The Muppets

The Muppets
Release Date: 10th February 2012 (UK)
Director: James Bobin 
Rating: U
Walt Disney Pictures, The Muppets Studio, Mandeville Films

What took you so long Muppets? This film has been kicking around in America since November! Ah well, The Muppets are back after an overly long vacation from the big screen. Probably got lost in space. A film which questions if the puppet freak show are still relevant today. Certainly a bit different from Jersey Show. Or not, those Jersey guys and gals are Muppets in themselves. 

The new Muppets movie is all about bringing the gang back together and hosting one more show to raise ten million dollars. The ten million is needed to keep the old Muppets theatre from being demolished by an evil oil baron who likes his maniacal laughter. Puppet Walter and his human brother Gary (Jason Segel), along with Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) are the ones who get the cogs turning, beginning the road trip for the Muppet crew. The film consists of getting back together, setting up a show, dealing with the evil oil tycoon and the relationship between Walter, Gary and Amy. The plot points are well-balanced and we don’t get too much human intervention taking up all that precious screen time for Kermit and co.

Seeing the gang get back together is a real nostalgia bomb, pretty much everyone gets some time on the screen, even if for some it may only be them lurking in the background. Some will be unhappy that such and such doesn’t get more involvement with the movie, but that is just how things have to be when squeezing it all in. Still, I’d rather have had a few seconds of Rizzo the Rat saying something funny than Selena Gomez popping up to sour the mood. Famous cameos pop up along with the Muppets, and it would have been nice to have less of them. Apart from Jack Black of course, his unfortunate problems work well with the fuzzy group. Poor Mr. Black.

The highlight of the film apart from getting all teary over our childhood heroes doing silly things once more, is the music. There are a lot of songs which are brilliant, even if they do make the world seem a little too squeaky clean and Truman Show looking. The opening ‘Life’s A Happy Song’ sets the mood and while it may be a little corny for some, the lyrics quickly reveal some wit and it explodes into a real mover. ‘Man or Muppet’ is the king of the sing-a-longs though with its character progression, funny reveals and powerful chorus. Good enough for an oscar nomination, though that may not amount to much, really. Throw in some old favourites and a rap oddity, and we have ourselves a good time.

It seems the Muppets are still very much relevant today and the film shows why we need them in our lives. Full of hopes, dreams and laughter, the film takes old fans back and new fans wanting to go back and visit the wonderful and manic world. It might have some jokes which don’t work, or some plot points which end up buried (The Moopets spring to mind) but this is fun, cheerful and still holding the magic the ragtag crew always have. Good to be green.

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