I have never watched The Simpons TV series on a regular basis, but I’ve seen enough episodes over the years to get the basic premise of the show. I’ve always thought the show was pretty funny, so when I heard about The Simpsons Movie release over the summer, all I could do was wonder what took so long. I knew I would see the film at some point, and that happened over the weekend when I finally rented the DVD. It turned out to be similar to all the episodes I’ve seen: a few decent laughs, a couple of chuckles, and plenty of entertaining moments.
Plot summary (with possible spoilers): The plot for this movie was very straightforward, which I guess is a good thing since I’m sure a lot of younger kids wanted to see this. As the film opens, we see that Lake Springfield has become nothing more than a dumping ground for industrial waste, chemicals, and all kinds of other pollutants. After the band Green Day dies in the lake, Lisa Simpson decides that it’s time to take some action. With the help of an Irish boy named Colin, Lisa convinces the Springfield residents to stop dumping waste in the lake.
This works for a while, but then Homer gets a pet pig. At first, Homer just put the pig’s waste in a silo in the backyard; however, it begins to smell so bad that Marge demands that he remove it at once. On his way to the town dump, Homer learns that the donut shop is giving away freebies, so he decides to toss the silo into the lake to save time (and get to the donuts that much quicker).
The pig waste brings the lake’s pollution level to the breaking point. Mutant animals start appearing, which causes the federal government to get involved. An EPA official named Cargill decides to drop a huge glass dome over Springfield to seal in the residents and their problems. When everyone learns that Homer was cause of their domed existence, they form a mob and storm the Simpson home. The clan escapes through a sinkhole in the backyard, make it to the other side of the dome, and decide to move to Alaska to start over.
The rest of the film then deals with the the various mishaps that the family gets into on the way to Alaska, as well as Homer’s attempt to get back into Marge’s good graces and save Springfield.
My Reaction: I’m not sure how the hardcore fans reacted to this film, but to me it felt more like an extended TV episode than anything else. Yes, there were a couple of things thrown in there to remind me that I wasn’t watching FOX (like that shot of Bart’s penis or Marge saying “God damn”, but otherwise, there was very little difference from what they do every weekend. I guess it didn’t help that I watched this at home on a Sunday night instead of at the theater!
I have to say that I was disappointed that some of my favorite characters didn’t make it into the movie. I can’t believe the writers didn’t give Apu anything to do! And how hard could it have been to give Mayor Quimby a speech or two? After all, the pollution directly affected the town, so wouldn’t it be natural for the mayor to have something to say about the issue?
I really don’t have any comments about the plot because it was highly outlandish, as is usually the case with The Simpsons. At least it moved along pretty quickly, and at just about 80 minutes to the credits, there wasn’t much time to get bored.
Overall, I thought The Simpsons Movie was a decent film for a bit of mindless entertainment, so I give it 3 stars out of 5.