DVD Review: Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder

All the other galaxies will be green with envy! In this all-new Futurama extravaganza, mankind stands on the brink of a wondrous new Green Age. But ancient forces of darkness, three years older than time itself, have returned to wreak destruction. Even more shocking: Bender’s in love with a married fembot, and Leela’s on the run from the law – Zapp Brannigan’s law! Fry is the last hope of the universe… so if yo’re in the universe, you might want to think about going somewhere else. Could this be the end of the Planet Express crew forever? Say it ain’t so, meatbag! Off we go, Into the Wild Green Yonder!

Into The Wild Green Yonder is the exciting final installment in the straight-to-DVD Futurama movies. Like its immediate predecessor, it generally stands apart from the previous ones with certain plot elements here and there incorporated into the story to keep up continuity (such as the Planet Express ship now running on whale oil instead of dark matter, which was disabled in the previous movie).

We open with the Planet Express crew viewing the many Mars Vegas casinos from an observation platform, right before the old Mars Vegas is detonated to make way for Leo Wong’s (intern Amy Wong’s father) modern casinos. The detonation and rampant destruction of the environment is protested by a small group of eco-feminists, who Leo Wong then proceeds to blow up (not fatally however). In the explosion, a feminist’s necklace gets lodged in Fry’s head and he finds out that he can now hear people’s thoughts. Leo Wong continues his destructive development by starting the construction of a mini-golf course that will destroy about 10% of the Milky Way. This is too much for Leela, and it causes her to join the eco-feminists against Leo Wong. In the interim, Fry is brought before a secret society, the Legion of Mad Fellows, that explains to him that he must stop Leo Wong from destroying a certain violet dwarf system and protect that system from beings called the Dark Ones. He’s the only one who can do this because of his mind’s lack of a Delta Wave, rendering him unaffected by their lethal mind powers.

Once again, the writers of Futurama have outdone themselves with the highest level of absurd humor seen in the franchise yet. With the ridiculous antics of the Legion of Mad Fellows (using their feet like a pointer, wearing foil hats) and the absolute disregard that Leo Wong has for all animal life (spraying for eagles like they’re roaches, sucking flamingos into a sprinkler system), the movie delivers over and over again in terms of hilarity (the striped biologist taunters are an especially clever bit). There are odd moments of sentimentality, such as when Fry and Leela have a chance meeting while she’s underground with the eco-feminists; however, they certainly don’t seem out of place or detract from the story. Quite the opposite, it helps to bring home the fact that the crew of Planet Express has an uncertain future ahead of them. Indeed, a comment towards the end of the movie suggests that humanity itself (at least in the Futurama-verse) has an uncertain future.

It seems apparent that everyone who works on the show was giving it their last greatest effort because of the current lack of future plans for Futurama. One of the final scenes of the movie is a total homage to the various characters from the series and movies. Overall, they chose a good way to end everything. It wasn’t the most creative, or the most touching, such as in the final episode of the series, but they gave themselves options and finally gave some definition to a relationship that’s been continuing throughout the series. It’s sad to see it all end, but at least they did it with finesse.

Review by Nicolas Bunzmann

Grade: B+
Official site: http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/futurama/index.jhtml
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