Tuesday 14 February 2012

Review: The Muppets

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The Muppets 2011/2012 poster

The Muppets
102 mins / Dir. James Bobin

Mixed feelings about this one, as I was never that huge a fan of The Muppets as a kid. I liked them, of course, but I wasn't necessarily keen on the segments of the show featuring humans, especially if I didn't really know who the celebrities actually were. As it turns out, I've carried those reservations forward. And with good reason…

The Plot: The famous Muppet Theatre is due to be bulldozed by an evil oil baron unless brothers Walter and Gary can help Kermit the Frog to reunite the old gang, and put on a show to raise ten million dollars!

The Good: The bits with The Muppets on-screen. The gang have still got the magic, and when this film's good it's absolutely fantastic. There were one or two bits that had me literally crying with laughter ("I can't believe I was fooled by the Muppet Man!"), and most of the rest of the scenes with the furry/felt creatures had me quietly chuckling.

The Bad: Amy Adams seems to think she's there to outshine the Muppets, not complement them, and spends most of the film overacting horrendously. Similar pointers apply to Chris Cooper as Tex Richman, the archetypal baddie (although at least he has a reason for hamming it up to 11). The celeb-cameos seem a little laboured for the most part, but that's not the end of the world. In fact, only Jason Segel seems to escape unscathed as his usual affable self with an air of innocence that fits in perfectly here.
The plot/script, as hackneyed as they are, worked fine for me when it was Muppets-only, but as soon as there was any human involvement really seemed to grind to a cliched halt.

The Ugly: If you're going to make Life's a Happy Song the recurring theme for the movie and use it three times, go right ahead, but could you make it sound a little less reminiscent of I Wanna Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer? The kids won't notice, but their parents will.
And Tex Richman's 'rap'? Shameless. No excuse for that.

On The Plus Side: At least I won't have to watch the godawful Orange/Muppets promo before each film I see in the cinema. Four months that went on for.

Worth £8+? If you've got got kids, you'll probably be seeing it anyway. Look, it's very good. Some of the time. Well meaning, but twee beyond belief.


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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