Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Release: The Muppets

"Mah na mah na."  If reading that means you just sang "Do doo da do da" to yourself, this movie was definitely made for you.  Alternatively, if you didn't love the Muppets as a child, but now YOU have a child, this movie might also be made for you.  And if you just enjoy watching cultural icons reinvent themselves by going back to their roots, I guarantee you'll like the new film The Muppets.

Starring Jason Segel as Gary, who has been dating Mary (Amy Adams) for nearly 10 years.  They're going to go from Smalltown, USA to Los Angeles for their anniversary.  Gary's brother Walter has always felt a little different and growing up he bonded with "The Muppet Show" on TV.  He wanted to be part of them and has always felt the world just wasn't made for him.  Gary and Mary decide to bring Walter to LA to see The Muppet Studio.  While there, Walter overhears a plot by an oil baron (Chris Cooper) to tear down the studio and drill for oil unless the Muppets can come up with $10 Million in 2 days.  Walter convinces Gary and Mary that they must tell Kermit the Frog and make sure he knows what's going on.  And so the adventure begins.

That's pretty much all you need to know, even a bit more than you need to know.  If you've ever seen a Muppets movie or TV show, you know more or less how it's going to end.  The difference in this movie is that it takes you to some pretty great places along the way.  There are the requisite celebrity cameos, but unlike in many other movies of late, they attempt to drive the plot rather than just show us the famous people who like the Muppets.  Instead, it shows you famous people who embody what the Muppets attempt to stand for.

The best part of the movie is the music.  Some songs are written by Bret McKenzie from "Flight of the Conchords", and it makes such a difference to have a creative force like Bret and Segel behind this movie.  The music is completely over the top, but works perfectly with the Muppets.  Very tongue-in-cheek throughout, it's almost impossible not to sing along.  I highly recommend this movie for it's inherent entertainment, but if you also ever loved the Muppets, you'll love this for more reasons.  Check it out! My only criticism is of course the bad guy and his "scheme" that must be thwarted - it's ridiculous, but still keeping with the Muppets past.   4 of 5 stars/lambs

Oh, and if that's not enough, see this in theaters because there's a TERRIFIC short film that carries forward from Toy Story 3.  A little girl in my audience put it best after seeing the short, "That was all so funny."


Dan O. said...

Longtime Muppet fans will undoubtedly have more fun than young ones, but for the most part, it’s a witty, delightful romp, that shows you that you can still be funny, without ever being mean still in 2011. Good review. Check out mine when you get the chance.

David Bishop said...

Never saw the original series, but I did enjoy the movies growing up. I thought this one was especially entertaining, and I've been recommending it to just about everybody.

And yes, the Toy Story short was hilarious.