Its good to see the adventures of Fig, Leela, and Bender continuing on DVD
Futurama is simply far to good a show to die. The DVDs are a change of pace from
the series, though, as what was once a series of half hour episodes has now
become a series of 90 minute movies. The first DVD in the series, Benders Big
Score, demonstrated that the shows writers were having a little trouble
adjusting to the new format. It felt less like a movie than a couple of shorter
episodes shuffled together and then padded out to fill the rest of the
designated running time. Disappointing, to say the least.
However, things made a turn for the better with the second DVD release, The
Beast With a Billion Backs. Not only were the writers able to create a cohesive
movie-length storyline, that story was filled with the wit and humor that made
the series so great in the first place. Because of this I had big hopes for
Benders Game. Even better, the storyline would give the writers the opportunity
to poke fun at the other loves of Sci Fi fans: high fantasy and role playing
games. Unfortunately, my hopes were misplaced as Benders Game is a return to
the disjoint, hacked together style of Benders Big Score.
Benders Game is really three stories in one: Leelas desire to avenge an
insult from garbage man by beating them in a demolition derby, a conspiracy that
inflates the cost of dark matter fuel, and the gangs trip to a parallel
universe in which Bender is a knight in a realm straight out of Dungeons and
Dragons. This last part is tucked into the movies last 20 minutes or so, and
while watching the movie I began wondering if theyd ever get to it. Some of the
best scenes in the movie are The Lord of the Rings parodies, but these are too
brief and underdeveloped. I would have rather seen a fully developed parody of
The Lord of the Rings, with the lame fuel crisis plot line dropped altogether.
Benders Game has its moments, but the overall lack of cohesion and overly
long and not too imaginative parody of 2008s fuel price crisis ultimately make
it more disappointing than entertaining.