Futurama: Bender's Game Reviews
I can say with full confidence that Futurama: Bender's Game ties with Bender's Big Score for the title of finest direct-to-DVD films so far. For the fisrt half of the film it is largely a basic film, but it takes a different angle in the second half. It stands out as better because it is a very story-oriented film in the way that it establishes the political context of the universe as facing corporate corruption and rising fuel costs which gives it real-world allegory. Yet that is hardly the most important aspect of the story. Futurama: Bender's Game is great because it branches out into a fantasy concept. Parodying Lord of the Rings, Futurama: Bender's Game sees the heroes on a journey through a mystical land to fight the forces of Mom in witch form while continuously hinting at small elements relating to the popular game Dungeons & Dragons. The jokes in the film are fairly consistently good because they capitalise on the best humourous elements of many of the characters and the futuristic setting of the universe while also making a clever ploy at the mystical universe in the latter half of the film. The humour is great because it has a lot of clever visual ploys as well as edgy script moments, and while many of the jokes seem recycled, the story in the film manages to make up for that because it takes an all new angle for the narrative to focus on for once which comes off succesful. The numerous pop culture references are clever because it makes the story and the humour largely unpredictable, even if there are many moments where it proves to tread old ground. As a whole, it remains a fresh concept which keeps the material entertaining and transcends the quality of the preceding two direct-to-DVD Futurama films due to originality. As the story is all based around a fictional world within the universe of Futurama, it is not exactly that compelling and doesn't do too much for the characters which means that it is largely just an extended episode, but as a cheap and fun step in a different direction for the Futurama characters, it serves as lighthearted fun which is just what I wanted.
The design for medieval fantasy universe is really detailed and seems legitimate which gives the story a good front, as well as the fact that it has the same broad colour pallette and character design that fans of the series have come to expect over the years. The slight alterations for the designs of the characters to play into the medieval setting is convincing as well, so the animation is as good as ever. And the voice cast remain dedicated to the material, breathing a lot of comic energy into their roles which bring their spirits back again for this adventure. And the music is good as usual.
So due to an original plot and a lot of clevery parody elements, Futurama: Bender's Game is an entertaining addition to the Futurama story which leaves me enthusiastic about its future.