Yes, I went to see the Simpsons this arvo, with two of my now very grown-up kids. How was it? Well, seriously, how do you expect it was? As Homer himself said right at the very beginning…. "Why would you want to pay to watch something you can see on TV for free?" I suppose the answer to that has to be…. in the expectation that you’ll see something other than what you can see on TV for free. Actually, this snippet from an IMDB review basically says most of it for me.
"Gone are the days of subtle satire and spot on spoofing of pop culture and we are left with crude jokes, sledge hammer political commentary and a very silly story."
Very silly story it was, but then….aren’t they all? There were still some of the clever satirical moments but you had to be quick to spot them. A quick take of an Itchy and Hillary joint Presidential ticket for 2008, for example. Big Arnie as President, saying he was paid to lead not read. Several good jibes at the current US administration and somewhat of a poignant statement of someone’s perception of father-son relationships in American society. But you did have to be awake to these gems, and other, scattered throughout the flick.
There were some funny bits, but the general humour of The Simpsons just wasn’t there. Homer was flat, Bart was too nice, and more than a little sad. Lisa didn’t really feature, Marge seemed to be off on a slant of her own, Maggie was much more expansive than normal. Monty Burns & Smithers……..in fact, just about every other character, had either cameos or didn’t appear at all. I think Barney belched once, Moe made a weak 30 second appearance and Chief Wiggum’s part seemed all but out of place.
The real power of The Simpsons, if it can be said to have a societal power, lies in it’s compact 30 minute television presentation. All that needs to be said or seen on any given subject can be heard and watched in that 30 minutes without the impact being lost in a haze of silliness. Unfortunately, for me at least, the 87 minutes I endured today was 57 too many. Out of 10…..I’ll give it a 4.