Friday, January 6, 2012

The Muppets

The Muppets - **1/2

Directed by: James Bobin

Starring:  Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper

Review:  I don’t know how much time I feel like spending on reviewing this film.  Theirs is nothing really ‘wrong’ with ‘The Muppets’ as a movie.  It does exactly what it purports to do, which is give us more of the Muppets, who have been largely out of the limelight for some time.  Looking at Rotten Tomatoes you see this movie has a 96% rating (!).  It appears that all the big bad critics who can rip a movie to shred’s actually do have s oft spot when it comes to child-like sensibility.

I’m not trying to be a poor sport here and say that ‘The Muppets’ is a bad movie.  It was enjoyable in its own right.  Mind you, I’m not a huge Muppets fan, so seeing them back on screen didn’t fill me with a large amount of nostalgia as I’m sure it did for some.  Seeing Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, and the like all back center stage was seemingly great for some, writer/star Jason Segal included.

The film plays out like a labor of love from Segal.  It seems that the character he played in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ was a pretty accurate portrayal of him.  Not the mopey just-broke-up-with-his-girlfriend part, but rather the part about him loving puppets and wanting to bring a puppet show to life.

When Segal’s character’s little brother, who is inexplicably a muppet, wants to see the Muppet studios, Segal goes with him and brings his girlfriend (Adams) as well.  On their trip to the Muppet Studios, which are completely deserted at this point, they find out some disparaging news.  An oil baron is trying to buy the lot so he can demolish it and get the oil that is underneath it.  Oh no!

The Muppets have to come up with $10M in order to save the studios and the Muppets careers.  In order to do this they “get the band back together” and put on a show to raise the money.  Along the way they will get the whole crew together, settle old scores, mend old friendships, and ultimately learn a lot about themselves along the way.

While there is nothing ostensibly wrong about this movie, it just doesn’t bring much to the table more than a slightly enjoyable distraction.  The human characters are purposely caricatures and more like puppets than, well, the actual puppets.  The heart of this movie lies when it’s just the Muppets on the screen, who legitimately have more depth than any of the human characters.

This movie is not worth your time until it hits cable.

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