The Muppets ~ After a summer of sneaky and wonderful previews and preview parodies, the Muppets are finally back. Absent from movie theaters for over a decade, this is a welcome return for those who remember them and grew up with them – and hopefully an introduction for those new to the Muppets.
Writer/producer/star Jason Segel brings us a surprising film filled with nostalgia, heart, and most of all, fun. The plot has Jason and his brother, Walter, a rather annoying new Muppet who steals screen time from the more established and much more entertaining Muppets, ‘getting the band back together’ so the Muppets can save their old theater from an evil oil tycoon. Yes, it sounds predictable, and is at times, but it is filled with the same magic and fun that made these characters do wonderful over the years on television and in films.
My favorite part of The Muppets, besides the whimsy and adult humor that made the past shows and movies so great, is that it’s a self-aware movie musical. That whole wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude disarms and informs the silliness of the convention and makes the flick for me. As much as I love musicals there’s always that weird awkwardness of folks spontaneously breaking into song. Here I loved it.
Of course the problem of a big franchise like the Muppets is fitting in everyone’s favorite. It’s one of the reasons I dislike the bland Walter here. That said, I wanted to see more of Fozzie’s tribute cover band, the Muppets’ evil counterparts, the Moopets – great fodder there. This is great fun, recommended.