Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The Muppets (2011)
Years have passed, but the good ol' Muppet gang is back for a big screen show like never before. Probably what makes this Muppet movie so different is its self-aware attitude, and I must say, it's the best self-aware movie I've ever seen. As for the movie overall, if it isn't excellent, it sure as hell is fantastic. With great and hilarious performances from Jason Segel (who co-wrote the film), Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, and of course, the Muppets, The Muppets succeeds in making us believe in magic and optimism all over again and putting a huge smile on our faces.
The story concerns Walter, the brother of Gary (Jason Segel); Walter is technically a Muppet, but the movie doesn't directly state this. He's been a fan of the Muppets nearly all his life, so when his brother tells him they're going to Los Angeles, Walter is ecstatic to see the old Muppet Studios. Once there, they realize it's pretty much run down and is to be taken over by a rich oil tycoon by the name of Richman (Chris Cooper). Walter decides to reach out to Kermit the Frog and the other Muppets to raise the appropriate funds to save the studio. All the characters in this film are great: Peter Linz voices Walter, an energetic character and a great addition to the Muppet cast; Segel is terrific as Gary, who's heart is always in the right place; Amy Adams plays Gary's girlfriend (of ten years) Mary, who is absolutely cool and adorable at the same time; Chris Cooper couldn't be funnier and more awesome as Richman; and all of the Muppets (Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, etc. etc.) are at the top of their game (for the most part, anyway). What's great is that every character gets their time to shine, which is something I really appreciated - plus, there are a ton of awesome cameos. My favorite characters, of course, are Statler and Waldorf, the two old Muppets who are always cracking jokes; each of their scenes is gold.
Something that's note worthy are the effects. The Muppets look excellent and are as believable as they can be in a movie about Muppets. There are also musical numbers, which should be expected from a Muppets movie, but anywho: each of these musical numbers turns out being wonderful in some way or the other. And of course, this movie would be nothing without its jokes, but don't expect me to tell you what they are - there are too many to count anyway. Just be alert that this film's full of them and there's a high chance you'll laugh at each one (hopefully).
Regardless of what you may think before or after the show's over, whether you grew up with these characters or don't even know who they are, The Muppets is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and keep you happy and optimistic the whole way through. It features great performances from all involved and leaves you with a wonderful attitude. In a world where cynicism and negativity reign, it's extremely nice for a movie like this to come along and show us that sometimes all we need to do is believe in ourselves and keep smiling. Movies like The Muppets need to come out more often.