Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Muppets Review

When I reviewed Muppets From Space back in May, I said that people who work on Muppets movies always look like they are having fun.  That holds true for this one except they look like they're not only having fun but having the time of their lives.  It would also explain the sheer number of high-profile cameos.  I think everyone in Hollywood should want to be in a Muppet movie.  To me, it would be like guest voicing on an episode of the Simpsons.

In retrospect, when I watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall and saw Jason Segel singing with a Muppet-like vampire doll, I should have known that this would eventually follow.  And, knowing some of Segel's past work and seeing him on How I Met Your Mother, I should have expected his weird, weird nature to come through like it did.  Because the Muppets have that zany "forget reality" nature as well, I did expect this to go in that direction.  I didn't expect the level of surrealism that Segel brought to it though.  Combining the odd nature of both the Muppets and Segel's mind creates a synergy of comedy that is just terrific.

Basically, it's this: the Muppets haven't done a show in years and Segel and his Muppet brother get them back together for a telethon to save the Muppet Theatre from the evil Mr. Richman (played very well by Chris Cooper.  Although I could have done without the rap number.  But, given that it is a surreal Muppet movie, I can let it pass).  Given that we haven't seen the actual Muppet Show in many years, this is a great way to bring them back into the popular consciousness.  Almost everything in this movie is meant to bring the viewers' minds back to a nostalgic state.  I liked that about the film.  Rather than just write a movie about the Muppets (which would have been good in its own right), Segel decided to blatantly make it a piece that makes us want to relive some parts of our childhood.  Because of that, it leaves us wanting more.

Being a Muppet movie, you are supposed to suspend reality in your own mind before sitting in your seat. After all, it involves people talking to puppets.  On the surface you may think something like, "it's a ridiculous story and the acting was bad."  But it has to be that way.  Because many of the characters are puppets, the film needs to be written more into what their world would be.  The acting also needs to be more over-done.  When you do these things, you bring the two realms closer together and the viewer has an easier time relating to the Muppets and kind of forgetting that they are not actually humans.  If you take that attitude going in (which most of you probably did or will do), you get a delightful, two hour movie where you just can't help but laugh and have fun.

Definitely see it!

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