As a big fan of the animated series, watching the show in syndication every chance I get, I was excited to hear that a movie version of The Simpsons was in the works. However, I was skeptical because the show ceratainly had not been as funny in recent years. But the trailer ignited my interest again. And when my friend who had seen this movie told me that it was good, I immediately decided to catch it in threatre.
Lisa, being an earth-loving straight A’s student that she is, started a campaign to stop Springfielders from dumping more pollutants into the lake. The legislation went through. Guess who breaks the law and make Springfield the most polluted town in U.S.A.? None other than her own dad, Homer Simpson, of course. To "solve" the problem, the federal government decides to trap the entire town inside a mega-dome and leave them to fend for themselves. When the identity of the culprit is discovered, the angry town forms a mob, driving The Simpsons into exile. They have started a very comfortable new life, when they learn about the government’s new strategy to tackle the Springfield problem. The family — when I say the family, I mean Homer vs. everyone else — is divided on what to do…
Just like in many episodes, the movie opens with a footage of the Itchy and Scratchy Show, then Homer blatantly points at the audience and calls them morons, because they have actually paid to see something they can watch at home. This shows that the writers never take themselves too seriously, and they are confident enough to make fun of their viewers, just like they’ve made fun of their network, 20th Century Fox, for so many years.
That’s why The Simpsons is able to stay relevant throughout the years. I know a lot of people are critical of the show’s declining ha-ha factor, but I am personally glad that it does not resort to potty humour all the time just to get a few laughs. In all fairness, The Simpsons Movie is better than the last several seasons. It has a complete story and well thought-out plots. While many are saying the only thing they get out of the movie was the "Spider Pig" song, I actually feel that some moments are quite funny, such as Homer’s dog sleigh ride and his ill-fated attempt to rescue his family. It’s nice to see that the writers put in the hottest issue about environment and how the government is dealing with it in the movie, too, even though it is not the point of the movie at all.
Having said that, I can also understand why a lot of fans are dissapointed at the movie. Although it is not trying desparately to get the audience to laugh, it doesn’t not hold any surprises, either. It is just what we thought it would be, a 2-hour special episode of The Simspons. I’m also a little disappointed that Sideshow Bob didn’t make an appearance (Apparently, Kelsey Grammer did record lines for the movie, but his scene was cut). Homer has turned into a jerk rather than a lovable simpleton before. I don’t understand why Marge keeps putting up with him. It will never happen in real life. You hear that, guys? Lisa is still morally perfect without being too annoying. It’s a shame that we know that at the end of the day, everything always goes back to how it was before, and that means she has to say good-bye to her Irish boyfriend. Bart turns mushy for some parts of the movie, but he is still the daredevil we adore. And hey, it’s always nice to see Maggie kicking some butts.
After following the show for so many years through its highs and lows, I guess I just grow more tolerant. It’s been on the air for 18 years, for God’s sake. I am happy with the result — an entertaining movie and lots of fun with my favourite characters. Oh! Remember to stay for the credit roll, or you will miss Maggie’s first word!
NOTE: All photos © 2007 20th Century Fox