Thursday, 4 December 2014

Review: The Muppets (2011)

THE MUPPETS  - It's a Muppet fanatic with some help from his two human compatriots must regroup the Muppet gang to stop a avaricious oil mogul from taking down one of their precious life-longing treasures.

I think it is fair to say that like it or not, The Muppets is a good film for familes. It's good for young audiences to enjoy because of the comedic value and entertainment of the muppet puppets, especially to a new generation of children who have never seen The Muppets before. It communicates to adults as well, so there are parallels in the way it's represented among a broad audience.

However, from the way it's advertised and the action of the puppet characters, parents already know that The Muppets is as child-friendly film, which is also fun for adults too.

As all of the popular Jim Henson early movie characters. Families familiarize themselves with the Muppet gang and will know to expect a romantic subplot from Kermit and Miss Piggy, some slapstick stunts/humor courtesy of Gonzo, and silly jokes that aren't even remotely funny, but we chuckle at them anyway, thanks to Fozzie the Bear. So the films intention is to deliver all round fun for all the family, which you can just run away with.

But is there any actual story to this film? I hear you ask. there kind of is. For instance you have Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (voiced by Peter Linz) who aren't just brothers; they're best friends. When Gary announces that Walter can come with him and his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), on a trip with them to Los Angeles, Walter, who is The Muppets' biggest fan has absolutely no hesitation to agree to go with Gary and Mary, and makes plans to visit the Muppets' studio.

But when they get there, Walter discovers that an evil oil baron named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) plans to tear down the now crumbling studio for the oil which lies underneath it. The only loophole is that the Muppets have one week to pay $10 million to buy back the building. Walter enlists Gary and Mary to track down Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and spur him in to action. Fortunately and to no surprise, Kermit agrees to help. They soon find out that the only way to raise the money is to put on a show, and what better way to put on a show than 'The Muppet' way. So anyway, back to the story; the four of them travel across the country (and beyond) to reunite Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, and all of the retired Muppets for one all or nothing telethon get back together and to save the studio. That's basically it.

Is it worth watching? It is for me because I love The Muppets, I love puppets. I love all the character interaction, and there some good characters in  this, wacky, crazy, eccentric characters which help to provide laughs to the comedic comic element of this film, which is a large proportion. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the way everything was handled. It hardly ever boars, it gets to the point of what the plot has to offer, and is very inventive and dynamic in it's storytelling.

Here's a trailer.

It is always good to see The Muppets back. After so long. It's a child's dream to just escape into their own little wacky world and go wild. I think this film offers that. It allows children to engage with their imagination and relate to their comedic side, and combine both imagination and comedy together to form their enjoyment of the film. I think it works a bit differently with adults, because as Roald Dahl so brilliantly said  “Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
For many of today's adult audiences, The Muppets are an immediate catalyst of nostalgia and they, along with all children will delight in the re-introduction of everyone's favorite felt friends. Jason Segel lovingly depicts the story of the Muppets' biggest fan and how one person's faith convinces Kermit and the gang to reunite. Kermit, as usual, is the true essence and heart of the story, but he's joined by the charming Walter, who as the newest addition to the Muppet family is a winning combination of funny, humble, and sweet and I welcome him aboard with open arms. I love Walter.
Jason Segel and Amy Adams make an adorable on-screen couple, and their ability to project innocent fun is irresistibly charming and witty and adults can relate to that, in any relationship, don't tell me you've got the giggles. It's all lies.

Overall I think that families can talk about the film's messages about sibling unity and teaming up to make a difference. How are Walter and Gary different than most on-screen brothers? What do the main characters learn about themselves during the film, and what do they take in from them? I like films which educate as well as entertain. The Muppets do that, and boy do they entertain. Like them or not, The Muppets are brilliant. 8/10.

NEXT : Last Passenger

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