The Muppets Review
February 22, 2012
It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights, it's time to meet The Muppets. Finally, and with cameos a-plenty you'll be hard pushed to find a better film to see this year
Don’t quote me on this, but I’m fairly sure we’re the last place in the world to receive the release of the new The Muppets movie. Even if that’s factually inaccurate, it certainly feels like it. As a big fan of the Muppets (on a family holiday to Florida when younger I was lucky enough to get the autographs not only of Miss Piggy, but also Kermit and Fozzy Bear) I’ve been jealously reading and hearing reviews from all over the world for some time. Learning of collaborations between Jason Segel and Bret McKenzie, mixed with my impatience, only heightened my anticipation for the first Muppets theatrical release in 12 years.
Gary (Jason Segel) lives in Smalltown, USA with his brother Walter (Peter Linz), who just so happens to be a Muppet. To celebrate their anniversary; Gary and girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) go on holiday to LA. Keen for his brother not to be left out, Gary invites Walter along to fulfil his lifelong dream of meeting the Muppets. On a tour of the Muppet studios, Walter inadvertently learns that oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) has acquired the deeds to the building, planning to demolish it and drill for oil. Richman can only be stopped if the Muppets can raise $10 million to buy back the company. Walter, together with Gary and Mary, seek out Kermit and the rest of the Muppets, and prepare a fundraiser to buy back the studios.
To say that The Muppets is a feel-good film is a huge understatement. Every second is jam-packed with happy, funny and simply joyful substances resulting in a charmingly silly film. It’s impossible to not be utterly delighted when watching it; my face was fixed in a Cheshire-cat grin for majority of the movie. No review of this film is complete without mentioning the amazing soundtrack, penned by Flight of the Conchords genius Bret McKenzie. I have had “Life’s a Happy Song” stuck in my head constantly, and I can honestly say my life is better with this CD in my life; it makes even the worst days better again.
The Muppets, even though it is easily the film of the year, has been subject to much criticism by old and new fans alike. The two female leads, Mary and Miss Piggy, celebrate their independence at one stage by singing “Me Party” affirming they do not need a man to make them happy, inevitably making up with their other halves. The characters aren’t turning their backs on their values by choosing to be with their partners; they are still positive role models for young girls as they’re successful, wholesome characters with a tendency to break into song.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending The Muppets to anyone: it’s a perfect family film that will appeal to adults; it will turn non-Muppet fans into devote followers and anyone who needs cheering up will be positively beaming afterwards. It does have the odd toilet humour gag in it, something that has received criticism from Muppet traditionalists, but let’s face it; even though fart jokes aren’t particularly highbrow, they still get laughs: a point brilliantly made by Fozzy’s fart shoes.