Review: The Muppets
PLOT: On a trip to Los Angeles, Gary and his Muppet brother Walter find that the legendary Muppets have gone their separate ways. Even more shocking is that a rich oilman has plans to tear down the old Muppet Studio to drill oil from underneath. Thus, Walter, Gary and his girlfriend Mary seek out Kermit the Frog to get him to raise money in order to save the old Muppet Theatre and bring his Muppet family together again.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! THE MUPPETS are back in all their stupendous glory. And the world is a better place for it. The much anticipated Muppet extravaganza features an all-star cast including Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones and a number of inspired cameos. The musical numbers are enormously catchy. And most importantly, the Muppet’s are just as wild, witty and wonderful as they ever were before. There is cause for celebration indeed.
THE MUPPETS is written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the men behind FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. While it would have been easy to modernize these fuzzy creatures and dirty things up a bit, both Segel and Stoller remain true to who the Muppets are. In this day and age where even children’s movies suffer from being overtly crude and obnoxious, the honest to goodness heart has not faded on these great characters. In fact, it is clearly referenced that Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang are too goody-two-shoes for today’s audiences. Hopefully, that is as far from the truth as one could get.
The movie follows the adventures of a brand new character in the Muppet universe. Walter is the “Muppet brother” to Segel’s Gary. The two grew up watching “The Muppet Show” while Walter dreamt of one day being a part of it. When Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Adams) decide to go to Los Angeles for a vacation, Gary convinces her to let Walter tag along. Once they arrive, they are off to the old Muppet Studios, only to find the Muppets have gone their separate ways, and the beloved studio is about to be torn down. When Tex Richman (Cooper) finally owns the land, he’ll be drillin’ oil and all the Muppet memories will be gone for good. The one hitch to this dastardly deed is that if the Muppets can raise ten million dollars, the studio will remain theirs. Before Gonzo can shoot himself out of a cannon, you can figure that the Muppets will band together to not only save their studio, but to bring back the old gang.
Now the plot isn’t the most complex bit of storytelling ever told, but it doesn’t need to be. If you are going to see a Muppet movie, you will want to see Muppets, and lots of them. In fact, there is even a rival group of puppeteer’d peeps called “The Moopets.” Best of all, the favorites are all there and for the most part, each and every character is given a little bit of screen time. As a fan of the series, it was just dandy to see characters that you had forgotten about after so many years back on the silver screen. Even Walter seemed like a perfect fit into this blast from the past, so much so that it feels like he really does belong with these familiar faces.
Much like the previous Muppet movies, there is a sense of wonder and playfulness here. We are one hundred percent sure things will work out in the end, but it’s the ride that makes for all the fun. The choice of music alone is undeniably enjoyable. The original tunes will have you bouncing along, and singing a song. “Life’s a Happy Song”, “Man or Muppet” and “Pictures in my Head” will bring you smiles and even a couple of tears.
THE MUPPETS is a celebration of what Jim Henson created. It is inspired and full of some of the biggest laughs I’ve had at a theatre in years. If the Muppets bring back memories of youth, imagine what it will do for a brand new, wide-eyed innocent crowd. This is a welcome return to what made “The Muppet Show” great. Piggy, Gonzo, Kermit, Beaker, and a bunch of chickens singing Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” add to what is one of the most awesomely entertaining movies of the year!
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|Extra Tidbit:||Make sure you get there on time because you don't want to miss the hilarious new TOY STORY short "Small Fry" which plays right before THE MUPPETS. This is what I call a terrific night at the movies.|