Home Year 2011 The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets (2011)

Miss Piggy's new life as a nudist came as quite a surprise.
Miss Piggy’s new life as a nudist came as quite a surprise.

Twitter Plot Summary: The Muppets return and, with Jason Segel’s help, reunite to fight off the evil Chris Cooper.

Five Point Summary:

1. Meet Walter. He’s new.
2. Gonzo’s doing surprisingly well for himself.
3. Are you a man or a muppet?
4. Smells Like Teen Spirit.
5. Mahna Mahna.

The Muppets had been moderately forgotten in the mainstream by the early noughties, despite the fact they hadn’t actually gone anywhere and were still putting material out there for both older fans to enjoy and those lucky enough to discover their antics for the first time. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to give them a big budget cinema release, would it?

The Muppets (the film, that is) works as both a reintroduction to the crazy world of all the Muppets characters and as a nostalgic love letter to the characters who brought endless joy amd amusement to young and old alike over thirty plus years. This is in no small part thanks to Jason Segel’s script and gneral involvement, approaching it entirely from a fan’s perspective and incorporating all of the things that made The Muppets so loveable in the first place.

And those aspects still work today and prove the formula is timeless. The jokes are frequently self-referential and break the fourth wall, there are catchy songs aplenty and a huge number of celebrity cameos, proving if nothing else that the Muppets are still as popular as ever, they just needed a big cinema release to get their faces back out there. The songs from Brett MacKenzie (one half of Flight of the Conchords) are ridiculously catchy and fit the film’s tone to a tee. Also, if you ever wanted to see Chris Cooper rap then this is your opportunity.

Going back to basics, The Muppets is a simple “getting the band back together” tale, with the various Muppets now earning a living in other fields and forced to reunite in order to protect their theatre from Chris Cooper’s business magnate Tex Richman who wants to knock down the theatre and profit from the oil that lies beneath it. Just as an example of the Airplane style humour employed in he script, Richman always says “Maniacal Laugh” rather than actually laughing. A minor note of comedy genius in a script full with brief yet often hilarious minor moments.

Barbershop Quartet + Nirvana = much fun.
Barbershop Quartet + Nirvana = much fun.

Kermit is lounging in his luxury mansion, Miss Piggy is head of a fashion chain (spoofing The Devil Wears Prada), and Gonzo is inexplicably one of the biggest names in the world of toilets and plumbing equipment. At the other end of the success scale is Fozzy Bear, who has found himself performing with a terrible Muppets tribute act called The Moopets. And as for the crazed drumming antics of Animal, they have since been curtailed by his resident in a care home and is reduced to playing the triangle.

The other half of the story centres on Walter, a long term fan of the Muppets who finds himself involved in their fundraising event whilst dealing with the realisation that he is, oddly, nothing like his brother Gary (Segel). This may have something to do with the fact Walter is a Muppet himself whereas Gary is, well, Jason Segel. Meanwhile the human story is covered by Gary and his relationship with Mary (Amy Adams) who experience some relationship woes as a result of Gary and Walter assisting the Muppets. Suffice to say, all of the woes will be resolved by the film’s end because this is a Muppets movie, and unless you’re eternally cold hearted you will experience a pleasant glow on reaching the end credits. Welcome back Muppets, it’s nice to see you again.

Score: 4/5

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