20th Century Fox
Now playing in cinemas nationwide
Though not a rabid fan of the long-running TV show, I took in the feature-length Simpsons adventure with a fair knowledge of the much-loved series and its plethora of hilarious characters. In the film, the geographically-mysterious town of Springfield finds itself in an environmental pickle. Young Lisa rallies to clean up the lake of its pollutants, which is all well and good until Homer…well, long story short, uses it as a dumping ground for a silo of pig poo so he can hurry up and get some donuts. Suddenly tiny woodland creatures are mutated, and the US Government slaps a protective dome over the town to quarantine the mess. When the townspeople discover that Homer is to blame, a lynch mob tries to attack and they narrowly escape the bubble. As the residents of Springfield run out of everything and begin to riot, the Simpsons are off to start anew, until they learn of the President’s dastardly, misinformed plan. It’s all very topical. Suffice it to say, the resolve of this favorite family is put to the test. The result is an epic chapter in their story that involves bombs, conspiracy theories, Bart getting naked, and a marriage on the rocks. The laughs are constant and the gags are plentiful. For avid fans of the series, it’s a fantastic extended episode. For the rest of us, it’s a great adventure-filled comedy, but the stretch from 22 minutes to an hour and a half has some bald spots. There are tender moments here, and Bart has never been quite so sincere and full of yearning. But for all those momentary lapses, there’s another great gag around the corner just in time to save the day. And isn’t that what summer popcorn flicks are made of?