The Muppets – not quite a mop, not quite a puppet

As I’ve mentioned before, writing a review of a great film is extremely hard, and this is one of the reasons it has taken me so long to review what is fast becoming one of my favourite films of 2012…

Now first of all: like many others, I am a huge Muppets fan (actually, who isn’t?). So when it was announced that they’d be doing another film, I was very excited. But then it was revealed Jason Segel who wrote and starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Nicholas Stoller who directed it, would both be writing the script. And like the rest of the world, I was still excited, but a little worried about how it would be treated – Muppets plus penis gags?! Perish the thought. But there needn’t have been any worry – The Muppets is made so lovingly and with oodles of affection and respect by everyone involved.

We’re introduced to a new Muppet called Walter who is the brother of Gary (Jason Segel) and who is obsessed with all things Muppety. When Walter, Gary, and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) go on a trip to the Muppet Studios and accidentally hear Tex Richman’s (Chris Cooper) plans to destroy it, they decide to get Kermit and the other Muppets back together for one last show to raise the funds to stop him. Simple enough plot which has been done many times before. But Segel, Stoller, and director James Bobin make it more than this, playing these old clichés and plot points for laughs.

In fact, The Muppets is surprisingly and amazingly funny. The songs written by Bret McKenzie (of Flight of the Conchords fame) are just as funny too and are genuinely memorable, especially the genius ‘Man Or Muppet’ that won McKenzie the Oscar for Best Original Song – you’ll be singing that for days after. Actually you’d have to have a heart made of stone not to laugh at any of the jokes in the film or tap your feet to at least one or two of the songs.

One of the joys of the film as well is that it doesn’t dumb down these jokes for the kids and leave the adults sitting there bored, and neither does it play up the comedy in a way that leaves the little ones out. Both young and old will be laughing just as much. There are also some genuinely heartfelt moments which do actually bring a tear to your eye sometimes, but before too long another gag is flying your way.

Jason Segel and Amy Adams are great in the lead roles and look like they’re enjoying every single minute (especially Segel). But the one main thing that makes the film so great is obviously the Muppets themselves: they’re still sooo funny and it’s great to see them back again. And the new Muppet Walter is just as cute. There’s also cameos a plenty from loads of people…but to mention them would be spoilers as one of the other joys of the film is sitting there and suddenly seeing someone unexpected popping up.

The Muppets is a brilliant and lovingly well-made film and is a complete joy to watch from start to finish. Younger ones will love being introduced to some new characters they might never have seen before and older ones will love the feeling of nostalgia from watching characters they grew up with.

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~ by square-eyed-geek on March 23, 2012.

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