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July 29, 2007


Movie Review – The Simpsons Movie (2007)


The Simpsons Movie (2007)

The Simpsons has been on television for so long than many of their fans are younger than the show itself. The television show is an American institution, and The Simpsons Movie could easily be the most anticipated little screen to big screen adaptation of all time. It is nearly impossible for any film to live up to those expectations. It is a testament to the creative team behind The Simpsons that they have made a very funny film that is a good piece of entertainment for its 87 minutes. Unfortunately, that’s all that it is.

In The Simpsons Movie, Homer causes an environmental disaster that forces the Environmental Protection Agency to seal off Springfield from the outside world using a large dome. I am going to assume that I do not need to tell you the premise of the show or introduce the major characters.

The movie, as expected, delivers a lot of laughs and plenty of self-referential moments. The film actually seems to tone down the pop culture references and is fairly low on randomness, perhaps a sign that the creators wanted this to be a film that is not merely a product of its times. The humor stems from the characters and, although the Simpson family dominates the film, many of the laughs come from secondary and tertiary characters. I could not imagine this film being appreciated by someone who does not have at least a passing familiarity with the myriad cast, but, on the other hand, I can’t imagine that such a person exists.

The Simpsons Movie probably falls somewhere in the middle of animated television shows being adapted to the big screen. The film is certainly more interesting and better than the tedious straight-to-video Family Guy movie, which simply felt like an overlong episode. However, The Simpsons Movie never really rises beyond the television show to give us anything innovative or unique, like South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut or Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

The Simpsons Movie does not get boring or go too long, but it still feels like it’s no better than an episode of the show. Sure, it is a really good episode of The Simpsons, but I am not sure it would be amongst the best episodes of the show. The film never raises the stakes. The main plot is enjoyable enough, but the secondary plots involving Lisa’s crush on an Irish boy and Bart’s curiosity whether Flanders would make a better father are flat and lifeless. I can recall several episodes where the subplot was just as compelling as the main plot.

If you are a fan of the show, even if you are one of the countless masses who thinks the show isn’t as good as it once was, you will enjoy the film. If you are simply curious about the film due to the buzz surrounding it, but never cared for the show, then you will probably just find the film okay. As a die-hard fan, I must say the film was very enjoyable and I was not disappointed, but I can’t help but feel that the film could have been something more.

3 stars

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. jason
    Jul 30 2007

    make sure to stay for the whole credits till the end. Maggie even says something. I saw Kang in the credits but do not remember him in the movie at all. The trailers gave away all the jokes but none of the plot.

  2. Aug 20 2007

    Rishi, right on with the review… I just saw the movie and waited to read your review until I did.

    There were a couple times, mostly earlier on, that I thought the movie might break away from it’s typical show form-factor and take it to another level, but it never really did that.

    I liked the fact that the movie had a decent moral and a plot that concludes nicely. I think this was the big weakness of the Family Guy movie; it was all randomness and little plot.

    I’ve gotten used to Family Guy’s humor and actually find it funnier than Simpsons now, but the Simpson’s movie gave us something more than humor which Family Guy never could do.