Thursday, March 21, 2013

MR Into the Wild Green Yonder

...and finally the final Futurama film!

"I'm so full of luck, it's shootin' out like luck diarrhea. "
For more Matt Groening-related reviews, check these other pages below!

Movie: Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Directed by Peter Avanzino
Release date 2009
Genre Animated scifi/comedy
Country USA

Here we go, the end of Futurama.. again!

This one's the last of the direct to video Futurama films post-cancellation. This fourth film, titled Into the Wild Green Yonder, was released in 2009. It was written by Ken Keeler, based on a story he imagined with and David X. Cohen.

By this point, the show had actually been brought back thanks to the DVD sales. Fox had canceled the show in 2003, but Futurama was now resurrected at Comedy Central. So that means they planned this one a bit differently. It had been decided these films would be cut down in 4 episodes each for TV diffusion as the renewed Season 5. Into the Wild Green Yonder wasn't chopped up like the others but planned with a 4 parter-story arcs in mind.

Designed to work as smaller individual episodes, was this last movie doomed from the start, or did they save the best for last?

This movie starts up by giving each group of character their own stories and sending them off throughout the story.. only to be all reunited by the end.

It all starts when the Planet Express crew went to Mars, visiting Amy Wong's parents latest attraction - Mars Vegas! The very rich Wong family wanted to expand their futuristic Mars estate.

Meanwhile Fry discovers himself a new ability to read minds. And then proceeds to join the very special group of similar-powered Legion of the Mad Fellows.

Benders betrays everyone as usual. He falls in love and starts an affair with the Robot Mafia's Don Bot's wife.

Leela tries to rescue the last species on Mars that are being threatened by the Wong. She and Amy end up joining another groupuscule as well, a secret all-female neo-feminist society.

But what is as stake is bigger than all of our heroes, a dangerous catastrophe is coming up. Leo Wong wants to destroy entire planets to make way for his mini golf course. All these stories tie up and combine at the end for en epic finale!~

Of course, the problem with so much going on is that a lot of stuff gets thrown out the window. Fry and Leela's romance gets so little closure.

But new Futurama is never a bad thing, and this movie was designed to work as the end of the series if the crew couldn't get a continuation green-lighted.

As always, Futurama is a celebration of science fiction culture and every classic nerdy element of the genre, there's a lot of allusions and spoofs, scifi clichés, etc. The movie is even able to squeeze some time for cameos of several fan favorites such as Zap Brannigan and Nixon.

There's also a particularly impressive scene near the end when the explosion Wong caused is about to happen, a "there's your money shot" epic climax scene that contains almost every character that appeared in the history of the show, some that will get you say "I hadn't seen this guy in forever!" and guess who's this or that other one. Like that similar scene Matt Groening & co pulled out in The Simpsons Movie. Something they couldn't ever afford on the show.

Also, it's fun to see Bender take a backseat for a while, he steals all the screentime from the others usually.

The movie does end up on a sort of cliffhanger, letting us hang in there for more.

Overall, it was a pretty epic fantastic Futurama movie!

All the voice actors were at their best, the music, the atmosphere, the story, the situations. It really feels like the best of the show.

More streamlined and action packed than its predecessors. A lot of the show's recurring characters or situations were left for this last Futurama film. It really feels like the best scripted one, with the better one liners and jokes.

If the three first films felt like more like extended similar episodes from the show this one felt truly epic by the end.

It also worked as a finale. It kept us wonder about what would happen, and left the Futurama Universe open to further adventures.

Good thing it would be revived on TV on June 2010...

I give it:
3 / 3 Felixes!

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