The Simpsons Movie – Channel 4

This big-screen outing for Homer Simpson and his cartoon family is a non-stop riot of visual and verbal gags

This big-screen outing for Homer Simpson and his cartoon family is a non-stop riot of visual and verbal gags.

‘I can’t believe we’re paying to get something we can see on TV for free,’ bemoans Homer Simpson at the start of the movie. This sly joke at the movie’s own expense is just the opening salvo in this laugh-a-minute film. It’s a seamless blend of witty dialogue and visual slapstick – not to mention the dozens of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them throwaway gags hovering at the edges of the screen – where each of the punchlines hits its target with pinpoint accuracy.

The plot is deliciously daft – Homer adopts a pig and thus sets into motion an environmental disaster that ends up with Springfield being quarantined under a big dome and the family fleeing to Alaska – but is really just the basis for a glorious spoof of American life and politics.

It’s so much more than just an episode of the TV show expanded to feature-film length, demanding repeated viewings to catch each little subtlety and nuance.