The Muppets

Director: James Bobin
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Kermit the Frog
Released: Feb 10, 2012

So, what exactly is a muppet?
“Well, it’s not exactly a mop, and it’s not exactly a puppet, but man *laughs*……..so to answer your question, I don’t know.”
The precise definition of a muppet remains elusive. It’s not a talking animal and it’s certainly not a puppet (Jim Henson was very strict on that). Their defining features seem to consist of being relentlessly optimistic, impossibly charming and incredibly talented at putting on a good show.

The plot:
It’s been several years since the Muppets have been popular. They haven’t put on a show together for a long time. But when the sinister Tex Richman (Cooper) buys the Muppet studio with the intention of knocking it down, the only way he can be stopped is by raising enough money to buy the studio back. And the only way to do that is to put on a show. So, it’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights…

 The Muppets isn’t going to win any awards for plot, but Muppet films have never really been about the plot. It’s always been about watching a bunch of Muppets on-screen, being themselves and acting crazy. And the plot for this film fully allows for that, giving all the old favourites plenty of air time to win the audience over all over again.

In some ways the plot is quite clever. As there hasn’t been a decent Muppet film released since The Muppet Treasure Island in 1996, it is safe to say that the characters were in danger of growing stale. But, as Muppet newcomer Walter reminds us, the fans haven’t forgotten about the Muppets at all. They’re just waiting to laugh again. And The Muppets is a gift to those fans, a wave of nostalgia that simultaneously feels fresh and interesting.

Jason Segel and Amy Adams are well suited to their roles of Gary and Mary. They have the same ridiculous optimism required by anyone wishing to star alongside the Muppets, doing a number of catchy song and dance numbers. Adams is particularly good in this role, echoing her role of Giselle in 2007’s Enchanted. 

However, a Muppet movie is never about its human actors, but the Muppets themselves. Watching them get up to their usual antics is as enjoyable now as it was in The Muppet Movie in 1979. To go into further detail would simply take away from the film.

Overall:
The songs from The Muppets are instant classics, many as memorable as ‘The Rainbow Connection’ and incredibly catchy. Wrapped around these songs are irresistible characters and fantastic jokes. It will appeal to newcomers, but there is also wealth of in-jokes for dedicated fans. A triumphant return for the Muppets, which will hopefully lead to even more films and another show.

Rating: 8/10

“Kermit, you’re my hero…you’re on my watch” – Walter

Shamelessly Awful Facts:

  • This is the first theatrical Muppet film in twelve years (Muppets in Space = ill recieved)
  • Many of the songs were written by Brett McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame.
  • In early drafts of the script, Walter’s catch phrase was ‘peanut’ which he would utter whenever he was nervous or agitated.
  • My favourite Muppet film of all time is The Muppets take Manhattan, almost entirely because of this scene:

This film is kind of like:

  • Mnah Mnah – Doo doo beedoobee

or

  • Finding a bunch of old photos in your attic
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Published in: on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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