Movie Review: THE MUPPETS are everything you wanted them to be
Whenever a beloved property gets a reboot, remake, or sequel, the naysayers and worrywarts come out in droves to say how horrible this new title will, how it will ruin the characters they once loved. THE MUPPETS had the unique problem of not only having the public worry if it was necessary, but of its original team/creators declaring it had a subpar script.
Well, I’m happy to report that THE MUPPETS is everything you want it to be – full of heart, the beloved characters just as we knew them, and a modern plot that balances the nostalgia with the real world. It does what was thought to be impossible – brings these iconic characters into the modern world in a seamless, believable way.
The film has been Jason Segel’s passion project for many years, and it’s obvious this film was written by a true fan. It’s so in line with The Muppets cannon, it’ll be interesting to see if children and others who didn’t grow up with them will find as much enjoyment out of it.
It’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t enjoy it though, since the film is filled with musical moments, laughs, and a compelling come back story. It’s self-referential, mocking, and optimistic all rolled in to one.
The musical moments are not only fun, but provide some of the deepest character moments and set the tone for the film as a whole. Opening with “Life is a Happy Song” we understand not only Gary (Segel) and Mary’s (Amy Adams) relationship, we get an insight into what exactly the newest muppet, Walter, is looking for. While his relationship with Gary is as strong as it could be, that brotherly love isn’t enough for him to feel like he’s found his place in the world.
Later, the ladies get a chance to shine in the “Me Party duet from Mary and Miss Piggy. While it’s a great, upbeat tune it’s definitely undercut by the fact that they’re just putting on a show of happiness despite being miserable while their significant others are too busy to be pay attention to them. Not the best feminist message, but that low point is definitely outweighed by other character moments from them that it’s only a minor down note in a sea of highs.
The song that all fans knew had to be in the film, “Rainbow Connection”, did not disappoint and was a beautiful moment for Kermit and Miss Piggy. As a fan of the Muppets growing up, this was a moment I didn’t even know I had been waiting for. I didn’t know how much I missed The Muppets until I saw this movie and realized how great they truly were and thankfully, are again. I hope this is a box office success, so we can get another Muppet film in the works. And as long as a Muppet fan is weilding the pen and the camera, I’m sure we’ll be in for a long future for The Muppets.
On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds. To stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary, and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs witha Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate. With secret, signature, celebrity cameos, Disney’s THE MUPPETS hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.