Saturday, June 21, 2008

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

This is the second feature length Futurama movie. The follow-up to Bender's Big Score had its moments, but it wasn't nearly as funny as the first one, and far inferior to the show. The biggest problem seems to be that the plot of this one just didn't warrant a full length movie. To make this easier, I'm reviewing the movie on the assumption that you're familiar with the TV show. Though that's not necessary for the movie, it certainly makes it easier since there's very little character exposition.

This time a mysterious rip in time and space has appeared (supposedly a result of Bender's time traveling in the first movie). This opens a porthole into an alternate universe. In a quest to mind a meaningful relationship, the creature of this universe, Yivo (voiced by David Cross), tries to marry himself with each and every member of our universe. Contrary to any sort of conventional wisdom, Fry (voiced by Billy West) becomes the vessel for Yivo. This comes after a rejection from his polygamous girlfriend, Colleen (Brittany Murphy). Meanwhile, Bender (John Di Maggio) continues his long time disillusionment with the second class treatment of robots. In a fairly tacked on side plot he gets initiated into the "League of Robots," who contribute only the bare minimum to the progress of the movie.

The movie wasn't great, but like any television series, not all episodes are the best. This has a more clean division of acts making it easier to split up into episodes than Bender's Big Score, but when put together at once, it comes across as a little choppy. The final act as a whole just wasn't needed. There were some funny moments with perennial favorites like Dr. Zoidberg, and a well planned out continuing conflict between Dr. Farnsworth and his rival Wernstrom. Unfortunately it also featured a lengthy story involving Kiff (Maruice La Marche), an annoying, green alien.

This movie seems like it would be better suited for a TV episode or two- not a full length movie. The limited plot was stretched beyond its breaking point, and lost its entertainment value about half way through. To compensate it included side plots that just didn't mesh with the primary one. Many of the jokes were random and kind of gross- more so than the show. Some of these seemed weird just for the sake of being weird, and were carried on a bit too far. It did feature some rather funny jokes, but it wasn't enough.


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