|The Muppets Review|
With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon. I am a big muppet fan...huge, really...but I am also very picky when it comes to The Muppets and feel a lot of the movies have never recaptured the magic of the original Muppet Movie.
Sidenote: How big a fan am I of the muppets? Check out Pulp Muppets and see how big a fan.
Ok, so enough of the self plug. I have to admit I was afraid that the movie would be atrocious and can safely say it was nowhere near atrocious. Jason Segel is obviously a fan as well. It shows in his work, from the script for Forgetting Sara Marshall to all the nice details placed lightly in The Muppet movie. Such little touches as Gonzo's plumbing business (though it would have been nice to see the statue of the truck from The Muppet Movie), Sweetums having gone back to work for Mad Man Mooney (obviously without the cameo from Milton Berle) and 'the standard fame and fortune contract' that the Muppets were originally given to sign by Orson Welles.
But those last two touches also bring to mind one of my few complaints about the movie. The cameos. Sure, it was fun seeing Jason Segel bringing in some of his recent co-workers like Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother and Jack Black and Emily Blunt from Gulliver's Travels, yet I am sure they could have got some original hosts as well from the original Muppet Show...John Cleese, Alice Cooper, Steve Martin...
But that's pretty nit picky. And there were some solid cameos. Dave Grohl's was excellent, Zach Galifianakis as Hobo Joe makes me smile just thinking about it, and topping both of them was Jim Parsons who was also featured in one of the better musical numbers. The problem with a musical comedy like The Muppets is that the numbers either work or they don't. Both types feature in the film.
What's not too nit picky, I don't think, is the story resolution. It really doesn't come about through the actions of the main characters aside from sheer luck and even then, it occurs during the final credits. Seems like a lazy wrap up, at least from a stroy-telling point of view.
But it's The Muppets. It's Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rowlf, Scooter, Beeker, Pepe and so many more. And when it comes to movies starring The Muppets...this is easily one of the best ones, even if it still can't hold a candle to The Muppet Movie, at least it cares enough to try.
3.5 stars out of 5.