The third of the straight to DVD Futurama movies, “Futurama: Bender’s Game” has arrived and continues the winning formula of the television series and two previous films.
This time the film starts out as a standard episode rather than continue the events of the past film. In true Futurama style, there are references to past characters and pop culture gags throughout. The early focus of the story is on the Dark Matter fuel shortage that is controlled by the greedy Mom and her corporation. Mom insists that prices are way up so she has to charge more for the precious starship fuel, but avoids any questions related to her record profits related to the ever rising fuel prices.
With the rising fuel costs the Planetary Express Office, is put on a very strict flight schedule that causes havoc amongst the crew. Fry (Billy West), still drifts aimlessly about life, Amy (Lauren Tom) is as shallow as ever and Leela (Katey Sagal), has an ager issue and is outfitted with a shock collar that jolts her whenever she loses her temper.
Bender (John Di Maggio), has a larger issue as he spots some of the staff children and their friends playing Dungeons and Dragons and wants to be a part of the action. It is learned that robots were not built for imagination so when Bender takes up the game and becomes the entity Titanius, he soon has a hard time distinguishing between reality and fantasy. Combine this with Leela’s entry of the Planet Express ship into a Demo Derby and you get a premise ripe with laughter.
The story shifts into high gear when Professor Farnsworth (Billy West), decides to use his anti-backwards crystal to end his old flame Moms hold on the fuel industry. The Crew make a startling discovery as they battle mom, and thanks to the power of the crystal and Bender, find themselves in a strange medieval world where each of them has new identities in this alternate universe.
In a race against time, the Planet Express staff must not only survive the alternate universe, but defeat Mom and her plans for universal domination.
With sharp picture and sound, this is a very enjoyable new adventure for fans.
There are loads of extras which include deleted scenes, commentaries, and a look at the next film “Into The Wild Green Yonder”.
All in all a welcome and satisfying film that should delight fans and help keep us happy until the new film arrives next year.
4 stars out of 5