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THE MUPPETS – Movie Review

While I was aware of who The Muppets were, I never watched the old TV show as a kid.  So, I didn’t have much expectation in that sense for the new film, simply titled The Muppets.  That being said, I was still looking forward to the film, mainly because it starred and was co-written by a true Muppets fan, Jason Segel, and the advertising material seemed to perfectly capture an energetic sense of youth and happiness.  What I wasn’t expecting, however, was to get one of the best films of the year.

The Muppets follows Walter, a puppet who has a human brother, Gary (Segel).  Walter has always dreamed of being part of the Muppets gang, being a fan of the TV show growing up.  So, when he hears that the old Muppets studio is about to be torn down by a greedy businessman (Chris Cooper) so he can drill for oil, Walter takes it upon himself to get the gang back together to put on one last show to raise $10 million and save the studio.

The biggest strength in this film is its consistent high energy.  It sets a happy, cheerful mood for the movie, making it immensely enjoyable to watch. Some of this energy is showcased in interactions between characters, specifically those who are part of the Muppets.  Yes, you read correctly.  The nonhuman characters in this film have some of the best chemistry of the year, better then half of this year’s human characters.

The comedy in this film is also really strong.  Kids will enjoy the slapstick, but adults will appreciate the meta-humor and in-jokes.  The film is aware of the fact that it’s a family movie, and is aware of clichéd story beats that happen in family movies.  So, as a result, the film embraces that, poking fun at things like montages and musical numbers, making it fun for the audience to digest.

The film also has a great heart.  So many films have so much forced emotional weight put onto their characters, but the heart works here because the friendship between the Muppet characters feels completely genuine.  And Walter makes for a relatable character, being the outcast, new member of the group, causing certain scenes with his character to be extremely effective.  This is also due to a great sense of honest emotion.

The Muppets is a fantastic family film for all ages.  I had a big, fat smile on my face the entire 110 minutes, and it’s truly one of the best times I’ve had at the movies in years.

FINAL RATING: 4.5/5

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  1. November 29, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Longtime Muppet fans will undoubtedly have more fun than young ones, but for the most part, it’s a witty, delightful romp, that shows you that you can still be funny, without ever being mean still in 2011. Good review. Check out mine when you get the chance.

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