The Muppets

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Movie Reviews

Like so many others, I grew up with a lot of the classic Muppet greats. I was charmed with the whimsical antics of Fozzy, Kermit’s ingenuous nature, and Miss Piggy’s over-enthusiastic humor. When I heard that Disney was reuniting the old gang, I thought, “How cool!” Not only because of the muppets themselves, but who better to breath them back to life than Disney?

However, while the idea may have been fantastic, their comeback was not.

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Summary:

Walter has been the Muppets’ most loyal supporter his entire life, and has dreams of one day meeting them. When he, his brother Gary (played by Jason Segel), and Gary’s girlfriend (played by Amy Adams) travel to Hollywood to see the Muppets stage, Walter is ecstatic.

However, he soon finds the place in ruins and discovers that the muppets have been separated for years. Upon learning that millionaire Tex Richman (played by Chris Cooper) has intentions of tearing down the place and drilling for oil, Walter becomes determined to get the team back together again.

He finds Kermit, his idol, and together the four set out across America to find the long-lost muppets. Together, they put on a show to raise enough money to buy back the studio, and reintroduce themselves to the new generation.

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 First off, I was in no way disappointed with the muppets themselves. After all, they’re the stars of the show, and they brought back some of the old warmth and cheerfulness of the originals. My problem was the amount of time the muppets actually had in The Muppets.

 The movie starts out with Walter, a puppet himself, and his brother (Segel), two avid Muppets fans. The film then moves to the run-down Muppets studio, and the eventual return of the great Kermit. After 25 minutes or so of tracking down the old gang, the muppets are assembled, but the movie goes nowhere fast after that.

Instead, we’re forced to focus on a dull love relationship between Jason Segel and Amy Adams, and Segel’s decision between spending time with his girlfriend, or his brother and the muppets.

Here’s an approximate schedule of the film:

– Flashback of the Muppets TV show

– A mediocre song-and-dance routine

– The bad-guy oil driller’s gonna tear down the studio

– We gotta get ’em back together

– Another song-and-dance routine

– Let’s put on a show

– A little bit of the muppets

– Another song-and-dance

– Jason’s not there for Amy

– Some more muppets

– Another cheesy song-and-dance . . .

You get the picture.

There were two things I learned from this film: Jason Segel is a terrible actor, and Amy Adams can’t sing or dance. However, I don’t like judging an actor based on one film; Segel definitely did not have a good script to work with.

I completely understand that the film makers were trying to give this a Muppets feel, but there were simply so many other ways they could have done it other than adding in some completely out-of-place and just downright stupid song-and-dance routines. I was downright shocked at some of the rubbish that somebody actually came up with.

These things completely took away from the reason we just spent money and two hours out of our life. You can’t help but feel at certain times that the muppets have gotten completely lost in the film.

I’m sorry if I sound like I’m harping on this movie. Believe me, I usually don’t like criticizing a film that so many people have put their time and effort—-not to mention money—-into.

Now, for the good.

This was a muppets film. Enough said. I absolutely loved the idea of reuniting the gang and giving them their own film after about a 10 year hiatus. A lot of the old humor was still there, including a part where Kermit finds Animal at an anger-management class. Classic Muppets humor.

There were some great celebrity cameo appearances in the film, including Whoopi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jack Black. However, I couldn’t help but feel like the film writers just put them in there and said, “Let’s stick Jack Black in here, it’ll get a bigger review.”

In summary, this film would have been far better if they had left out the unnecessary sub-plots and bad songs that dragged the film down. And let’s not forget the bad acting. I honestly thought that Disney would know better, but a movie is only as good as your script. And whoever wrote it sure wasn’t a Muppets fan.

If you are an avid, die-hard Muppets fan, then by all means, watch this film. You’ll probably love it. It’s a great nostalgic film. But if not, you might want to skip this one.

6.5 stars

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