Review: 'The Muppets Movie' An Acquired Taste, But May Prove They Still Have It!
November 22nd, 2011 4:00pm EST
When I heard a while back Disney had acquired rights to Jim Henson’s Muppets, it didn’t really surprise me. These cats are pretty much trying to monopolize everything and anything in the world of animation—ask MARVEL if you don’t believe me! And it was only a matter of time before they put these puppets to work. At first I didn’t think much, seeing as I was never really a HARD CORE fan of these particular characters. But there was intrigue due to the fact that I had seen them on TV as a kid. I will go on record and say I was anxious about this film.
So, here we are, the year 2011… The story follows a vacation in Los Angeles, where Walter (Peter Linz), the world's biggest Muppet fan. His friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the evil plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to destroy the Muppet Theater and drill, baby, 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 with a 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.
The film itself wasn’t the greatest ever, but I have to say it was nice to see how Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller patched up a screenplay which tried to keep an old element of entertainment relevant. Although I really didn’t buy into Segel as a clean cut guy… and singing too! It was overshadowed by the amazingly, beautiful, talented and vibrant Amy Adams. This woman carried a glittery aura within the entire film, and buried EVERYONE when it came to musical scenes.
Chris Cooper as an evil oil tycoon was believable to the core. It was great watching this wrinkly, prune-faced man own this role. But like Segel…I think Cooper suffered when it came to his musical scene. Sure it’s meant to be fun and unrealistic, but come on… this is one of my favorite actors to date and lowering his talents to a level which really isn’t his. Sorry, it didn’t work. However, like Segel…I let it go.
Following these supporting roles, were those whom I thought served as this film’s saving Grace! The cameos! I loved them! From first act to its last, something I looked forward to were the surprises which this film presented which included Jack Black, Zach Galifianakis, Danny Trejo, Ed Helms, Jean-Claude van Damme, Sarah Silverman . All served small but interesting roles. No doubt Disney had to shell out some serious scratch for these players. Especially Jack Black, whose role pretty much extended throughout the film. Truth be told, I think it would have been more enjoyable (for me at least) if Black and Segel had swapped roles. I think Black’s comedic magic would have served better due to his child-like abilities and attitude.
Following a shred of Hollywood meat, well, the famous puppets… It was cool to watch Kermit. I really enjoyed his visions, attitude and overall appeal linking being between human and Muppet interaction. Everyone else was just there and bland. I laughed a couple of times at their antics (not sure if I was supposed to), but something that seemed to keep my interest among them were their personas within their original TV / earlier movie characters.
Overall, didn’t love it, didn’t hate it! I thought it was a cute simple story which traced lots of history—hence their inside jokes when subtly comparing the past to present. I didn’t walk out feeling empty. I chuckled, I reminisced, and I had fun with it. I can’t hate on it, and sure there will be lots who will enjoy it too.
GRADE: B / GENRE: Sequel, Comedy, Kids/Family and Musical/Performing Arts / RUN TIME: 2 Hrs. / RATED: PG
STARRING: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper
DIRECTOR: James Bobin
Related: Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Danny Trejo, Ed Helms, Jack Black, Jason Segel, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rooney, Sarah Silverman, The Muppets Movie, Zach Galifianakis, Starpulse Exclusives, Movie Reviews, Movie Spotlight
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