With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.
Writers: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Director: James Bobin
Stars: Amy Adams, Jason Segel and Chris Cooper
Runtime: 103 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
The first time I took a moment to realize how much fun I was having while watching “The Muppets”, was about 3/4th of the way into the movie when I realized my face was hurting because I’d been smiling the entire time. Admittedly, entering this world in 1984, I was a born a little too late to be a prime Muppet Fan in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but I did catch the tail end of their great run while I was still a child and I do have fond memories of all the characters. That being said, I couldn’t really remember most of the characters and definitely not their character traits or personalities. I was however very excited for this movie!
I read an article leading up to the opening about a Muppet fanatic who, when asked by Disney to sign on to write a new Muppet movie, he had already been doing so on his own for years. This person has adored The Muppets his whole life and although his career isn’t reminiscent of children’s movies, he shines in writing and performing in this enormously successful reboot! This person of course is Jason Segal. Asked to come on board as a writer and actor was a dream come true for this typically “R” rated actor but his passion and love for the brand and characters shine through! Along with the help of director James Bobin and original music by Bret McKenzie from the “Flight of the Conchords”, they all put together a puppet – non CGI/Pixar studio film that both kids and adults are surely going to love!
The movie opens with the Muppets all on their own, their movies and TV shows by and large forgotten. This is apart from, of course, Gary (Segal), and Walter (The new Muppet) who are brothers from Smalltown USA who grew up loving The Muppets (Walter is one after all). Gary along with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) take a trip to Las Angeles to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and decide to invite Walter along so they can all see the Muppets Studios. While taking a tour of the forsaken, filthy studios, Walter overhears the plan of an evil oil tycoon played by Chris Cooper to level the studios and drill for the oil that rests underneath. The only way this can be prevented is if the Muppets can buy the studios for 10 million dollars in the next few days before the title deed goes to the tycoon. Walter realized they have to get all the Muppets back together to save the studios.
It sounds like a pretty simple plot… and it is, but that doesn’t matter, it’s the hilarity and fun along the way that make it a great watch, not the twists and turns in the plotline. After wrangling together some of the Muppets; Fozzie Bear playing the casino scene in Reno, and Animal in Anger Management camp to name a few, one of the Muppets suggest they “Do a montage to save time” getting the rest. Montages of getting the Muppets back together follow and they all decide to put on one last show.
The movie is very aware that it is a movie/musical comedy and stylishly steps out of the box frequently to make fun of itself. I recall many times hearing nothing but adult laughter in the packed theater. The music is very fun, sometimes better (Man or Muppet) than others (Let’s Talk About Me, although Chris Copper does an amusing job rapping). I also understand they kept some old favorites in a as well, such as the original opening Muppets TV song, The Rainbow Connection, and of course the closing “Mahnah Mahnah” which is helped performed by cameos from Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, John Krasinski, Rashida Jones and Jack Black (both who play much bigger parts in the movie as well).
The bottom line is that it is an incredibly fun film that I believe everyone can enjoy. It is my favorite children’s movie I have seen in a long time and I love all the Pixar types such as Wall-e and the Toy Stories and Shrek. I smiled the whole time and I think you will too!