Skip to main content

The Muppet Movie

Movie Review: The Muppets (2011)
Summary: With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.
Spoilers: none

Someone decided to really treat us with the first Disney-produced Muppet movie since 1996. The result: a release of a dam-breaking flood of memories. The Muppets have returned and it’s like they walked through a time portal.

But truth be told, I went in wanting to like the movie more than I did. With any series’ resurrection comes the responsibility not just to be nostalgic, but to tread at least some new ground. It fails at the latter, but in the case of the Muppets, who really gives a care, right?

“Gary” (Jason Segel) and “Mary” (Amy Adams) are engaged—if in a very storybook sort of way. They appear to have come right out of the 1950s. Gary’s brother “Walter” (Peter Linz, voice) is only three feet tall. He’s always felt out of place in a human world, and for good reason, as he never ended up with a family decent enough to acknowledge that he has the body of a puppet, a piece of cloth with a man’s hand in it. He is the quiet and withdrawn type. He even dresses the part. Poor Walter.

But he has always loved the Muppets. And lucky for Walter, Gary is taking Mary to LA to site-see and spend some time together. Out of pity for his undying Muppet-fan bro, who has lived with him in the same room until age 40, he’s taking Walter to see the Muppet studios.

When they arrive, Walter finds the studios in a terrible state of disrepair. In Kermit’s old office, he overhears a conversation between “Tex Richman” (Chris Cooper) who plans to buy the old, delapidated Muppet property and turn it into an oil field. I guess it’s easy to figure, why not go democrat and portray the villain as a greedy oil tycoon? It’s a Hollywood favorite.

With this unsettling news, Gary, Mary, and Walter go in search of Kermit the Frog. When they find him, they inform him, thus sparking up motivation to find and reunite the Muppets. The added challenge is to find a way to raise the necessary $10,000,000 dollars to keep the property.

The Muppet movie is a comedy-musical first for those who grew up loving the show, but it leaves no one out and is aggressive enough to capture audiences young and old. Not all of that humor gets a pass, but, as stated, we're pulling punches. And with everyone periodically breaking into musicals – some of them flamboyantly street-wide – we don’t find ourselves wanting to keep a running deductive count. Spontaneous contortions and twitching from a cast in overly-spirited dances is very disarming to critics. It throws off our radars.

Cameo appearances are too many to count, including Jack Black, Whoopi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Neil Patrick Harris, and Sarah Silverman. We have an old-fashioned villain in Cooper who serves as a laughably rough parody of mega-villains. He dresses up in white gear and practices fencing in his spare time and throws things at the TV when mad. But Richman can’t do the villain laugh. His henchman must do it for him.

Miss Piggy's Competition
It is heartwarming to get to see the Muppets again, and to see them jam out to songs we’ve heard a thousand times before. A few of these furry characters you might have trouble remembering, especially the big blobbish ones that just seem to show up to fill the screen and then are not seen again. But I guess the Muppets truly are timeless. And Miss Piggy is still a bitch. She even meets competition this time around.

The movie often lags under the load of an almost insultingly predictable story. But again, we're pulling punches. Mid-way thru, there is a brief cut-down on musicals, and that’s for the better because they get somewhat cartoonish and start to seem like karaoke night at a redneck bar. Not all of these songs are written with a creative touch, I’m sorry to say.

Does the new movie stand to be counted? It does. Will it draw up new memories? Well, it kind of already has. And the film is presented to us as a high-energy and oh-so-relevant entertainment commodity. It’s like it never left our TV sets.


Grade: C+ (2 ½ stars)
Rated: G (for some mild rude humor)
Director: James Bobin
Starring: “Gary” (Jason Segel), “Mary” (Amy Adams), “Tex Richman” (Chris Cooper), “Veronica Martin” (Rashida Jones), “Kermit” / “Beaker” / “Statler” / “Rizzo” / “Link Hogthrob” / “The Newsman” (Steve Whitmire), “Miss Piggy” / “Fozzie Bear” / “Animal” / “Sam Eagle” / “Marvin Suggs” (Eric Jacobson), “Walter” (Peter Linz)
Genre: Comedy / Family / Musical


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

When free spirit “Jules” (Anna “Go Girls” Hutchison) tells her best friend “Dana” (Kristen “Revolutionary Road” Connolly) what a good time they’ll be having at a cabin in the remote woods, you automatically know and are glad that she has no idea at all what awaits her or her friends, and neither does Jules’ jock boyfriend “Curt” (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth). The same is true of their intellectual friend with his notably piercing gaze, “Holden” (Jesse “Grey’s Anatomy” Williams) and their stoner friend “Marty” (Franz “The Village” Kranz) who seems to have a better grasp of reality, despite himself. Takes all kinds.

After taking off in the RV up the mountain, they stop for gas and run into a weirdly cryptic and confrontational gas station attendant (Tim De Zarn). When they’re back on the road after a near-fight, it isn’t long before they arrive and forget all about it. Following horror movie suit in letting out their whoas about how cool the place is and how much fun they will have losing t…

Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

At about 3 hours long, Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s latest mental sickness-inspired adventure of a slave named “Django” (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, “Dr. King Schultz” (Christoph Waltz) who helps Django rescue his enslaved wife from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Mississippi.