Movie Review: The Muppets (2011)

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Comedy, Romance
Tags: , ,

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Walter (Peter Linz) is a Muppet, with a human brother named Gary (Jason Segel) Gary has a human girlfriend named Mary. (Amy Adams) Mary is deliriously happy on the outside, but inside, she is seething about sharing her boyfriend with his brother.  Walter’s dream is to go see the Muppet Studio when the three visit Hollywood, so naturally that’s the first thing they do.  They visit the now decrepit theater and the tour guide tells them hat billionaire oil magnate Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) is going to turn the Muppet Studio into a Muppet museum, which seems nice, until Walter hears what Tex is really up to. He wants to drill for oil under the Muppet studio, unless the Muppets can raise ten million dollars to buy him out.  The problem is, the Muppets haven’t performed in years, and are scattered all over the country and the world.  Walter and Gary find Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and implore him to bring the gang together for one last performance. Fozzie (Eric Jacobson) is in a Muppets knockoff group called the Moopets in Reno.  Piggy (Jacobson) is in Paris as editor of Paris Vogue.  Mary just wants some alone time with Gary.  Will the Muppets get back together for the telethon to save their studio?  Will Piggy stop carrying the torch long enough to do the show with Kermit?  Will Gary’s relationship with Mary survive the strain of Gary spending all his free time with Walter?

This is a glorious movie, I thought it really captured the essence of the old Muppet show and movies, which is part silliness and part pathos.  Anyone who has heard “It’s Not Easy Being Green, or “Rainbow Connection”, knows there’s a lot more going on with Kermit than just being the genial host of the Muppet Show.  The movie actually reminded me a lot of Mel Brooks “Silent Movie,” the plot lines are essentially the same.  There is enough to keep the adults laughing, there’s a dead on parody of the documentary “The September Issue.”  Emily Blunt does a wicked impression of Anna Wintour’s assistant right down to the haircut. Amy Adams is wonderful as the cheery yet frustrated Mary, and Chris Cooper is delightful as the evil Tex Richman.  There are also enough cameos to make everyone happy, including Jack Black, Alan Arkin, Zack Galifinaikis, and Sarah Silverman, although a Selena Gomez cameo in a Disney movie is hardly necessary.  I’m sad that Frank Oz and the other Muppeteers didn’t like this movie.  It takes nothing away from the classic Muppet movies and modernizes the story a bit.  Jason Segel did a great job writing the movie and the songs, anyone who’s seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall knows about Segel’s fascination with the Muppets, and it pays off big time.

The Muppets.  Give them a hand.

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