Movie Review: The Muppets

The Muppets reunite; ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

****DISCLAIMER**** This review is for entertainment purposes only. I don’t know about you, but when a black comedian isn’t funny, I feel really, really awkward.

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present a review of The Muppets, written by the ghost of Jim Henson, as transcribed by me — after a long night of [redacted].

Oh my God, it’s hot in here. No, no, no. I’m not in hell. I’m in the attic of my heavenly mansion nestled in my own neighborhood complex overlooking the majestic Hawaiian Islands. I guess God was a huge fan of my work and I had the royal treatment coming to me as soon as I died from not taking enough multi-vitamins or something. You know, I still don’t really know what killed me. It irks me to this day. I mean, everyone gets the flu, but I got the flu that really hates you. So annoying. And I had just started writing a Muppets version of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. Now that Disney owns my shit and Marvel, maybe someone can finish it.

Anyway, my good buddy El Guapo contacted me and asked me if I would review this new Muppets movie. Yes, I’ve seen it. I can see everything from up here, you morons. I’ve even seen most of The Dark Knight Rises, and so far it’s looking pretty good (except the chick playing Catwoman wears too much damn lip gloss. She’s an anti-hero, not a whore). Anyways, speaking of The Muppets, I thought I’d give you guys my thoughts on it since, you know, I invented the fuzzy motherfuckers.

A few years ago, some guy named Jason Segel was going around telling everyone that he had approached my company and pitched an idea for a new Muppets movie. I had no idea who this guy was, except he made this really funny flick called Forgetting Sarah Marshall about getting over your girlfriend after she dumps you. I was a little worried about what this kid would do to my beloved franchise, but since I was dead, there wasn’t much I could do. So, I sat back on the couch, lit up another “Fozzie,” and let the chips fall where they may.

That was then, and now it’s 2011 and … holy crap … I’ve been dead for 21 years? Time flies when you’re fighting evil ghost Nazis! Anyways, Disney made a new Muppets movie, creatively called The Muppets. The story is about Gary (Jason Segel) and his best friend Walter (Peter Linz), who is the world’s biggest Muppets fan. Walter is also a Muppet, which is kind of weird, because normally humans and Muppets wouldn’t live together. (Muppets tend to shit on everything and it drives people crazy.) Gary and his girlfriend Mary (mom jeans-wearer Amy Adams) are going to Los Angeles. They take Walter with them to meet Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the Muppets. When they arrive at Henson Studios, they discover that the Muppets have all gone their separate ways and evil oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) wants to destroy the old Muppet Theater so he can drill for oil. Walter, Gary and Mary set off to find Kermit and the gang to raise the $10 million dollars needed to save the theater.

Soon after, we run into the Muppets. Kermit is cold pimpin’ it in a Beverly Hills mansion, but misses his friends, who have all gone on to do other things. Fozzie is in a Reno tribute band playing with The Moopets. (They’re like the Muppets, if the Muppets bred with the Khardashians and did cocaine throughout their pregnancies.) Gonzo is the head of a plumbing company, Animal is in anger management, Miss Piggy is a fashion editor for Vogue Paris, and Rowlf is chillin’ at home. Kermit, Gary, Mary and Walter eventually get everyone back together to put on a telethon to save their old theater.

The Muppets is filled with musical numbers like “Life’s a Happy Song,” “Pictures in My Head,” and, of course, “Mahna Mahna.” The songs all have a wonderful energy to them and you will catch yourself smiling during each one. Well, maybe not during Kermit’s songs, because that frog can be a depressing son of a bitch sometimes. “Man or Muppet,” in which Walter is confused about what he is and where he fits in the world, is another charming musical number. I used to ask myself the same “man or Muppet” question during those long nights with a bottle of Jack and some painkillers. Not sure why I always woke up wearing a blond wig and lipstick smeared all over my face, but I was partying, baby. You wouldn’t understand my life choices unless you also stick your hand up a frog’s ass for a living.

So, is this Muppets movie a comeback worthy of my name? You bet your sweet ass it is. It’s as if the gang never left. Segel’s script, while totally hokey and not as realistic as my Muppets films, is a great tribute to the genius that I created. Nothing makes sense, but it’s the Muppets and it’s not supposed to. Their Muppet interactions with the world and each other are as goofy, charming and cute as you remember. A couple of jokes are a miss, but everything is put together with such care it’s as if director James Bobin was channeling my spirit. (He actually was; I’m not going to let these yahoos screw up my creation.) Chris Cooper’s exaggerated portrayal of an evil oil tycoon is punctuated by his surprise song that comes out of nowhere and almost steals the show. What I appreciated about the story, which was also co-written by Nicholas Stoller, is that it stays focused on the Muppets and not the human characters. Humans are just there to help move the story along and not to steal the spotlight from Kermit and friends. And the celebrity cameos? Don’t worry, there are enough of them.

Every Muppet makes an appearance, and while some favorite smaller Muppet characters like Rizzo the Rat and Pepe the Prawn have limited screen time, we do get enough of each major character to help fill the cinematic void that’s been missing in theaters for years. Miss Piggy is just as obnoxious as ever, Kermit just as sweet, Animal just as insane, and Fozzie just as clueless. You will be laughing throughout the entire film. Movies are supposed to move you. To make you feel emotionally attached to them, no matter the genre. And Segel, Stoller and Bobin’s vision of The Muppets does just that. You will be smiling throughout, and you’ll be smiling long after it’s over. It really is one of the best films of the year.

Alright, homeboys. I’m out of here. I’m getting my place prepped for a bitchin’ gangster-style pool party and I’ve got 50 kegs rollin’ up in a few minutes. Whatever you do this Thanksgiving week, go see The Muppets when it opens in theaters November 23. If you don’t, I’m not sure how long it will be before we see another Muppet movie.

I was actually shocked at how fantastic this film was. If it rained in your area last week when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was just me crying after I had seen this. Proud at the way Hollywood respected the characters I’ve created and loved.

Thanks guys. Life really is a happy song.

Jim Henson loves to follow El Guapo on Twitter.

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