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Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder review

February 28, 2009

There’s three words you need to memorize after seeing a Futurama movie, “Uhh Well Okay.” It’s not that the Futurama movies are bad, they’re just half hour episodes of Futurama stretched out to three times their length. So what happens when you have 30 minutes of plot and jokes, but you need to fill 90 minutes? You get a Futurama movie.

The usual way these are done is to take a grand epic SciFi concept and pad them out with side storylines and clowning and a whole lot of guest stars. And Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder is no different.

The good news: Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder has a pretty decent concept and is basically a funny movie. Even if it’s still only 30 minutes of funny.

The bad news: “Uhh Well Okay.”

Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder dusts off all the old Futurama jokes, including the ones it should have left behind long ago. There’s Amy and her family of walking Asian stereotypes. There are the annoying celebrity cameos, though Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder gets credit for having an environmental plot without an Al Gore appearance, I’m honestly not sure how they managed that.

Of course there’s Nixon’s head as President, a joke that got tired a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. And when your target demographic wasn’t even born when Nixon was in office, Spiro Agnew jokes are even more pointless. But that’s what you get when the youngest writer on Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder remembers working with Andy Kaufman.

After a fun opening set on Mars Vegas, Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder fills a half hour with jokes about Mars Vegas and Fry and Bender competing in a poker tournament, before dusting off another chesnut, Fry as a savior of destiny playing a key role in a battle between two races. Yonder knows it’s a chesnut though, and jokes about it, but in true Matt Groening style uses it anyway.

The worst part of Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder though is the entire Feminista story, which beyond the sexism is about as funny as a hole in an oil tanker. The 40th repetition of a line inserting Femi into something should be considered an act of comedy terrorism. The really baffling part of the whole thing is that Futurama is making fun of something that doesn’t exist.

Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder does eventually go somewhere entertaining, and as usual the best highlights involve the underused Dr. Zoydberg, and Zap Brannigan’s appearances. Bender is of course overused as usual until you’re sick to death of him. The revelation of the Dark One is a nice touch, and so is the cliffhanger ending for the final Futurama movie.

Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder isn’t bad, it lacks the originality of Beast With a Billion Backs, but it isn’t anywhere as bad as Bender’s Game or Bender’s Big Score. And whether or not the series continues, it’s a decent but not great tribute to a series that used to be genuinely funny, but was mercifully cancelled during its worst season before it turned into an undying monstrosity of crappiness that will never die, aka The Simpson.s

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