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Friday, February 10, 2012
You can’t not like the Muppets. Trust me, I tried. When I was young I never used to watch The Muppet Show – even this couch potato wasn’t generally sat inside watching ITV at 4pm on Sunday – and on the occasions I was I didn’t really take to them.
Show me a film that is rooted entirely on the affection people feel towards them and I become misty-eyed for the whole sock draw lot of them, yet still without ever growing to like them.
Even people who like the Muppets generally have little interest in watching movies featuring them.
The idea of The Muppets is to encase them within a big, all-singing and all-dancing, self referential yet affectionate entertainment that will turn all that good will into bums on seats.
The plot is getting the now disbanded team back together to make one last comeback show to raise $10million to save the old Muppet studio.
It is packed with the type of send-ups of movie conventions that first appeared in Mel
Brooks’ films in the 1970s. The songs by Bret McKenzie, of Flight of the Concords, are consistently funny and the nomination of Muppet or Man as best song was really the only thing the Academy got right in its selection.
Jason Segal and Amy Adams do sterling work as the human additions. Segal has a clumsy energy that suggests a Muppet made flesh, while Adams is a showbiz trooper.
It is a flaw that most of what is best about The Muppets is everything except for the Muppets.
Just like the Star Trek films with the original cast, the big screen cruelly reveals how old and weary some of them are.
Kermit really is just a green sock with the two halves of severed ping pong ball stuck on for eyes. (He is though, still a very expressive sock.)
Also most of the original voices aren’t there.
It’s tragic that Jim Henson didn’t live long enough for this but disappointing that Frank Oz went off in a huff.
THE MUPPETS (U)
Director: James Bobin
Starring: Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Kermit, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Chris Cooper
Length: 110 mins