“I can’t believe we’re paying to see a movie you can get on TV for free! Everyone in the theatre is a sucker,” says Homer Simpson as he watches the latest Itchy And Scratchy movie. It’s another bang-on, off-the-cuff remark from Homer Simpson, but he’s so right – this time, it’s not funny. The longest running sitcom in history has finally made it to the big screen, but if you’re hoping that Matt Groening and co. will bring out the big guns for this long-awaited venture, you’ll be sad to hear that said guns remain firmly in the holsters. This episode sees Springfield at the centre of an environmental crisis: the town has been dumping waste into the river to such an extent that the EPA – headed up by Russ Cargill (Albert Brooks) – have placed a dome over Springfield to prevent it contaminating the rest of the country. Of course, Homer gets blamed and the family are forced to flee to Alaska. Can the great bald one return triumphantly and save Springfield? A wave of panic washed over me in the first ten minutes: Environmentalism? Lisa falls in love? Was this going to be another boring, preachy episode from the spiky-haired whiner? Fortunately, those fears were allayed as Homer and Bart remain front-and-centre for the duration and the jokes come thick and fast – for the first 45 minutes. After that, however, everything slows up and you realise you’re watching another regular episode stretched to breaking point. Apart from the slick animation that creator Groening borrows from Futurama, there’s nothing here to distinguish the movie from the series. Unlike South Park’s assault on our senses a few years back, The Simpsons never steps up a gear, preferring to stay in the tried-and-tested waters, while relegating old favourites like Mister Burns, Smithers, Moe, Lenny, Karl, Patty, Selma, Barney and Krusty (and I might be wrong but I didn’t see Skinner once) to cameos. Enjoyable; just don’t go expecting anything different than what you see on TV.