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The Muppets

The Muppets: Brilliant and Old-Fashioned Feel-Good Fun

  • Amy AdamsChris Cooper...
  • ComedyFamily...
  • James Bobin
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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The Muppets: Brilliant and Old-Fashioned Feel-Good Fun

The Muppets is
joy in the form of film; it provoked sing-alongs, clapping, cheering, arm
waving and spontaneous dancing in the cinema at the time of this review. And
this was by people over the age of ten. It completely lacks cynicism and its
relentless optimism and hopefulness will warm the cockles of the iciest hearts
out there. Add to the above the abundance of musical numbers; and basically you
have a film tailor-made to make this reviewer happy. Gushing ensues. You have
been warned.

Walter and Gary (Segel) are brothers. Walter’s obsessed with the Muppets
whereas Gary is in love with Mary (Adams), his girlfriend of ten years. While
Mary loves Gary, she isn’t too happy with how devoted Gary is to Walter and to
making his life easier at her expense. Gary and Mary decide to go on a trip to
LA for their tenth anniversary. Right before they leave, to Mary’s chagrin,
Gary decides to bring Walter along with them so he can fulfil his lifelong
dream of visiting the Muppets studio.

While visiting the studio, which is now completely decrepit, Walter
accidentally overhears a very wealthy oil baron claiming that he intends to
trick the long retired Muppets into selling the studio under the pretext of
turning it into a Muppet museum. His real plans for the studio involve him
tearing it down and drilling for oil underneath it. Due to contractual
difficulties, the only way that the Muppets can stop him is by raising 10
million dollars to buy the studio themselves.

A distraught Walter relays the news to Gary and Mary, who decide to help
him save the studio. They search for Kermit and convince him to put on one last
show with the Muppets to raise the ten million that they need. This proves to
be a series of challenges including tracking down and convincing the Muppets to
leave behind their lives, finding a TV executive willing to give them a
time slot despite their current obscurity and finding a celebrity host for
their show.    

So let’s get the two best celebrity cameos out of the way first. Rashida
Jones is an absolute highlight as the cranky TV executive forced to give the
Muppets a time slot when her top show Punch Teacher is cancelled. Emily
Blunt, in a role reminiscent of hers in The
Devil Wears Prada
, is Miss Piggy’s stuck up assistant at French Vogue.
Segel and Adams, as the two main humans, are all wide-eyed, dimples and big
smiles, i.e. they’re absolutely perfect. Adams builds on her role from Enchanted, retaining the charm and naivety
while making her character a bit more mature. This maturity is the reason
behind the clash between Gary and Mary as to all appearances, he, despite being
completely selfless, goofy and good-natured, is a bit of a child. The duo more
than hold their own opposite their puppet counterparts.

The Muppets is hilarious, inspiring
and rather quaint without a trace of irony. The film is also
proof that old-fashioned techniques can be every bit as good,
if not better, than all the newfangled, computer generated effects.
As a viewer, you completely believe
the everybody-has-a-special-talent message, clich
éd as it may sound. It’s an unabashed and
untainted brand of happy; a rare breed in our time of sarcasm and sass.

Like This? Try

The Muppet Christmas Carol, Fantastic Mr Fox, Wallace & Grommit

360 Tip

The Muppets is worth watching alone for the barbershop take on Nirvana’s ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’. Yeah, you read that correctly. Barbershop. It also includes a bunch of chickens covering Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’.

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