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Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

Year: 2009
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Director: Peter Avanzino
Producer: Matt Groening/David X Cohen
Writer: Michael Rowe
Cast: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio, Lauren Tom, Snoop Dogg, Seth McFarlane

Matt Groening and Fox must have taken criticisms of the last few Futurama movies to heart. Each one was worse that the last, with the laughs drying up both within and between each film.

Into the Wild Green Yonder still shows signs of the flatness and padding it seems impossible to ignore when making a feature film out of a half hour TV show, but at least there are as many of the kind of fast, zippy jokes that made the best episodes from the TV series good.

The environmental message feels a little old but Amy Wong's callous industrialist father is developing a huge casino complex on Mars complete with a mini golf course across space, and when the construction threatens an endangered species Leela joins an eco-feminist enviro-terrorist group to try and stop him.

There's a whole lot more going on than there was The Beast with a Billion Backs or Bender's Game - such as Fry's ability to read minds and his indoctrination into an underground cult comprised of homeless hobos who see him as their saviour, and Bender's affair with the wife of a robot mafia don.

Maybe the expanded plotting makes each scene feel a little fresher, whereas the previous films dealt with single themes that just got tired faster. But there are much more laughs this time around and just like a classic episode of the series, you'll be interested enough not to notice the time passing.

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