The Muppets (2011)

Back in December, I reviewed The Muppets Christmas Carol and found it to be somewhat… lacking.  I realised that my post-Jim Henson’s death Muppets-related experiences have mostly been in watching his version of The Muppets (and their awesome job at hosting Monday Night Raw on Hallowe’en 2011).  I don’t recall ever watching any of the Muppets movies in the ’90s or 2000s, and I used to own the first three seasons of “The Muppet Show” on DVD.  Watching that Christmas Carol made me wonder if I only loved the Jim Henson vision version of The Muppets.

Thankfully, Jason Segel (whose puppet love was explored deeply in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) co-wrote a screenplay that would see the resurrection of The Muppets we all know and love… except for Frank Oz apparently.  It’s a very meta and modern-feeling movie, with the abandoned Muppets Studio in danger of being bulldozed so the wonderfully evilly-named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) can drill for oil underneath it.  This evil plan is uncovered when Smalltown residents Gary (Segel), Mary (Amy Adams) and Walter (voiced by Peter Linz) go on vacation to Los Angeles.  Apparently this is the same world that “Greg the Bunny” exists in, as Walter being a fabricated American is not really remarked upon.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s the greatest Muppet thing ever, because in my books THIS is pretty fantastic.  However, I think it honours the characters, Jim Henson’s vision and makes The Muppets relevant again for one of the first times in their Disney-owned history.  Yeah, a lot of the jokes are cheesy and slapsticky, but that’s part of the wonderful charm.  You can tell that Segel and director James Bobin (of “Flight of the Conchords” fame) truly love The Muppets and didn’t want to just churn out another straight-to-DVD installment.  There’s loads of celebrity cameos to enjoy, and Flight of the Conchords member Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for one of the songs featured in the movie.  It’s solid entertainment, and one that I may actually grow to love upon re-watchings.

4 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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