DIRECTOR: James Bobin
May Contain Spoilers!
To start off with, we need to establish one very important point. Jason Segel, known for his starring role in TV Series How I Met Your Mother, and films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) and The Five-Year Engagement (2012) is responsible for penning this script.
Jason Segel: What have we done to deserve you? Amy Adams… blar! Chris Copper: You’re better than this! Not the film exactly, but their wasted and pointless Sesame Street styled performances. Jason Segel and his brother, a Muppet, make their way to the now defunct Muppet Studios in New York, in order that the Muppet brother can find some sense of belonging with his own kind. Little explanation is given as to why there’s a Muppet and human sibling thing going on.
Once there, he over hears Chris Copper’s villain explaining his plot to demolish the studio and drill for oil (in the middle of New York?), but there’s a clause in which if The Muppets can raise $10,000,000 then they can keep the site. Okay, so we’ve kind of gone all Blues Brothers (1980) here, a simile further re-enforced by the whole ‘getting the band back together’ segment, in which The Muppets who have all separated over the years are brought back together to perform one last time, to save their studio.
Maybe it’s me. I’m not the worlds biggest Muppet fan, but one thing that this film does do right, is play the nostalgia card and is self-aware about the history of the series. With the exception of the 90’s revival TV series, though. Where this film goes wrong is mostly its execution. The human characters are dumbed to down to that of five years olds and have little to do in the real world. The Muppets are portrayed well and the looney logic on their existence is explored well, with some good gags, the best being the ‘Travel By Map’ plot device which is playing around with the Indiana Jones red line animation, but with the characters actually using it to travel. It’s hard to explain, it’s ludicrous but it worked.
But then we have the musical numbers, which are fine in themselves but are too self referencing. Every time a number ends, there’s a joke about the fact that musicals don’t really make much sense in the real world. Well, Mr. Segel, nor do YOUR characters! It did feel more like Sesame Street than The Muppets at times, though The Muppets were defiantly the best thing in this movie.
They were in keeping with their original characterisations and gave us a few laughs. Segel and Adams did NOT. Overall, not a bad revival of the Brian Henson classic and as the film rams down our throats every chance that they get, they’ve still got it, but it was hardly the top draw fair which many are proclaiming it to be. PLEASE stop giving Segel work! Let alone Amy Adams. Chris Cooper, I will forgive this one, but seriously, playing second fiddle to Kermit The Frog….
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) stands as a testament as to how to have humans and cartoon or puppet characters interacting in a self referencing way. The Muppets 2, take note…