Comfortable and Furious

The Simpsons Movie

the-simpsons-movieLike most “Simpsons” adherents, I was expecting this film to be an utter disaster. The TV show has sunk to the credibility and integrity of a Mexican infomercial, without being nearly as entertaining.

When the good reviews for the film came out, I crossed my fingers that the producers had saved the funniest jokes from the commercials, which indeed they had. I laughed several times, like I laugh at Fresca.

There was nothing here that I’ll be routinely be dropping into casual conversation 10 years from now. No new scripture. Of course, what is to be expected when the filmmakers make so stupid a decision as to replace the flawless Renier Wolfcastle with Arnold and then seem to want to use Arnold to mock Bush? I’m not sure what the thinking here is. To me it seems like replacing Otto with Tommy Chong and using Chong to make fun of Robert Downey Jr. What’s the point? President Worlfcastle – that could have been fucking funny.

A more faithful person would have hoped that The Simpsons would find a way to toy with the big summer movie, alternatively mocking and embracing it as the show once did with all sorts of conventions. Or maybe hang a left and completely ignore the expected template and give us something like a serial killer flick.

Instead this is summer movie boilerplate, hitting its pinnacle when Homer is about to be shot, but then the shooter is hit from behind by … why, Maggie, of all people! The satire, parody and cultural play are a cut above Short Circuit, but nothing like the old days. Brilliant marketing, though.

The film is just funny enough to draw in the adult fans but is really one of those summer flicks aimed mostly at kids, which is decent enough that parents can tolerate being dragged back to it seven times. I guess David Silverman has been hankering for an ivory backscratcher, and Matt Groening has been betting against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Oh, and once I saw a blimp.