Sunday, June 29, 2008

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

The second of four planned Futurama movies is different from the first in some interesting ways. Beast continues directly from the cliffhanger at the end of Bender's Big Score, and wraps up the big question it left hanging, but overall it's much less plot-based. You could tell Score was made to be easily broken into normal episodes, but it still felt like it had a continuous, interesting storyline. It kind of messed with the past a bit too much but the time travel was still entertaining. Beast has a story, but it is much more obvious about being a string of interlocking episodes than a real movie, just in terms of the overall arc. The cliffhanger doesn't even really come into it until deeper than I expected.

Despite the more disjointed narrative, I might have enjoyed it more than the first movie for a simple reason - it was funnier. The point of the show has always been humor with developing the interesting world as a secondary concern, and the movie delivers very well. It's not an official measure, but I definitely feel like I laughed out loud quite a few times more often than Score. Some of the jokes broke the normal mood a bit, but it was still pretty funny the whole way through. The cast did a good job again, including special guests such as David Cross, who's always funny. His character is interesting although the actual dialogue is a bit standard sounding, but Cross makes it all work humorously. To be honest, I'm a little tired of Bender always being an asshole who usually ruins things, but I'm curious what the next movie, which appears to focus on him, will bring since the title is a reference to Ender's Game. The movie looks great and the DVD has good special features as always, and is something every fan of the show should grab ahold of.

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