Weeklies

Movie: "Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder"
Year: 2009
Rated: PG
Genre: Animation
Directed by: Peter Avanzino
Writing credits: Ken Keeler, David X. Cohen

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 3/1/2009

Plot: Billionaire and owner of the planet Mars, Leo Wong, is planning to turn a large portion of the Milky Way galaxy into the largest minigolf course in the universe. To finish his course, he plans to destroy a violet dwarf system teeming with life. Leela joins a feminist/environmentalist protest group to stop him. After an accident leaves him with the ability to read minds, Fry is inducted into a secret society working to preserve the same star system in order to ward off an ancient evil.

Review: At their best, the last three Futurama movies were kind of funny. Mostly, though, they were pretty terrible, especially when weighed against the old reruns on cable. Luckily, the series managed to end on a high note with this last installment.

One of the hardest parts of seeing the series revived was witnessing the failure to revive the old style of humor that made the show so great. The humor of the original episodes relied more on subtlety, coupled with the occasional pop culture reference. In contrast, most of the humor from the first three movies was so bland and sophomoric that it would have seemed more at home in a modern episode of the Simpsons. The good news is that the writers finally got back on track with the joke-writing for Into the Wild Green Yonder. The bad news is that they waited until what maybe the end of the series to get there.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the filmís environmentalist message not being overemphasized. In the past, environmentalism has served as a launching point for the plots of episodes like ďSome Like It HotĒ and ďThe Birdbot of Ice-catrazĒ, but when used as the basis for Benderís Game, the pro-environmentalist themes were much more heavy-handed. Thankfully, though the plot of Into the Wild Green Yonder does stem from those same notions, it manages to seem more like a typical doomsday-type scenario coupled with dirty hippies.

I guess the overall point Iím trying to get across is that if you didnít think the first three Futurama movies were all that funny, prepare to be surprised. It lags a bit at the beginning, but Into the Wild Green Yonder finally manages to nail the humor that made the show popular in the first place. Itís worth noting that while the previous three movies were all part of a single ongoing story, the events of this film are more or less like a standalone episode of Futurama, with only a single, passing reference to the events of Benderís Game. Maybe thatís what made the episodes of the show work so well, or maybe the writers realized that the last movies were pretty lame. Either way, the show is finally funny again.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Mar 4th, 2009, 05:01 AM
I do not think I ever watched an episode of Futurama that I like.
Fanboy
Mar 4th, 2009, 05:16 AM
The last line of the review is the best news I've heard today.
Riot Control
Mar 4th, 2009, 08:42 AM
Futurama rocks. I must take the opportunity to watch this. Thanks, Doc.
Fookin' up planets!
Mar 4th, 2009, 09:36 AM
Benders Big Score was rad people... C'mon!
pickled
Mar 4th, 2009, 10:03 AM
I enjoyed all the Futurama movies, especially the last one. I just hope it doesn't end forever.
Member
Mar 4th, 2009, 12:21 PM
I hated the Beast with a Billion Backs with a vengence but I thought that the other films were good. I liked this one too but I found that the confrontation with the baddie at the end was very anticlimatic and a big disappointment when compard to the floating brains. All well, here's hoping that there's more Futurama in the future.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Mar 4th, 2009, 02:40 PM
While I actually enjoyed the first two Futurama movies (haven't seen the third or fourth yet), I do agree they're not nearly as funny as the show was. I keep hearing good things about this one, though, so I'll be generally optimistic about it (along with my continuing hope that Futurama continues on again, sooner or later).
Doctor Caliente
Mar 4th, 2009, 03:56 PM
I'd be willing to go on record that I've always felt that Futurama was much better and more funny than the Simpsons. Especially if compared to the Simpsons-drivel of the last 5 or so years. Yeah, don't bother arguing with me about the Simpsons sucking now. You won't change my mind. That said, I actually thought the first 3 Futurama movies were just so-so. I'll have to check this one out as it sounds like the show is going back to its roots.
Dirty Birdy
Mar 4th, 2009, 04:12 PM
I thought Big Score was OK, more a vehicle for "airing out" the characters, Billion Backs was the weakest attempt of them all. Bender's Game has a place in my cold metallic chest cavity, except for the "knife infomercial" that went on wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too long. Finally, Green Yonder felt much more futurama-y and I enjoyed it throughout.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 4th, 2009, 05:03 PM
From looking around at different reviews, it seems like most people thought the movies were so-so, but there's not much agreement on which ones were the least awful.

For me, the last three movies from best to worst are:

Beast with a Billion Backs
Bender's Big Score
Bender's Game


Maybe seeing them again would cause me to change my mind, but I seriously doubt I'm ever going to watch them again.
Member
Mar 4th, 2009, 07:25 PM
I won't read this review, I'm too anxious to get my own copy of it. I love Futurama!
The Mighty One
Mar 4th, 2009, 09:31 PM
Dr. Boogie, I'm a big Futurama fan so I apologize if this post is too long.

I think you are a little harsh on the other movies. While they are of varying quality and I wouldn't rate any of them higher than a B I still feel I need to defend them.

I admit that BBS doesn't bring the funny as hard as the series but I still think there are a lot of great jokes (Kiss my front butt!). What really saves the movie though is its story. It mostly feels like a mix of The Why of Fry and The Luck of the Fryish/Jurassic Bark. It was exactly what fans needed to reintroduce us to the cast that we were all sad to see go. It also made sure to focus on the entire Planet Express crew rather than just the big three (one of the few failings of the series). The best parts of the movie are the Leeloo storyline and the awesome battle against the Gold Death Stars at the end (who couldn't love that!). The only real disappointment I had was that it screwed around with the stories of The Luck of the Fryish and Jurassic Bark. I didn't think that was necessary to tell its story.

I know you listed BWABB as the best of the worst but I think it is the simply the worst . While I will mention that the first chapter had me rolling off my seat (DeathBall and the Crackslam are awesome) the rest of the movie was absolutely terrible. Many of the Characters felt like they were replaced by Skull versions of themselves who looked and sort of acted the same as the PE Crew but with none of the charm or character development. Where as BBS knew that since the crew has known each other for 7 years and thus are great friends BWABB disregarded all that for an OOC story that was essentially one big date rape joke. What surprised me was that I tolerated the movie (and even liked it) until Yivo showed up. At that point the movie took a serious dip in quality. The first time I watched it I only laughed at one of his lines (the phone message after he disconnected from everybody). When you have David Cross record 40 lines for a character who is essentially a tribute to Japanese tentacle Hentai and only one line gets a laugh you screwed up.

Bender's Game was a lot better than BWABB. While I think that the LOTR chapters were the low point of the movie they made me laugh a hell of a lot more than the Yivo chapters of BWABB. Even though the crew doesn't like each other as much as in BBS they at least act like they would have in a series episode (although Leela's temper was fabricated to enormous proportions to fit the plot). I also think that the first half is a really great episode. Leela's Temper along with Benders inability to separate reality from fantasy along with the Truth about Dark Matter make a great episode that probably would have made a great movie if the writers had expanded upon those ideas rather than make a bunch of tired LOTR's jokes. Luckily, since BG is more like connected episodes than a movie you can actually skip the entire fantasy bit and have it still make sense (just pretend that Igner told the professor his secret in the Nibblonian chamber and ignore that the rest of the crew "magically" appeared in Mom's Lair).

Phew! I hope that didn't drain you. I just wanted to present my thoughts on what I thought were two pretty decent movies (and one bad one).

On topic, I have to agree with you that ITWGY is the best movie of the series (and in my opinion one of the best episodes). We're back to the close crew of BBS and especially some development between Fry and Leela. Both the New Mars Vegas and The Purple Dwarf Star Segments are expertly written and very funny. If the show returns I hope that all the episodes can be as good as this movie.

P.S. I was purposefully vague about ITWGY so as not to ruin it for people who haven't seen it yet (looking at you Kilgore. You are in for a real treat).
Space Cowboy
Mar 4th, 2009, 11:09 PM
Wow. I must be a sheep or a fanboy or something because I didn't dislike any of the movies. The only thing that really bugged me about them was that the long awaited Bender's Game D&D storyline turned out to be yet another Lord of the Rings pastiche.

Granted, they really cut back on some of their "1% of the audience gets it" jokes, like about P and NP, and the uncertainty principle, and I whole-heartedly believe they're worse off for it, but I still really enjoyed these movies.
Oozes machismo
Mar 4th, 2009, 11:15 PM
All four of them were good. Maybe never as good as the best episodes, but never as bad as the worst episodes. Plenty of laughs even if you don't have a math degree or aren't a sci-fi fanboy. I'd wager that we'll see more Futurama in some form.
The Magnificent Bastard
Mar 4th, 2009, 11:38 PM
I liked the movies too. Beast With A Billion Backs was actually my favourite.

I don't think they were as good as the show, though.
Last of the Time Lords
Mar 6th, 2009, 03:00 AM
Just watched it. Yes, it is the strongest of the four movies, and would be a fine note to end the series on. I personally still hold out hope that we'll get more, though. The sales of these DVDs have certainly been high enough.
SKATASTIC
Mar 6th, 2009, 08:02 PM
I actually liked Beast with a Billion backs the least out of the four. Need to watch this one again. When Benders Big score came out I must've watched it 3 times that night alone.
Member
Mar 7th, 2009, 05:04 PM
I agree with everything FistfulOAwesome said, especially regarding Beast With A Billion Backs. It took alot of the heart out of the characters at the expense of a plot that wasn't that good to begin with.

I watched Into The Wild Green Yonder last night and immediately fell in love with it. There were so many times where I just laughed out loud.


*****SPOILER BELOW*****


I loved how they ended it with Fry and Leela finally coming together. They could had gone for something very dramatic and over the top, but it would had undermined the whole thing. Instead it was touching and poignant and the perfect way to end the series (if it is the end).