image by Veronica V. Jones

Bender Scores Big with First Futurama Feature

Bender and the gang celebrate. Bender doing his best terminator impression. All hail the hypnotoad

In a direct to DVD delight, Matt Groening’s misfit staff and crew of the Planet Express return in Bender’s Big Score, the first of four planned Futurama films. It makes a certain kind of crazy sense that a plot device so overused and abused by countless science fiction properties — time travel — is put again to glorious effect in this animated mega-parody.

All Futurama fans know that without Fry’s clumsy cryogenics “accident” in the last moments of the 20th century, there would be no Futurama (or universe) at all. What we could not appreciate until this most recent 31st century adventure, however, was the true level of complexity in Fry and Bender’s temporally-twisted timelines. Each new “paradox free” time travel loop they initiate confuses and illuminates more and more of their hilariously tortured and entangled past.

There are countless reasons to celebrate the triumphant return of Futurama and Bender’s Big Score in particular: character development far superior to the science fiction properties it mocks, revealing the full danger of SPAM, and the merciless abuse of FOX executives are but a few key points. Most importantly, the Futurama creative staff have redeemed themselves for what may have been the single most gut-wrenching television episode in history: Jurassic Bark.

“Good news, everyone” indeed.

Written by in December of 2007. Last edited June 2015.

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  • Will - December 31st, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    There a number of reasons to celebrate the return, yes but….this movie didn’t pull me in.

    I like how they tied a number of things together from the series with the movie, and thank god for showing us that the back story of Seymour was revealed, but it almost feels like the writers attempted to jam so much into this movie that the results, for me, ended up having a story that was very disjointed.

    This is the way I look at it, as a huge Futurama fan: Either Bender’s Big Score is pure genius or total crap…. and I’ve yet to figure out which.

  • Jeff - January 6th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I think the ‘disjointed’ aspect of the movie was largely purposeful. The writers spun the plot off in several different directions, then knit them back together for the climax.

    In the end, either you’re entertained, or your not. I loved Bender’s Big Score, and can’t wait for more!