The Muppets – Review

The Muppets – Review

Review by FilmFellaLozz – 5.5/10

I was never a massive fan, nor a hater of The Muppets, so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this movie, as such. But then I saw the Orange advert before one of the movies at the local cinema. They usually have some celebrity in them, in an attempt to quirkily sell their telephones.  Anyway, The Muppets were in this one, and I was pleasantly amused. So, I was like, ok that was funny – I’ll check out the movie. Knowing that Jason Segal had put his all into this, to get it made, and then with Brett (of Flight of the Conchords) doing the music; this new Muppets movie had to be good, right? Well, let’s just say, I was disappointed.

Gary (Segal) and Mary (Amy Adams) are off on a trip to Hollywood for their anniversary. Gary brings his brother, Walter. Mary’s not best pleased about it. Walter is a Muppet-like puppet, who is obsessed with The Muppets. I promise I am not making this sound more convoluted than it is.  Anyway, the three of them go on the trip; and whilst there stop by at The Muppets run-down theatre, which is now a tourist attraction, which appears not to be attracting may tourists. Walter catches wind of an evil oil tycoon’s (Chris Cooper) plan to buy the theatre and tear it down. He then, with the help of Gary, sets about getting The Muppets back together to put on one big show to save the theatre.

There is an endearing charm to The Muppets of old; Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal, and it was nice to see them on screen again, but that’s where it ends. The movie suggests The Muppets aren’t relevant anymore, especially in terms of modern day entertainment, nor are they that appealing to mass audiences. Unfortunately, the movie is spot on. Ok, so they are puppets; this alone finds a difficulty in matching the aesthetics of CGI driven kids’ movies of recent years.  However, if you can look passed that, there was hope that the narrative, the dialogue, the comedy, the songs, the numerous cameo appearances, would bring it all together. They don’t. It’s not really that funny, at all. The narrative uses a tried and tested unoriginal formula; and the majority of the cameos just appear to be in there for the sake of it. That’s not really good enough. The biggest error that the movie makes, though, is creating a semi-major role for Jack Black, and then he doesn’t sing. The man can sing. The man sings funny songs for a living, for Christ’s sake. Yet, strangely he doesn’t utter a melodic line. That’s unforgivable.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found the whole seeing a puppet character in the same way you view a human character too bizarre. You’re just supposed to accept a puppet and a human can be related. That’s just weird, and I couldn’t really get passed it. Oddly, apparently talking puppet frogs and pigs is absolutely fine, though. I get that I appear to be setting my own rules and regulations here, but I couldn’t simply jump onboard with this.

The sub-plot where we see Gary spending too much time with Walter, and Mary gets a bit pissed about it, is a little insipid and kinda comes across as a bit of frothy filler. I’m assuming Adams got this role following her part in Enchanted a few years back where she sung and danced a lot, but she only got to sing one song in this. So, a bit of a waste really.

The songs. When I heard Conchord Brett was writing the songs for The Muppets, I was really quite excited about it. I don’t know whether a movie about The Muppets simply couldn’t allow for the quirk often associated to the songs in Flight of the Conchords, but I did feel that a trick was missed here. One song, ‘Man or Muppet’ was relatively amusing, but I’m pretty sure the addition of Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon) in the scene helped.

Kermit and Miss Piggy do their thing; the age old love/hate story, but there’s nothing new. The Muppets have their own individual thing right? So, why take Animal’s drumsticks away from him, until the very end; building up to what is eventually a massive anti-climax, when he starts banging his drums again. But at least the movie doesn’t build up or allude to anything. It just strolls along with no real intent. It’s kinda like ready salted crisps. It’s alright, but could’ve been a lot better, if only there was more flavour, (more anything); but will still have some weirdos thinking it’s the best. Either way, I feel a little bad for Jason Segal, as you can really see this was a passion project for him.

All in all, The Muppets have not evolved. They are the same, and I wanted more. Although, annoyingly bland, it’s a nice movie with a sweet sentiment, but unfortunately, never reaches anything higher than mediocre. Plus I watched this with a 4-year old, who in the middle of the movie wanted to leave, and then at the end, said it was awesome! I’m gonna stick with mediocre.

Review by @filmfellalozz

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4 Responses to The Muppets – Review

  1. Jenna says:

    Awww Lawrence! Did someone watch this film when he was feeling grumpy and a wee bit ill? I absolutely loved this film and I didn’t stop smiling all the way through it. And yes you are supposed to accept that muppets (not puppets :-O) and humans can be related because it is a kids movie… just like you accept that Toys can talk, or houses can fly because of balloons, or that an Ogre and a Donkey can be best buds. This is the rule of kids movies – anything goes even if it defies all logic.

    Thought it made a nice, refreshing change to kids movies and I hope everyone takes their kids to see this film so that these types of films aren’t lost forever.

    • Thanks for your comment, Miss Davies. I guess I can’t make the same allowances for a kids’ film whereby some characters are real people and some are bits of material. When all characters are the same, such as in your examples, it’s much easier to let stuff slide. And it’s not because they’re puppets. All characters in Team America were puppets, and that movie is great!

      Plus, I think most most kids’ movies have some kind of appeal to adults too; whether that’s jokes that would go above a child’s head or a nod to another movie for example. This had none of those things, except for the cameos. Which were pretty pointless additions.

      Plus, as I said, I watched this with a kid who thought pretty much the same as me.

  2. Matt Stewart says:

    Agree with Jenna, someone was having a bad day haha!

    Still, good review 🙂

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