Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Strong kids movie.
This film was selected from ‘The 250’
I’ve seen a lot of the Muppets movies that currently exist, but not all of them. I looked them up recently and was surprised to see how many there really were. A couple stick out, but for the most part, I never considered them remarkable until it kind of got rebooted in a way with The Muppets. Like the main character in this film, a lot of my childhood was centered on the Muppets in some form or fashion, so I’m able to connect with facets of the movie, which is always important. But beyond that, this is one of the smartest-written movies in the franchise for both adults and children.
Basically we have a new Muppet named Walter (Peter Linz), but he was born to a human family…don’t ask me…and he was always a little different than everyone else. The only solace he found was in old episodes of The Muppet Show. He loved them so much that he wished one day to see them. His brother Gary and girlfriend Mary are celebrating ten years of dating by traveling to Los Angeles, and apparently bring Walter along so he can actually see the Muppets Studio. When they get there, they are shocked to learn evil business tycoon, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), plans to buy the studio and tear it down to find oil. The only way to stop them is to bring the gang back together to collect $10,000,000 through a telethon.
This is one of the smartest-written Muppets movies I’ve ever seen for a few reasons. The first is because…it’s just…different. The first half of this film shows all of the Muppets completely grown apart, lonely, and depressed. When’s the last time you’ve legitimately seen kid show icons in despair? If done right, that should tug on your heart strings because these characters were always practically a representation of what you wanted to see in yourself – in terms of happiness, fun, love, and the importance of family and friends. That’s who the Muppets are, down deep, so to see them in such depressing states in the beginning of this film…is so off-putting…but in a way that’s compelling and bold. It also represents complicated emotions, and it’s good to see the Muppets once again stay true to their honest nature.
It’s also smartly-written in its comedy. There was a lot of fourth-wall self-aware humor in this film and I loved it. Like Amy Adams saying, “This is going to be a really short movie…” and later when Fozzie Bear says “Wow! That was an expensive-looking explosion! I didn’t think we had that in the budget!” There were so many moments like that, and it is perfect because that kind of humor hits home with audiences of all ages. That’s right, a kids movie that works for all ages. A rarity these days.
Anyways, as with any Muppets film, this one is littered with a few songs. Not as many, mind you, as Frozen, but still a good number of songs that are honestly pretty catchy. Then there were a bunch of great cameos, making this an all-around good good movie. Now. Let’s talk about the acting. The actual Muppets did a good job at acting, but then again they were just hands made up to look like creatures. The human actors on the other hand…well…none of them were really that great to be honest. Jason Segal is an awesome dude, but he was acting like he was on Sesame Street. Same goes for almost every human actor…like they sank way too deep to the confines of kids movies that it was unfortunate. Other than that, the movie was actually really good.
A lot, honestly. In terms of kid’s movies, this film takes the cake. It teaches you the importance of family as well as independence, finding a place you can call home…all that. At the same time, it’s filled to the brim with catchy tunes, and humor that really works for audiences of all ages – making this an all-around pretty well-done film.
The one factor of this film that drags it down a bit…is the acting. It’s hard to tell with the Muppets, because they are really just hands made up to look like creatures, but with the human actors…it’s kind of ridiculous. I know it’s a movie made for kids, but you don’t have to sink to that level.
Gary: Am I a man? Or am I a Muppet?
Muppet Gary: Am I a Muppet?