The Simpsons Movie

07/18/2007 12:00 AM |

Simpsons fans might be disappointed by the silver screen version of their favorite TV show. Then again, probably not. After 18 years, America’s beloved animated family arrives in theaters. The 87-minute movie plays like an extended episode. Blink a couple of times and it’s over.

Like Evan Almighty, The Simpsons Movie serves as a parable about our deteriorating environment. Springfield Lake is polluted and, thanks to Homer, gets overwhelmed with pig shit. The EPA decides to close Springfield in a dome, trapping the citizens. Locals rightly blame Homer, but the Simpsons escape the ugly mob and dome by diving into a sinkhole and coming out the other side. Next stop: Alaska.

Once in America’s final frontier, Marge wants to return to help save Springfield, while Homer likes his new snow-capped neighborhood. She leaves with Bart, Lisa and Maggie in tow. Later, Homer heads home on his own, and with Bart’s help saves the day. What more do you expect from a cartoon?

Watching The Simpsons Movie is like playing a game of catch-the-pop-culture references. There’s a movie called The Irritating Truth, President Schwarzenegger (“I was elected to lead, not read!”), Dome Depot, a Tom Hanks cameo, Red Rash Inn, Eski-Moe’s (a bar), Grand Theft Walrus (a video game) and the goofy theme song, “Spider Pig.”

The Simpsons Movie is funny, as expected, but not uproarious. Sometimes it pounds you over the head. And Homer and Marge’s split up and reunion are downright corny.

“What a great little accident you turned out to be,” Homer tells Bart. The same could be said about The Simpsons TV series, but not this movie.

Opens July 27