A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 114 – Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs

Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs – June 22nd, 2010

When we begin the second Futurama movie the rip in space is still there, being terrifying but not really doing anything. Life’s going on as normal, aside from people wondering just what the rip will do. Fry’s got a new girlfriend, Colleen, but it turns out she has four other boyfriends. Unable to handle a quintuplesome, he breaks up with her and goes on a mission to explore the space rip. And up until about there, I’m pretty on board with the movie. I’m even cool through the B plot with Bender joining the secret League of Robots and the minor plot point of Kif getting killed in an attempt to destroy whatever’s on the other side of the rip (he comes back). It’s when Fry comes back that the movie kind of loses me.

See, I don’t hate this movie, but bits of it squick me and even though it’s far more linear in nature than the first one it feels a lot more disjointed to me. I’m not sure what it is in particular that makes me feel like it’s broken up into more bits than last night’s. Maybe it’s that the plot is so linear but doesn’t flow smoothly. The transitions from bit to bit feel very defined. Maybe it makes it easier to break this one up into episodes, but that leads to it feeling odd as a movie. And then there’s the whole tentacle thing.

It’s like someone in the writing room said “Hey, you know how tentacle porn is an internet joke? Let’s totally make a parody of tentacle porn!” and then it wasn’t nearly as funny as it was meant to be. It’s kind of ooky, really. When Fry comes back from beyond the rip, he’s attached to a giant tentacle monster than wants to stick a tentacle in the necks of everyone in our universe. Or whatever neck equivalent is available. People with tentacles sound like a brainwashed cult, preaching love of the tentacle and trying to stick tentacles onto other people whether they want it or not. Leela resists enough to check out the tentacles and figures out that they’re actually “genticles” and are doing exactly what you’d expect. Um. Ew. Like I said. Ooky. Thankfully, the rest of the universe agrees and pulls the tentacles out. But then ooky again! Everyone goes on a mass date with the tentacles (which belong to a creature named Yivo who is the sole being in it’s universe). Eventually everyone decides to move to the other side of the rip and live on Yivo’s surface in perfect harmony, forever and ever. Until Bender ruins it all.

Now, part of my meh reaction to this one is the whole tentacle thing, I admit. It bothers me not because of the free love/polyamory theme, but because of the uninvited intimate alien contact theme. Sure, it’s done cartoonishly and it’s obviously disapproved of once it’s discovered what’s going on, but my gut cringes at it. And it’s a shame, because there are a lot of truly funny moments and lines in this one. Morbo’s got some good bits, and the whole thing with Bender and the League of Robots is great. Once everyone gets to Yivo’s surface and is all happy it’s got less ooky and more funny. But add the previous ooky to the choppy pacing and the convenient introduction of Colleen as the movie’s equivalent of Chekhov’s Gun, and it’s just not funny enough to make it worth putting in all that often. I was struck tonight by how annoyed I am that all of that makes me unlikely to watch this much, because it means I miss the funny stuff. Maybe I should just treat it like a series of episodes and only watch the ones that don’t bug me.

June 22, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , ,

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