Futurama: Bender's Game

 
Over-the-top zaniness for fans of the cult TV show.
  • Review Date: November 8, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Don't look for role modeling here. Fry tries to help his friends, but Leela is volatile, Bender is mentally unstable, and Dr. Farnsworth is focused on his mission. The cast is diverse, but some robots who appear to be of African descent have stereotypical voices.

Violence

Mom slaps her sons mercilessly and frequently. The sons smack and gouge each other. Spaceships blast one another. Kill-bots fire a lot of ammunition at their intended targets and each other. Leela can't control her violent urges, which becomes a theme in the movie. Also, a dragon-slaying scene at the end of the movie is pretty gross and the beheadings and stabbings are gory.

Sex

A nymph with nymphomaniac tendencies appears in the alternate universe. Scantily clad, she kisses Dr. Farnsworth and then Leela while Bender watches in a creepy way. Mom and Farnsworth have a romantic history with one another that is reprised.

Language

Mom is brutal with her sons, calling them names like "ass-brain" and "milk-sucking leeches." Occasional use of the words "hell," "damn," and "ass."

Consumerism

A mention of Google ("Google the hell out of that map") and Mombil, a spoof of Mobil Oil.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bender is constantly imbibing. Whether it be beer, grog, or wine, he chugs it down throughout the show. Trippy scenes have hallucinogenic implications.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens who like the television show Futurama are going to want to see this DVD. It's not for sensitive viewers, or those who get grossed out easily. One character slaps her sons frequently, there's a rather gruesome dragon-slaying scene, and the Dark Matter that the characters in the movie are chasing for fuel is actually poop from creatures called nibblers -- you get the idea. Zany, wacky, sometimes violent, often funny mature cartoon action.

What's the story?

The plot is twofold: Bender (voiced by John Di Maggio) the robot wants to have an imagination so that he can play a Dungeons and Dragons-style game with the other kids. Meanwhile, fuel prices are soaring, prompting Professor Farnsworth (Billy West) to seek out his old flame, Mom, who controls the output of the Dark Matter fuel pellets. When Bender's imagination sends him over the edge (straight into an insane asylum for robots) as Farnsworth is activating all Dark Matter, Bender's whacked-out imagination morphs into an alternate universe where all the characters' alter egos meet for a medieval adventure.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Beginning with a scene straight out of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, and ending in a tribute to Lord of the Rings, FUTURAMA: BENDER'S GAME is a zany ride. There are so many funny cultural references, hilarious one-liners, colorful characters, and crazy situations that even the most ADD-addled viewer will be riveted. Of course, along with any cult fave, you'll find plenty of swings between humor and over-the-top, crossing-the-line behavior -- fine for forgiving fans but squirm-inducing for many parents.

Violence as a theme is addressed, as Leela is forced to wear a shock collar to keep her thoughts from veering toward violence or lying. Mom smacks her kids around enough to really push the envelope, and they engage in slapstick smacks and eye pokes as well. But the political commentary found in the quest for fuel is amusing, as is the reference to the Dungeons and Dragons lifestyle. Fans will definitely enjoy this addition to the Futurama series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Mom behaves with her sons. Is it offensive to see a mother figure slapping her children? Is it humorous? Or is it pushing the boundaries of decency? Why does Bender want to fit in so badly? What happens when he tries too hard?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 3, 2008
DVD release date:November 4, 2008
Cast:Billy West, George Takei, John DiMaggio
Director:Dwayne Carey-Hill
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Futurama: Bender's Game was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bywhaleoh4060 March 17, 2011
age 9+
 

HILARIOUS!

This was a great movie, hilarious parody of LOR. The "dodecalicious" was the best! At the end the violence was very over the top but it is very cartoonish and funny. The sex is DEFINITELY off for younger kids. Great movie for older children and adults! It made my dad laugh!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 9 years old March 27, 2012
age 12+
 

12 and UP

OK. The movies ARE WAY BETTER. I'd say this is 12+ for potty mouth and violence.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byhowsmart January 10, 2012
age 10+
 

hilarious

with guidance you and your older kids can enjoy this movie
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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