The Muppets Reviews
Like The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle a few years ago, The Muppets cashes in on its nostalgia, supposing that the audience misses their bygone days. And while I vaguely remember enjoying the show as a child, there isn't much about the original that this film brings back. Whereas The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle had some remarkably funny puns, there isn't much to laugh at here. I chuckled a couple times, mostly at the remarks by the two curmudgeonly spectators, but there weren't any guffaws. Most disappointing were the musical numbers with the exception of Chris Cooper's rap; during her songs it seemed that Amy Adams was forcing a grin, knowing she should look happy. The plot unfolds just as anyone knows it would.
Overall, I wasn't impressed by this film, but Muppets fans might find something worth liking if only for the nostalgia.
2.5*s out of 5
Review originally written 12/4/11
I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of the Muppets. It wasn't a big thing when I was growing up, so I never got that into it. With that said, I liked this movie to the extent that I could. Obviously, I'm not the target audience for this one. This is for lovers of the Muppets, young and old. People who grew up on these guys will absolutely love the film, but for me, I felt out of the loop. There's a lot of self-referencing jokes and of course I'm not going to get most of them. So, I wasn't able to get everything out of the movie that big fans were.
The Muppets follow two brothers, one a puppet, Walter, and the other a human, Gary. They take a trip to LA to see the Muppet studio, which is decrepit. They also learn that an oil tycoon plans to tear it down and drill for oil. So, the two and Gary's longtime girlfriend find and tell Kermit. In order to save the place, they must raise $10 million. In order to do that, Kermit, with the help of the three fans, gets all the Muppets back together to put on a telethon to raise the money.
The Muppets was actually a pretty fun time, even for someone like me who isn't familiar with them. There's a huge cast and endless cameos. Jason Segel and Amy Adams are front and stage along with The Muppets themselves. Also making appearances are Emily Blunt, Rashida Jones, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, Mickey Rooney, Jack Black and countless more. The movie is pretty big for a children's feature and there's a lot of in-jokes. To the extent that I got the humor, it was actually quite funny.
I wasn't able to love it to the extent that many others did, but I still feel comfortable saying this is a good film. I'm sure it was a nice piece of nostalgia for all the adults that grew up on it and I'm sure they were happy to shoe it to their kids to maybe get them interested in it. It's a joyous film that the whole family can enjoy and who knows, maybe this is a new start for the Muppet franchise.
There's a wide rnge of cameo apperances that further enhance this film's enjoyability, my favourite of wich was either Neil Patrick Harris or Jim Parsons. If you want to watch something this week in the cinema make it 'The Muppets' because you might just fall in love.
The plot follows a guy named Gary and his muppet brother Walter (who doesn't really seem to get that he is indeed a muppet), who are big fans of Jim Henson's creations. Gary has a lovely lady named Mary, who really questions if Gary really cares about her more than he lets on, as he seems to prefer sppending time with Walter to taking their relationship to the next step.
On a vacation to Hollywood (one that's supposed to celebrate Gary and Mary's 10 year anniversary), Gary and Walter find out that an evil oil tycoon named Tex Richman wants ot buy the old dilapidated Muppet studios so he can demolish it and drill for oil that's supposed to be buried underneath. What follows then is baically a "getting the band back together" quest where they try to reunite the Muppets to put on a telethon to raise the money to keep the studio.
All in all, I did really like this nostalgic romp. In a few ways, it reminded me of Toy Story 3, except this one wasn't so heavy on the theme of mortality, had a more lighter tone overall, and didn't make me bawl my eyes out, though I did of course tear up a few times. I mean, who can make it through "The Rainbow Connection" and not be moved?
It's very clear that Jason Segel truly does love The Muppets, and the film is full of all sosrts of references, in jokes, and his deep appreciation, which is why it sucks that his vision ultimately prevented Frank Oz from being involved in any way, mostly do to disagreements about the script and direction of the story. Even without Frank, this is still a nice piece of work, even if it does have some issues, at least for me.
I know the film is supposed to be fun and campy, but awkward villain songs, especially rap ones, are just really embarassing, painful, and something I'd prefer not to watch. Sorry Chris Cooper. I love you, but never rap again. At least it's a short song, but still. Also, I really loved the direction this film started to take in the last oh, 10 minutes or so, especially when it really started to get mature, bittersweet, and be somewhat of a downer. That was brilliant, and it sucks becuase they didn't go all the way through with it, instead copping out during the END CREDITS! Come on! I hate bringing this up again, but Toy Story 3 had more guts than this, even if I knew that in that film they probably wouldn't totally go through with it either, they at least didn't do a complete 180 degree turnaroiund with the tone. Although, to be fair, the slap in the face that this film does to the audience is kind of funny in retrospect, even if it is a bit disappointing.
The performance are fine, and I loved seeing the old gang back together. As good as the human character are though, I couldn't help but notice that the humans seemed more artificial and wooden in their performances than the Muppets. I can understand being in on the joke, and acting like it, but this is a bit much. However, I didn't hate their work, cuz it's Amy Adams and Jason Segel- two of the msot likeable people ever. Plus, there's some obviously great cameos too, as per tradition.
Yeah, I've been a bit hard on this film, but it's hard not to be. That's just how much of an impact and legacy the Muppets have, I don't know what the future holds for the gang, but if nothing happens after this, I can be satisfied with this little return, as it is better than nothing. Plus, my gripes are really just a ton of nitpicking anyway.
Good movie. As a kid I wasn't much of The Muppets but I have always liked them."The Muppets" lives up to most of its hype. It's a solid, stand-alone movie with a great storyline. While the film may be considered a tribute, which in many ways it is, very rarely does a tribute make a great movie. Any TV show can put the Muppets on proverbial pedestals using archive footage. "The Muppets" succeeds by breathing new life into characters we've known for years, and bringing them back down from their high pedestals so they're easier to see. Dozens of celebrity cameos abound here, but the film's strength is knowing who the real stars of the movie are and why we love them. I just hope younger audience members get the same message. See it with your kids!
Walter is a Muppet whose ambition is to visit the Muppet Theater in Hollywood. One day, he gets the opportunity to go, with his brother Gary and his girlfriend Mary. However, when they arrive they are saddened by the state that the theater has got into. When Walter discovers that oil magnate Tex Richman intends to buy the theater to drill for oil, he, Gary and Mary travel far and wide to reunite the disbanded Muppets. Together again, the Muppets must put on a show and try to keep their theater.
Summary: When Kermit the Frog and the Muppets learn that their beloved theater is slated for demolition, a sympathetic human, Gary, and his puppet roommate, Walter, swoop in to help the gang put on a show and raise the $10 million they need to save the day.
My Thoughts: "I love Kermit and Miss Piggy, and I was so happy to see them brought back to life with the rest of the gang. The movie is funny, cute, charming, and silly. I loved seeing all the cameos. I was extremely impressed and surprised by Chris Cooper's rapping. Who knew right? The adults will love this film just as much as the kids do. I can't wait to see what they do with the next film."
The story is a simple one, with the Muppets getting back together after drifting their separate ways to put on a huge show to save their old theater. A new Muppet, Walter, his human brother Gary (Jason Segal) and Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) take a trip to Los Angeles that sparks the whole storyline. Segal and Adams are great, singing and charming their way through the movie while leaving plenty of space for the Muppets to be the clear stars of the show. Celebrity cameos are numerous and usually hilarious.
The frequent songs are catchy and amusing ("Me Party" was pretty much the highlight of the whole film in my opinion), the dynamics and chemistry between the Muppets seem as good as ever, and best of all, it's almost impossible to not have a smile on your face while watching The Muppets. I didn't enjoy the movie so much that I was oblivious to its flaws, though. The pacing suffered at times, the movie peaked too early for me (the first 70% was better than the last act), Chris Cooper was largely mishandled as the villainous Tex Richman (great name, by the way), and the ending fizzled. Oh, and there wasn't nearly enough Amy Adams, but I'm willing to admit that's probably just an issue on my end (she's one of my favorite actresses).
Still, those issues didn't change the fact that I enjoyed The Muppets a lot. Be you an old fan or a newcomer, give it a shot.