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FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2007
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REVIEW
‘The Simpsons Movie’

The universe of “The Simpsons” — outlandish, yellow and absent of normal human growth — has sketched with parodying perfection the struggle of family life, the exploitation of a neighbor’s good will and the bizarre qualities of school bus drivers, to name just a few of its accomplishments.

But “The Simpsons Movie” arrives long after the show’s glory days. Not to sound too much like the Comic Book Guy, but the Fox sitcom, which once brilliantly satirized TV’s conventions, has gradually settled into its own ruts — which usually entail Homer acting silly for silliness’ sake.

After 18 seasons on television, the much-anticipated big-screen debut of “The Simpsons” feels purposeless — as if creator Matt Groening finally thought: “Well, we might as well.”

After Homer pollutes Lake Springfield, the Environmental Protection Agency encases Springfield in a giant dome, and Homer must save the town and win back the support of Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. While “The Simpsons Movie” is — like the TV show has become — too much a caricature of itself, it still possesses good cheer, an aversion to self-seriousness and manic energy for stuffing the screen with layers of humor.

In Homer’s leap off Springfield Gorge late in the film, watch for a small artifact from a renown 1990 episode; it recalls both the show’s bygone triumphs and stubborn resilience. PG-13 for irreverent humor. 87 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

- Jake Coyle,
AP Entertainment Writer

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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