Futurama season 7 episode 11 review: Viva Mars Vegas

Review Cameron K McEwan 4 Sep 2012 - 07:01

The Futurama gang set about a casino-themed heist mission in Viva Mars Vegas. Here's Cameron's review...

This review contains spoilers.

7.11 Viva Mars Vegas

Ah, Zoidberg. You beautiful, beautiful, lobster bastard!

But before I get to the story itself, plaudits, medals and gold stars must be lined up for the production team behind the re-versioning of the opening title sequence. Here, it’s rendered stunningly with real-life models, hands, tubes and, best of all, humour. Rather strange that they’ve decided to do it for this particular story and not the finale but most welcome regardless. Do check it out if you haven’t already. Well worth a watch.

After a highly amusing opening scene, featuring the robot mafia nabbing some cash from "Binks Armored Express" (what’s with Futurama and mocking films from 1999? That’s two weeks in a row!), the crustacean Doctor finds himself dejected and alone in his dumpster – only to find millions of dollars suddenly plopped into his home (unbeknownst to him, by the aforementioned mafia).

But why dejected? The Planet Express team make off to visit Amy’s parents’ casino on Mars but see fit not to take their lobster physician. Due to his windfall, Johnny Z decides to join his colleagues and blow his new-found wealth on roulette. Needless to say, he loses it all and finds the robot mafia looking for recompense. But, without a sandwich to his name, they are found wanting and elect to make the Wongs an offer - "Mr. Wong, we have a mafia proposal for you. Your casino, give it to us."

The Wongs are forced out but Amy, of all people, hatches a plan to get their property back – an Ocean’s 11/12/13/14 (depending on when you’re reading this) style heist. Lucky for them, Zoidberg’s entire body structure was accidentally polarized resulting in an invisible lobster. As you can imagine, all doesn’t quite go to plan…

Like last week, where The Matrix was parodied, heist films have been fodder for some time but this episode is full of enough hilarious moments (Zoidberg’s song, Hey Big Lobster, a pastiche of Hey Big Spender, for example) and gags (the introduction of the “Chart Room” and the subsequent chucklesome unveiling of numerous maps, charts and fold-outs) that you’ll overlook the lack of bite in its satire. There’s a bit of familiarity too, revisiting the Wongs and their treatment of the natives does rather feel old.

Viva Mars Vegas, whilst certainly not vintage Futurama, has enough pep and laughs to keep you going (and forget the fact that Amy is the brains behind the operation) – with the Robot Mafia and Zoidberg at the helm, it’s very, very hard to go wrong.

Read Cameron's review of the previous episode, Near Death Wish, here.

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Loved it when Zoidberg put all his money on one number at the roulette table. And won! Then let it ride on the same number. And won again! Then let it ride on the same number AGAIN.... and lost. Even I managed to find that tense, and its a goddamn cartoon.

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