Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: The Muppets (2011)

“I can't deny that inside I am a muppet. Not a moopet!”

Director: James Bobin
Actors: Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Jack Black
Writers: Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller

As a little kid I used to always love the nights I got to sit in front of the television and watch The Muppet Show. My parents even made sure to tape their own programs so the television would be free. The Muppets were an important part of my childhood and I was sad when they started to fade away into the mists of pop culture. But then Forgetting Sarah Marshall happened and a man stepped forward, showing he too was a child of The Muppets. One Muppet Rock Opera on Dracula later and Jason Segal was put into the position of writing a script for the new Muppet movie. So does this movie live up to fond childhood memories?

Short answer yes, long answer yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. Everything that I loved about The Muppets is on the screen and it was a surprisingly emotional journey for me. As for new people coming to this movie, what they can expect to watch is such a happy movie. It wears its heart on its sleeve but never becomes too saccharine. The writing is strong and Segal and Stoller have managed to craft a story that fits perfectly with the other Muppet movies. There is a good smattering of nostalgia, character and meta jokes throughout.

All the actors involved are having a fun time. Jason Segal as Gary is perfect as the closest form of human Muppet. Amy Adams is sweet as Mary, Chris Cooper is great as the evil Tex Richman and shows a talent for rapping I never thought possible. Even all the celeb cameo’s work, and while they may seem shameless, that’s the Muppets. As for the Muppets themselves, all of them are pitch perfect and Segal tries to cram as many mini story arcs for the Muppet characters as possible. If you have a favourite Muppet then chances are you’ll see them in this movie. Hell I got to see Uncle Deadly in this movie, a Muppet I’ve loved since I saw the Vincent Price episode.

Visually the movie has some energy and there are more than enough visual gags thrown in for those that are eagle eyed. There was also some creative use of the camera which was surprising for a Muppet movie, but it did add a sense of modernisation to the proceedings. If there is one negative about this movie, it’s that there is a heavy sense of nostalgia hanging over everything. The session I was in, had a fair few children, and for them not everything hit. Me and a few other adults seemed to be getting more enjoyment from it. But there were still children laughing so at least this is a great family film.

Fan’s of The Muppets need to get out there and watch this movie. It’s one of the best Muppet movies, and a great way to start the franchise up again. For families this offers a great movie going experience that should make everyone happy. I honestly wish Australia got this movie last year as this would have been my number two of the year. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

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