The second of the straight to DVD Futurama movies, “Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs” has arrived and it comes loaded with laughs.
Picking up shortly after the end of the previous film, “Bender’s Big Score”, the people of our universe are in fear of what the new inter-dimensional rift will mean to them and there are those that predict an end to everything is coming soon.
Back at the Planetary Express Office, life is pretty much as it always is with one exception, Fry (Billy West), has a new girlfriend named Colleen (Brittany Murphy), and is doing well in his new relationship.
Amy (Lauren Tom) and Kip are also doing well in their relationship and buoyed by the success Fry is having decide to conduct a marriage like ceremony on Kip’s swamp filled home planet.
Soon after, a delegation of leaders from around the cosmos gather to listen to the head of (Steven Hawking) discuss options on how to deal with the latest threat from the universe. Naturally nobody can agree and when Professor Farnsworth (Billy West) runs afoul of his nemesis Doctor Wernstrom they decide to settle their dispute in a hilarious live action version of title ball. Of course the fact that their debate stems from which of their crews is best suited to get slaughtered by exploring the rift is of little consequence.
Once settled the crew of the Planetary Express under the command of Turanga Leela (Katey Sagal), shifts into high gear as their interpersonal relationships and quirks all come into play, often at the worst time which further complicates a bad situation.
While this is going on, Bender (John Di Maggio), becomes infatuated with television personality Calculon, and starts down a path that will lead him to becoming part of a secret robotic society whose stated goal is death to all humans.
As events unfold, an entity known as Yivo (David Cross), who inhabits the dimension on the other side of the rift, starts to control all of the people of our universe which places Fry in a Pope like position as he and the people start to discover the real reason Yivo is interested in our Universe.
Along the way, there are numerous subplots and some truly classic lines from Zap Brannigan and others as the fate of two universes will soon depend on the actions of the highly dysfunctional characters of the story.
While some may say the plot of this new Futurama does not grab you the way past episodes did, it does have plenty of humor; much of it comes in scenarios outside the main story arch and allows for some very nostalgic looks book at some of the classic moments from the series. I do not want to spoil any of the surprises, but let’s say that the phrase Snu Snu comes back as does some of Bender’s past.
Since this is the second of four planned DVDs, it is clear that the new offering is laying ground work for the next two films as it does not wrap things up in a tidy bow when finished. Instead it provides plenty of laughs and great moments of nostalgia for fans of the series and loads of extras which include deleted scenes, commentaries, and a look at the next film “Bender’s Game”.
All in all a welcome and satisfying film that should delight fans and help keep us happy until the new film arrives in time for the Holidays.
4 stars out of 5