The Muppets (2011 film)
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  • I basically walked in with the mere hope that Jason Segel (of Forgetting Sarah Marshall fame) and his collaborators weren't going to run it even further into the ground (1999's Muppets from Space left a lot to be desired)
  • I am happy to report that the film is mostly enjoyable, because it retains the same spirit as earlier Muppet projects

    • by Nick Addison
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      I wasn’t setting the bar too high for “The Muppets,” this year’s reboot of the eponymous franchise. I basically walked in with the mere hope that Jason Segel (of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” fame) and his collaborators weren’t going to run it even further into the ground (1999’s “Muppets from Space” left a lot to be desired). It seemed Segel, his puppet obsession apparent from the “vampire rock opera…with puppets” finale of “Marshall,” would be the right man for the job, but that didn’t quell the fears that the whole thing could backfire. It’s obvious that in this new form, Segel & co. both mean to expose a new generation of kids to the

      Muppets, while at the same time appealing to the die-hard fans who still fondly remember “The Great Muppet Caper” and “Muppets Take Manhattan, “Muppet Treasure Island” and “A Muppet Christmas Carol” for the whimsical romps they were.

      I am happy to report that the film is mostly enjoyable, because it retains the same spirit as earlier Muppet projects: lighthearted, carefree, and with just a bit of winking humor that the adults in the audience will enjoy as much as the kids. Segel himself, in the role of “straight man” (or is that “straight-human?) Gary, largely steps back and allows the Muppets to do their zany thing, but when he is in on the fun, he performs with the obvious enthusiasm of a lifelong fan. In the movie, this reverence for the Muppets is portrayed through Gary’s brother, a puppet named Walter (made even funnier by the fact that no one ever addresses a puppet and a human being brothers). Walter grew up feeling alone and out of place, his only comfort enjoying the Muppet Show and dreaming of being one of them. Naturally, the plot has Gary, Walter, and Gary’s girlfriend of 10 years Mary (played by the spirited Amy Adams) embarking on a road trip to L.A., where Walter hopes to visit the Muppet studios and meet his heroes.

      Part of the fun of any Muppet film ...


      • The Muppets (2011 film)
      is how they never take themselves too seriously, meaning the “plot” isn’t necessarily the focus. This one is no exception, since it revolves around trying to get all the Muppets together to do a telethon to save their old studio. It is fun seeing these beloved characters back on the big screen, and again, the spirit of Jim Henson’s creation is alive and well. It is easy enough to slip back into that wonderful suspension of disbelief and view Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest as real, up to the same goofy slapstick antics that made them famous.

      The movie also does a good job of cooking up some fun songs, often a

      highlight in Muppet movies, and even brings back old favorites like “Rainbow Connection.” Another fun aspect to the film are the constant cameos, from Jack Black to Selena Gomez. Chris Cooper hilariously portrays the film’s antagonist, an oil tycoon trying to drill on the Muppet studios property, and speaking of musical numbers, he gets the second weirdest and most entertaining one in the film, literally rapping about how rich he is. #1 goes to Gonzo’s chickens clucking a certain well known, profane Cee-Lo Green hit…

      This is a fun movie if you’ve always been a big Muppet fan, and especially if you now have kids you want to share that magic with.

      Check it out!




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