family. Yes, pretty much every character who’s ever been in an episode makes an appearance (be it speaking or just in the background) but only in the context of the story. They could have just crammed every character into it and it would have ended up being a complete mess, but here they have the perfect balance between the Simpson family and making sure all the other favourites get a look in.

I love the look of the film, the added budget really gives the movie a polish and a sheen. Whether it be with the extra shading or the cgi cel-shaded backgrounds that really do look incredible when they move and spin around. Everything just has an added bit of quality about it to differentiate it from a regular episode.

I really did think this movie was genuinely funny throughout, and therefore I won’t write about any of the jokes as this movie is definitely best viewed fresh with no spoilers. If you’re a fan of the Simpson brand of comedy it is hilarious. I can’t remember a film where I have laughed constantly from beginning to end, my cheeks were sore afterwards. Not every gag is going to make you rupture your appendix but they’ll make you giggle, and none of the jokes fall flat. The whole audience I watched it with were having an excellent time. After about half way through I thought to myself “I hope they keep this up for the whole film”, and they did! The jokes keep coming and the story moves at a brisk pace (no fat to be trimmed).

The humour here is a mix of genre’s (as with the series) you have clever and imaginative stuff, slapstick, dry and few pop-culture references, but all of it works and isn’t out of place.

Thoroughly recommended to anyone who is a fan of the Simpsons and I’ll definitely be seeing again.


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