Tuesday, 24 July 2007

The Simpsons Movie

And so, after 18 years, TV's longest running dysfunctional family finally makes its debut on the big screen. Has it been worth the wait? Well, almost. It's not that The Simpsons movie isn't funny, it is, and at times is hysterically so. The problem is one of scale and whether giving you something that's free on TV each week will work at the cinema without substantial retooling. It's something the film addresses with a nice gag near the beginning when Homer speaks to the audience directly, asking "Why would I pay to watch something I can see for free at home?" Why indeed. And I'm not sure the filmmakers answer that question fully enough. There's some very fine animation, and some jokes that certainly wouldn't be allowed on a weekly episode. But while the quality of the wit and humour is mostly up there with what's come before (although it doesn't reach the heights of the great, great episodes, that's for sure), I wanted more. I wanted more than a longer Simpsons episode with cooler animation. I wanted something along the lines of what South Park achieved when it went Bigger, Longer and Uncut. I wanted a film. And as funny and inventive and smart as The Simpsons movie frequently is, I'm not sure it's that.

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