The Simpsons Movie – Review – 4 Stars

When I eventually got around to watching this film I was genuinely pleased that I had done so. I really left feeling satisfied and entertained. One of the key elements to the success of the film is that it didn’t try to mess with the formula of the show and t delivered what you expected. It just added little touches of genius to the formula and made it sparkle. This is similar to Jackass, in the sense that it followed the format of the show and delivered what you expected, just adding some things you wouldn’t normally see on TV. It didn’t try to attach a plot to it and in that sense it worked and delivered to its target audience. The Simpson’s add sparkle in many areas by self reference and also, like Jackass, seeing things you wouldn’t on TV:- see Bart skateboarding nude.

The Simpson’s movie is basically an extended episode of the series, but just focuses itself more in terms of its characters by highlighting a specific lack in their lives and really developing on that. The characters have been very weel established for 18 seasons of the hit show, so from this aspect the film has an unfair advantage. It’s not even like a movie based on TV show where you have to sell new actors playing the roles. Here the characters come straight from the small screen onto the big one much like ‘The X-Files aka Fight the Future’ in 1998. These characters are fresh in possibly at the one of the highest points in their series. So much is therefore already known about these characters that the film makers can dive right in and tell the story they want to tell. And they tell it well. The flip side of the coin is that these characters have been invading our little screens for eighteen years, and what is there left to say for them. Eighteen years is a long time for a television show to be running, let alone sending them onto the big screen to be scrutinized further. It is a pleasure then to find that they deliver and new aspects of their characters are revealed and relationships such as the marriage of Homer and Marge or the strained father son relationship which turns Bart to find a parent in Ned Flanders. 

So the character’s are what you expect. It has a decent, plausible (in that world) story in which many relevant social issues are dealt with. In that sense it is much like ‘South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut’. The question that everyone is going to ask, and the reason most people will go to see the film is this:- Is it funny? My answer:- No. I hope you continue reading, because that was a joke. It is HILARIOUS, in exactly the same way the show is. The style and humour has not been altered are been ‘unleashed’ in the sense that South Park was. It is the same classic Simpson’s humour that you’ve loved for years but is now backed up with pop culture references ranging from Green Day/Titanic, to Prison Break. Stuff that is truly unique to the big screen is also very funny. This includes moments where homer exclaims that why should he watch something on the big screen that he can see on TV. This self-referential tone which also includes in-cinema-advertising and to be continued gags, really elevate the film.

Because of the great characters and the obvious fact that you were always going to have a good laugh at or with them, we really do feel a bit emotionally moved by scenes where the relationships take strain. We really sympathise for Homer and Marge and genuinely feel a bit sorry for poor Bart when he feels a deep lack of love from his father.

Finally, to top it off, we are given some great political satire and real jabs at American politics. I don’t want to give anything away, but used wars and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the president really give the film a social commentary that can be read by those who are looking for it. All this is put together, with animation that although not groundbreaking, really does the job and includes sweeping camera moves not seen on the small screen. That combined with all the other ingredients of a great story, lovable characters and quality humour makes this better than a six pack of Duff Beer. You won’t be saying Doh by the end.