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The Muppets Intro
Director: James Bobin
Writers: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, Jim Henson
Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Jack Black, Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg, Rashida Jones, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz, Alan Arkin, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Cobbs, Ken Jeong, Emily Blunt, James Carville, Leslie Fiest, Neil Patrick Harris, Judd Hirsch, John Krasinski, Mickey Rooney, Rico Rodriguez, Danny Trejo, Sarah Silverman
Synopsis: With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Kermit and Fozzie on The View
Ms. Piggy on The View
Kermit and Fozzie on FOX News
Ladies and Gentlemen please put your hands together, as it's time for "The Muppet" movie review with your host Stevennix2001...AAAAHH!
Lyrics to the opening theme song for this review:
"It's the Muppet Review ...
It's time to play the music
It's time to light the lights
It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Review Tonight.
It's time to put on the computer
It's time to dress up right
It's time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Review tonight.
Why do we always come here
I guess we'll never know
It's like a kind of torture
To have to read this review
And now let's get things started
Why don't you get things started
It's time to get things started
On the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational
This is what we call the Muppet Movie Review!"
What is it about the Muppets that fascinate us? Sure, on the surface, this film is not only tragically predictable as hell, but it's riddled with generic one dimensional characters, and cliches that would probably cause most films to fail drastically. Yet, I can't bring myself to ever hate this movie. No, if anything, I actually enjoyed this a lot...but why? Is it because I grew up with many Muppet movies that I somehow have some weird sentimental value attachment to anything their collective names are tied to? Is it because the likable main characters that each display their own unique personality, and humor that adds even more fun to the movie? Is it because of the clever jokes, and the witty use of comical "breaking the fourth wall" humor throughout the film? Or maybe it's because underneath all the gags and jokes this movie brings, there's actually a strong underlying message about life that we can all draw from? Or maybe because "The Muppets" movie does a great job paying homage to the classic original show and previous films? Or it could just be a lot of fun to watch? But then again, it could be a combination of any of these previously mentioned things. Whatever the case may be, the Muppets are back, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
As many people may know, the Muppets haven't been around in over a decade, since their last film, "Muppets in Space", was so horrendously bad that it was a straight to DVD release. Needless to say, the Muppets haven't been culturally relevant in our American society for a very long time; thus it's possible that many of today's generation of kids probably never heard of them before this movie, as you have a generation that grew up without them practically (unless you count the Sesame Street muppets). However, what I loved about this movie is that not only does it acknowledge these little facts, but it weaves it into the story to where even the characters themselves know they haven't been popular for over a decade, and it works quite beautifully to create some funny situations in the movie. In one scene for example, Kermit is seen talking to a boy, as he immediately asks Kermit if he's one of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", to which Kermit replies "yes" just to humor the kid.
Anyway, to briefly explain what this movie is a about, it basically takes place in a small town called...well......."Smalltown." Gee, that's kind of a redundant title for a town that's OBVIOUSLY small. But then again, it's a family film, so what do you expect? As I was saying, the story takes place in "Smalltown" where we meet two young boys named Walter (a muppet) and Gary (a human). Both of them growing up like normal every day children, as they live in a suburban home with their folks. As the years pass by, Gary continues to turn into a fine young man, while Walter still remains a muppet that never seems to grow. This little problem incidentally causes Walter to feel sorry for himself early on....until he found a show that would go on to become his inspiration in life...and that show was called "The Muppet Show." Since discovering "The Muppet Show", Walter and Gary (Jason Segel) grow up becoming huge fans of the show, as they watch almost all the episodes together. In fact, all they ever talk about together from then on is about the Muppets, and how great they allegedly were. Unfortunately, this also tends to cut into Gary's private life.
Although it seems Walter still struggles trying to find a place in which he belongs, this has inevitably caused Gary to include his brother in almost every facet of his life. Hell, they still sleep in the same room together for Pete's sake. And to make matters even more interesting, what was supposed to be a romantic getaway between Gary and his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), for their ten year anniversary, it turns into a group vacation where all three of them go to Universal Studios together just to see the Muppet tour. Although, one could question why a woman would date a guy for ten years under this type of relationship, but it's a muppet movie, so you can't take it too seriously.
As the story goes on, Walter eventually sneaks away from the group, as they're taking in the sites of the Muppets' old filming studio. But as luck would have it, he ends up discovering a scheme by Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), who has recently bought the studio from the Muppets, with promises that he plans to convert it into a museum in their honor.....or does he? No, as it turns out, that was all a lie, as his real plans are to tear down the Muppet studio, and drill the land for it's oil. Gee, is it just me, or does it seem like oil tycoons and arms dealers are vilified a lot these days since that whole "War on Terror" business began? Oh well. It's a Muppet movie, so moving on. Besides, I doubt many readers would want to read about my conspiracy theories.
To make a long story short, the only way to keep Tex from drilling for oil is to seek out the Muppets themselves, so they can raise ten million dollars to save their studio before it's too late; thus Kermit the Frog puts on a telethon along with his old pals to try to raise the money. Sound easy, right? Not really. After the Muppet show was cancelled, many of them have moved on with their lives. Fozzy is now a struggling stand up comedian with his new act aptly called "The Moopets." Miss Piggy is now a successful fashion magazine editor. Gonzo owns the world's number one supplier of toilets. Animal is now seeking anger management classes with Jack Black, and many of the other Muppets are shown living their own lives in a hilarious montage to one of their earlier movies. However, that doesn't stop our heroes from trying to get the gang back together for one last run to save their old studio.
Although, I will admit that some of the supporting characters in this film are one dimensional stereotypes like the Tex Richman character for instance. Plus, the film is tragically predictable as sin, and it's riddled with cliches; which is expected in majority of family films. However, for what the movie is intended to be, I have to say James Bobin and his writing staff did an excellent job revitalizing this franchise. Not only was it genuinely funny and entertaining, but it also gave a lot of strong underlining messages that kids can learn from. Little messages like following your dreams, to learning how everyone must choose their own path in life. Heck, there's even a great message on how change isn't always necessarily a bad thing, and how sometimes things of the past that we deem special should not be forgotten just because something new comes our way.
Although, I wouldn't necessarily say this is the best family movie that I've seen all year, but it's definitely one of the most entertaining. And, it's arguably one of the few that I'm sure both adults and children will enjoy together; which is kind of a rarity among kid films these days.
In the end, I'd have to give this movie a two and a half out of four. It's a great family movie that I'm sure many children will love, and people that grew up with the Muppets. It's definitely a must see, as the Muppets have finally returned...and it's about time...