‘The Muppets’ Review
Hilarious, well-written, heartfelt tribute to the characters that will excite newcomers and fans alike.
As ‘The Muppets’ will be coming to a close, only one thought will be running in your mind – that’s how you make family films. It’s a hilariously well-written, heartfelt tribute to the characters that will excite newcomers and fans alike and stands as one of the best films in this surprising year.
Walter is the biggest Muppet fan in the world and always had a dream of visiting the Muppet theatre in Hollywood. When his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA take him along for the trip to Hollywood, he’s beyond excited. But there he finds out that the theatre has been long abandoned and the gang of Muppets have moved on to other things since they weren’t relevant anymore. But when they discover plans of an evil businessman to destroy the place for oil, they decide to bring the gang back together for one last show to assemble $10 million and save the theatre before it’s too late.
Hollywood has managed to ruin childhood memories time and time again by modernizing them into bastardized shells of themselves. Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear, The Smurfs, Marmaduke – the list just goes on. In a time like this, it was understandable to scoff when Disney announced that they’re making a new Muppets movie after 15 years. But then from the skies, a man named Jason Segel descends from the heavens and blesses us with what may just be one of the best kids movies of all time. The man not only scripted the film alongside Nicholas Stoller but also nabbed the lead role and you can see the major difference here – he’s not only a fan of the source material but loves it as a passion. And that passion pours out of the film which is so brilliantly written that it manages to make the Muppets relevant once again.
From the start, the film is fully aware of the fact that it’s a movie which gives it a very exciting tone and tons of movie references to play with. It parodies the whole montage sequence craze in Hollywood and the characters are fully aware that they’re randomly breaking into a musical number and even acknowledge it later on. It adds a fun element to the film and the audience is for the ride with pleasure. And not only that, Segel does a brilliant move and sets the story actually grounded in real life. Instead of the movie being about the original Muppet gang set in the new world without any regard to any of the previous films that came before, the film actually acknowledges Muppets as TV show characters and how they actually faded out of people’s memory and pop culture relevance. In turn, the film becomes about a new Muppet bringing the old ones together while they struggle with the fact that they just might not be relevant anymore to today’s audiences. It’s a brilliant direction to take with the material and the writers pull this off extremely well.
Not just a kids movie, it’s also a musical and though the first instance of a song might be jarring to a lot of audiences not expecting such a sudden shift in tone, the movie actually has some very memorable and hilarious songs that are catchy and are bound to live in outside the soundtrack of the film. And in the visuals, Segel manages to add a lot of sight gags into the mix that make the song even more enjoyable to hear. The script constantly keeps you entertained despite some dull spots in the middle. But just when you think you are getting bored, the film presents you with possibly one of the most entertaining final acts of any kids movie. The Muppets organise a grand show in order to raise the funds but run into a lot of obstacles but have to improvise without letting viewers know about it. The proceedings are rip-roaringly hilarious and filled with celebrity appearances and cameos that for once make good use of them for the most part. I wouldn’t want to spoil some of the names that appear here, but let’s just say that some of the biggest names in comedy movies and TV shows make memorable appearances. But most of all, the audience actually feels that this is an earnest effort to make a faithful and quality Muppets movie rather than a heartless cash-in on the recognisable characters. The passion for the project is very evident and the film is a heartfelt tribute to long-time fans of the characters and even those who aren’t really familiar with the characters so much.
In a year where we have films like ‘The Smurfs’ and ‘Chipwrecked’, it’s great to see a movie where the creators have actually managed to have a reason for the film’s existence that isn’t ‘money-making’. It’s a memorable and heartfelt, not only giving making the Muppets relevant again but also proving that all you need is love for the material to make an actually good film.