I saw the midnight screening of this film, and I really liked it A LOT… Almost so much I just wanted to write “THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME… GO SEE IT” as my review, but then I decided that I DID enjoy it so much, it deserved a true review… So I sat back, listened to the awesome soundtrack about a thousand times, and really thought about the movie as a whole.

I think the biggest thing that stuck out for me was the story. It is clearly a kids movie…. I feel like this may be one of the few issues this move has. The story is by no means boring… It’s enjoyable enough, it’s just… simple. I feel like Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller (Who also co wrote Forgetting Sarah Marshall) wanted to write this movie, but had no idea how to write a kids movie… I mean… They write R rated romantic comedies for dudes… There’s no way they would know… And since Childrens movies havent been good since the early eighties, there’s no text book for the proper way to write a a good kids movie for today’s kids, and there is most certainly no examples to go on because kids movies now adays are atrocious unless it’s made by Pixar or Dreamworks. …. So they take a very generic simple story line…

A storyline that is basically about two brothers Gary and Walter. Gary is played by Jason Segal and has a girlfriend of ten years in Mary, played by Amy Adams with a very muppet like performance.  Walter, voiced by Peter linz, who is a huge Muppet fan, but doesn’t quiet know that he himself IS a Muppet. A very boring Muppet (which is another problem….) Gary and Mary plan to go to Hollwyood for their 10 year anniversary and Gary decides to take Walter along. On a tour of the now decrepit Muppet Studios, Walter overhears that the studios and the very NAME of the Muppets will be destroyed by Mega Millionaire Tex Richman played by Chris Cooper unless the Muppets can come up with ten million dollars to buy the property back. This sends the three main characters on an adventure to get the Muppet gang back together to put on a telethon to raise the money.

And that’s when the movie REALLY starts to kick in. The first twenty minutes with the three “humans” is fun, and theres some decent song numbers and sight gags, but once they find Kermit, and they start to get the gang back together, the jokes are coming at you every way like a 3D movie (thank God this wasn’t 3D) Sadly the Muppets don’t get as much screen time as a lot of people would hope, as the majority of the story sticks to the Humans but in the 3rd act shifts to a storyline about Walter, who gets most of the screentime in this movie… Which is the third problem… Well, sort of the third…. It spans form the second problem, that for a Muppet… You can’t get any more boring…. There is nothing original or unique about the character. I would have rather they used Bean Bunny as Gary’s brother, because then the absurdity of him not knowing he’s a Muppet and Gary’s brother (like when gonzo IS Charles Dickens) would have helped the character… And bean is so fricken cute.But these problems aside… There were jokes galore, enough to have the entire theatre filled with nothing but adults rolling with laughter, and I’m sure it’d be the same with kids.

Cameos are great, used just as well as in all the Muppet movies, however, there is one cameo that I feel is wasted by anyone who isn’t a fan of a particular show on TV.  The soundtrack is great. There are some amazing new songs, some of which were written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, making the soundtrack one of the strongest points of the movie.

The movie also has a lot of is heart. So much so, that there were a couple times when I legit cried. I won’t ruin those moments… But there are a few.. take your pick of which ones you will get hit with the most… The movie is a legit fourth entry to the Muppet movie  canon, and I don’t think anyone else could have done it any better. They colors are amazing, the acting wasn’t as bad as I expected it to, the music was great, the jokes were funny, over all a very satisfying project.

Most importantly, though he’ll never see it, I need to give a direct shout out to Jason Segal who is slowly becoming one of my favorite writers in Hollywood…  This was clearly a love letter to the original Muppets, and thinking back on it, it makes me feel teary eyed again.  I don’t think anyone who grew up watching the Muppets, and lived through the death of the GREAT Jim Henson, and what we all witnessed what we all thought was the demise of the Muppets with travesties like Muppet Treasure Island, Wizard of Oz, and Muppets from Space, would not have mourned Jim Henson, after watching this movie. Happily though, it’s not  not for the reasons we have been for the last twenty years… Now it’s because we all had a piece of our childhoods returned to us, and we have had our faiths renewed for the future of this franchise…  We also were reminded about how awesome the Muppets were so many many years ago…. So for that, I have to personally thank Jason Segal, and Nick Stoller, and the Director James Bobin, for the best movie of the year, possibly of the last few years, and most certainly for refreshing my fear that Hollywood was turning into a shallow pit of dispair with no love of ANYTHING but the color green, and I don’t mean a frog… Though hopefully the frog will be what the love is for, rather than that other thing in the future.

 

 


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