Oh, Futurama writers. You know I love you more than most kinds of booze and various sinful activities. Yet, alas, I cannot pile on the raves for the most recent effort: Bender’s Game, and for that I am so sad I must resort to . . . to . . . well, I guess I’ll have to resort to most kinds of booze and various sinful activities.
Sure, you had plenty of jokes about nerdy dark matter, collapsing symmetry, and other astrophysics stuff. There were some great gags, and it was a pretty rad decision to include snippets of Kathy McCarty’s cover of Daniel Johnston’s Rocket Ship:
But seriously, guys. After two movies that were just as entertaining as the original series, the Futurama team has finally gone and completely ODed on fanservice. I don’t mean the sexy kind of fanservice, like when we get to see Fry’s butt crack multiple times or when Leela and Amy make out for an extended period (or like Bender’s Big Score where we get to see everyone on a nude beach . . . seriously, Futurama writers, stop inspiring future pervs with really weird cartoon fetishes). No, the overboard fanservice comes in the form of half the movie forming one long parody of role-playing games and fantasy movies, mostly Lord of the Rings.
Now, I enjoyed LotR, I really did. Saw them in the theater, bought the DVDs, all that, but an extended parody of them is not really my bag. One throwaway episode of a series? Sure, but please, don’t take up the few precious minutes we get of Futurama these days. It’s a limited resource that must be protected and treasured, not wasted on cheap parody.
So, I give it a big ‘meh’ overall. Still better than nearly every other new DVD at your local failing video rental store, but not up to my personal standards. Take that with a grain of salt, though: IMDB users apparently like this one better than Beast with a Billion Backs, while I would rate BBB the highest of the three released so far.
I’ll close with a few of my favorite quotes from Bender’s Game. There were a lot of funny moments, but as I took notes I realized that the Professor had just about all of them. Turn away now if you don’t want any lulz spoiled for you (though there aren’t any plot spoilers here):
Professor Farnsworth: As Deepak Chopra taught us, quantum physics means anything can happen at any time for no reason. Also, eat plenty of oatmeal and animals never had a war. Who’s the real animals?
Professor Farnsworth: I pray to all powerful atheismo . . .
Professor Farnsworth: Instead of science we believe in crazy hocus pocus. It’s like Kansas.
Professor Farnsworth: It’s not a magical bug, it’s a magical arachnid you idiot. Can’t you count the legs?