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The Simpsons

A Tale Nearly Two Decades In The Making

After nineteen years of mishaps, pratfalls, and screwups, the epically moronic Homer Simpson finally has his shining moment of glory in the big screen version of "The Simpsons". I think not. One of America’s favorite idiots is in fine form in his big screen debut.

Checked out and perpetually putting his foot in it, Homer manages to trump all of his previous miscues by dumping a load of toxic pig crap into an already severely over polluted lake, thus catalyzing a toxic response that leaves the government with no choice but to quarantine the entire town of Springfield in a giant "dome".

Springfield residents are up in arms and desperate to find the culprit for this environmental catastrophe. In typical fashion, Homer lays low in hopes that no one will find out he was responsible. It becomes difficult to hide when an empty pig crap silo with "Contact Homer Simpson if Found (no reward)" scrawled on it is pulled out of the over polluted lake. Thus, begins an epic tale of loss, redemption, and countless laughs.

Truly, there has been no comedy released this year as ambitious as The Simpsons in terms of sheer quantity and volume of humor. Director David Silverman manages to cram more comedy into this compact (barely) ninety minute film than one typically finds in an entire season of your average sitcom.

A reasonable amount of the humor mined in The Simpsons (as is the case in the television series) is social satire. From Arnold Schwarzenegger acting as President to the ever bumbling Homer Simpson outfoxing government agents, The Simpsons never pulls any punches and skewers with uncanny precision.

But, Silverman also mines the well established characters comprising the Simpson family for no fewer laughs. Homer is at the pinnacle of ineptitude. Bart is mischievous and irreverent. Lisa is smart, earnest, and clearly switched at birth. Maggie is a toddler with intelligence that is easily twice that of her father’s. Marge does her sisyphean best as homemaker and wife to the personification of stupidity for reasons that finally even baffle her towards the end of the film!

Laden throughout The Simpsons are tons of subtle jabs that elicit as much laughter as any of the aforementioned. A shot of Grandpa reading "Oatmeal Enthusiast", a Duff Beer ad imploring consumers to "Binge Responsibly", and a Doomsday Clock "sponsored by Timex" are but a handful of some brilliant comedic touches that require a viewer’s constant attention. A pregnant wink will have you missing something.

Admittedly, The Simpsons doesn’t necessarily add anything new to the franchise. But, viewed as a standalone comedy, director Silverman pretty much nailed it. The pacing is spot on, the laughs are abundant, and the voice performances of Hank Azaria, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, and Yeardley Smith are superb. But, honestly after nearly twenty years to polish their act, anything short of brilliantly funny for the Simpsons' big screen debut would be a disappointment.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars