Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Muppets (2012)

In a break from the theme of the latter muppet movies, The Muppets is an original story, rather than an adaptation of a classic novel, which, as much as I love The Muppets Christmas Carol, was a wise move in introducing these wonderful characters to a whole new generation of movie goers.

Thankfully the creative team decided not to go for a basic reboot, choosing instead to acknowledge that the old gang hasn't been around for a long time, getting close to fading into obscurity.

Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (Peter Linz) are brothers who grow up watching the muppet show on TV, fast forward several years, and they're still living together in Small Town, Gary has planned a vacation in Los Angeles with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), to celebrate their 10th anniversary, and Walter is invited too, as he has always wanted to visit the muppet studios.

This would all seem a bit odd, if it weren't for the fact that Walter is himself a muppet. Now, I don't want to put images in your head, but was one of their parents human & the other a muppet? and if so, was it Mum or Dad? either way I suppose felt is a soft material!

The long and short of the plot is that an evil oil magnate, Tex Richman, plans to knock down the old muppet theatre in order to drill for oil, and the only hope the muppets have in stopping him is to get the old gang back together and perform one last muppet show in order to raise the $10 million needed to stop his evil plans.

The film really goes back to their roots, allowing them to do what they do best, they bring all the usual muppety goodness to the fore, they're funny and not averse to a bit of lampooning, there are some great songs, which as someone who doesn't really appreciate musicals, is really saying something. There are also some very emotional points in the film, which play out really well, I must be getting soft in my middle age!

The humans in the cast are very good, Jason Segel, who I've seen in the occasional episode of How I Met Your Mother, is a very good lead actor (he also co-wrote the script, and in various reports nagged the studio into making the film). Amy Adams is perfectly cast as Mary, she gets a chance to do her own song and dance number, and does it very well (great legs!). Chris Cooper, who I've only seen in one other movie (American Beauty) is fantastic as Tex Richman *maniacal laugh*.

A muppet film wouldn't be a muppet film without an array of stars making cameos, and the film doesn't disappoint on that score, I won't reveal who they are, as I feel that there is a certain joy to be had from spotting them as you watch the movie.

I grew up watching the muppets as a kid, and this certainly brings it all back, and although it is a bit of a nostalgia-fest, there is enough here for kids of any age to enjoy without having to know anything about the muppets' previous exploits.

One final thought, if you're ever headed out towards Reno, don't get suckered into seeing the moopets by mistake.

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