Skip to content

Of Muppet & (Hu)Man

December 10, 2011

The Muppets are back in a movie that will have you smiling from ear to ear..If you grew up with them as a regular fixture on TV and at the movies–there’s even more to like–Save for some pesky humans that sometimes got in the way…

As the film opens we meet Walter, (voiced by Peter Linz) and his brother Gary (Jason Segel), from Smalltown. The two loved to “The Muppet Show” growing up. As adults, Walter and Gary live together. Gary plans a vacation to Los Angeles with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to celebrate their tenth anniversary, and he invites Walter along so he can see the Muppet Theater. Gary is pleased to spend time with both Mary and Walter though Mary feels that Gary’s devotion to Walter takes away from their relationship.

The trio arrive in Los Angeles, where the three visit the Muppet Theater, only  to find it in bad shape. During the tour, Walter sneaks into Kermit The Frog (voiced by Steve Whitmire)’s office and discovers that the the theater is being bought by Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), an oil magnate, unless The Muppets can raise $10 million dollars to repurchase the theater. Tex’s true intentions are made clear–he plans to tear down the Muppet Theater and drill for oil.

Soon Walter explains the situation to Gary and Mary, and the three track down Kermit at his mansion. Kermit is distressed to learn the news, and realizes the only way to earn the money would be to put on a show, which the Muppets have not done in years. Walter convinces him to try, and they set off to reunite the old gang…

Director James Bobin and writer pals Segel & Nicholas Stoller build in plenty of nostalgia for those in the audience who grew up watching the TV series and the early films of the 70’s and 80’s–especially The Muppet Movie

Where the pic falters is when it takes a little too much time to focus on the problems of Gary and Mary–The couple sing and dance a lot more than they should have too. In those films from my youth the humans never took center stage away from our furry friends–Save for the Villains they never had more than a few minutes of screen time–let alone got an entire subplot.

Rashida Jones as a network type gets it right–enough to drive the story of the film but she never has more to do than she has to…or should. I felt the same way about Cooper’s Richman (although he also gets his own musical number) He has just enough screen time.

I don’t want to make it sound like Adams and Segel ruined the film–they did not–I just think that their relationship did not deserve as much screen time as it got. A Muppet movie should never have sequences without a Muppet in them. This one does….

The film boasts some inspired bits that had me laughing so hard my sides hurt–For those of you who have not seen the film yet I won’t go into too much detail; Where we find Animal (voiced by Eric Jacobson); Meeting Miss Piggy’s Receptionist was a hoot of a celebrity cameo, The Barber Shop Quartet sequence; the Walter as a human cameo and musical number “Man Or Muppet” and of course the use of the song The Rainbow Connection from the 1979 fillm gets me going every time.

Just as The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan were sequels to the original film I hope there is a sequel to be had here too–And let’s not have to wait over a decade for it….Let’s face it The world is a far better place when The Muppets are in it–Then when they are not….


From → Film Review

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: