Everybody knows the Muppets, but how many people still know the Muppets; I mean, are true fans, today? I'm not one of them, but heard that the new Muppets movie was great, and decided to give it a shot. The result? Singing, dancing, driving (by map), humans, muppets, moopets and some of the best good ol' fashioned fun you can have for the price of a movie ticket. My short review after the jump.
In a nutshell, the Muppets is about biggest-Muppet-fan-in-the-world Walter (a young man born as a Muppet), his brother Gary (Jason Segel), his brother's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) and their attempt at trying to help The Muppets save their old theatre from a greedy oil tycoon named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). This story has every cliche in the book - old fashioned plot devices, stereotypical villainy, the obligatory montage and even a little deus ex machina thrown in for good measure. However, writers Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (the team from Forgetting Sarah Marshall) put these devices to fantastic use, resulting in a movie that not only feels fresh and new, but has a delightfully self-reflective quality about it.
If the singing, dancing, 80's rock and generally over-the-top showmanship isn't enough for you, then the jam-packed cameo performances will be - there are over 20 in all, and that's not counting over 10 deleted cameos from the likes of Danny Trejo (who at least made the teaser), Lady Gaga, Mila Kunis, Ben Stiller, Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) and Ed Helms (The Hangover). What beautiful irony, considering the struggle the poor Muppets faced to find a celebrity host for their show.
The pity about the Muppets is that they are kind-of has-beens. This is the case both in the movie and in reality (this is the first theatrical Muppets movie in a dozen years). Overseas they managed to convince people to see them again (in the movie and in reality), but so far in South Africa that doesn't seem to be the case. Please, forget about what you remember of the Muppets, and go see this movie. That bunch of fuzzy puppets is truly wacky, wildly funny and totally brilliant! If I wasn't a Muppet fan before, I am one now.
The Muppets is currently in theatres. It has been nominated for one Academy Award (Best Original Song - "Man or Muppet"). It is going to win.