Movie Review: The Muppets!!!
The Muppets (2011)
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Walter
Directed By: James Bobin
The Muppets was one of the films I was most looking forward to this year, and it does not disappoint. This is a love letter to Muppets fans, by Muppets fans, and it is a nostalgia filled blast from the past. The film centers around Gary (Jason Segel, who also wrote the film), and his brother Walter, a muppet. The two are die-hard Muppet fans, and when Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) head off to Los Angeles for their ten-year anniversary, Walter tags along to see the sites. When they visit the famed Muppet Studio, they learn that a shady oil tycoon named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), is planning on the buying the studio and tearing it down. Heartbroken, the trio determine to find the Muppets, convince them to reunite, and save the studio.
What works best about the film is the fact that you can really see the amount of love and affection that Segel and director James Bobin have for the Muppets of old. There are some great fourth-wall breaking jokes that had me cracking up, and many of the adults in the audience at my theater enjoyed them as well. There was also a good balance of young kid humor (fart jokes) to keep the younger viewers entertained. I really loved seeing what the Muppets had been up to since they all moved on from showbiz, with Miss Piggy’s being my personal favorite.
Speaking of Miss Piggy, the cameo in her scene was one of the best of the movie, which is saying something in a film that is nearly jam packed with them. In fact, the lead singer from my favorite band also makes an appearance. I’ll save the surprise, but I will say it’s very appropriate and hilarious in the context of the film.
The only downside to the film is Chris Cooper’s musical number (yes you read that right), which comes out of nowhere and honestly wasn’t that funny. However, it’s over fairly quickly and the rest of the musical numbers are fantastic. The new songs for the film are catchy and fit right in with the Muppet songs you already know and love. In fact, one of them made me tear up a little bit. Strange that felt puppets can get to me emotionally, but most films with human actors barely register a whimper.
The Muppets is a must-see for fans of the characters. Nearly every Muppet is shown in the film (and my favorite, Beaker, gets some pretty great moments), and there are so many great moments that make you genuinely feel good that it’s impossible not to recommend this movie to everyone. Watching The Muppets was like running into a good friend that you haven’t seen in years. In many ways, it reminds you of what made you fall in love with The Muppets in the first place, and recaptures that feeling you had when you first say them, whether is was on the original show, Sesame Street, or one of their older films. I cannot recommend The Muppets more. Go see it. Twice. And bring your son, daughter, niece, nephew, younger brother or sister, or kids you babysit so they can see what makes these guys so great.
Four 1/2 Beakers out of Five