Well, I tried not to expect too much after the disappointment of the Southpark Movie, and I think this was a good tactice. Probably as funny as an early-season episode, the Simpsons Movie was funny, but not hilarious, clever, but not pretentious, and full of the usual foibles.

There was a surprising lack of some of my favourite characters, including Apu, in favour of a long tale about Homer doing something stupid and almost losing Marge. Again.

Of course, you can’t have the Simpsons without having the usual formula. Which is (assuming I need to remind you), Homer or another character goings somewhere/does something, this leads to a new object or person, who in turn leads to some kind of conundrum. The only way to defeat conundrum is to band together in the face of the mob.

Ok, with this in mind, off I went to the cinema!

This time, Homer really gets everyone in trouble… Basically by seriously polluting Lake Springfield. After dumping a silo of pig crap in the Lake, the gubbermint decides to dump a big dome over Springfield before they can pollute all of America. Once the townsfolk find out who caused their capture, they get a mob together and decide to lynch the Simpsons. They escape, and then have to redeem themselves.

The gags from this series of events are pretty good. Naturally Homer saves the day, no surprises there, but the hows and whys have a lot of humour, a lot of subtle digs at the establishment, and a lot of subtle digs at America itself.

The dome, for example, is something of an analogy for Iraq, with things going to pot as soon as the stupid president follows some stupid advice and isolates the trouble spot. But, it also ends up being the Death Star (something I don’t want to explain without giving too much away). Of course… I could just be over-analysing it…

Look for a array of cultural references. Hadyn noticed Lenny acting out Lando Calrissian in the final scenes of Return of the Jedi, while I spotted Raquel Welch in her One Million Years BC outfit. I’m sure there’s more.

An enjoyable outing with what seem to have become old friends.

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