ecksmanfan Reviews The Muppets

ecksmanfan Reviews <i>The Muppets</i>

It's been quite some time since we've seen the Muppets on the big screen and many folks had a bit of trepidation about the idea. But fear not Muppet fans! The latest installment does the franchise justice and takes you back to the heyday of puppetry!

I'm not going to lie here, when I first heard that Disney was bringing the Muppets back to the big screen, there was a bit of trepidation. Growing up, I remember watching the television series and being very happy to do so. The Muppets provided for a different type of humor than the usual cartoons; one where both adults and kids alike could be entertained throughout the entire show. I've seen all the feature films that have been released, both the good and the bad, which is why I was a bit hesitant with this one. Take a look at Muppets in Space and you'll see what I mean. However, after viewing this little gem, that trepidation has been tossed out the proverbial window. The Muppets is a fun film that takes you back tot he heyday when the foam-filled critters ruled the entertainment world.

Gary (Jason Segal) and his brother Walter (yep, he's a puppet) have grown up in in Smalltown,USA, but they both know that something different with Walter; the fact that he hasn't grown since he was 4 years old is only the small problem. When Walter comes across the Muppets television show, he knows where he belongs. Gary, his girlfriend of 10 years, Mary (Amy Adams) and Wlater set out to California to visit the Muppets movie lot, they discover that the famed puppets have all gone their separate ways and an evil oil tycoon, Tex Richman (played by the always impressive Chris Cooper) has plans to demolish the theater and drill for oil. The three fans must help gather the Muppets team to raise the money to save the theater.

So how do you take a bunch of puppets, put them in the human world and have a story that makes sense? I assure you, it isn't an easy thing to pull of, but Jason Segal, who also stars in the film, and Nicholas Stoller have put together a story that is not only fun, but is well written. Sure it has its silly moments and a certain level of cheese, but that's what makes the Muppets so fun. The music (yes,it is a musical) is light-hearted and well-fitting. At times, it's hard not to burst into song and join in on the chorus; especially when they even put the words on the screen for you. Often times, with films like this, the music feels random and misplaced, but each song in The Muppets, is well placed and keep from running too long.

The film is filled with numerous cameos including Alan Arkin, Neil Patrick Harris, Selena Gomez, Jack Black, Ken Jeong, Jim Parsons and many more. But it's the three main stars, Segal, Adams and Cooper, that really shine here. Adams, who won people's' hearts when she starred in the Disney hit Enchanted, does it once again here. She takes a role that would otherwise be quite simplistic and adds life and depth. Segal, who also wrote and produced the film, taps into the child-like mentality we all resort to when the Muppets show up on the screen, and makes it real. Cooper, who can do no wrong in my book, plays the villain very well, but also adds for some of the more memorable moments in the film.

Judging by the audience that was in the theater, the Muppets can still draw a crowd, and a varied crowd at that. Both young and old were there to watch and judging by the reactions of the audience, this is a film that just about everyone can enjoy. There are slap-stick moments for the kids to enjoy, many references to the 80's and tot he original series for the older crowd . But what I like most about this film, is that it recognizes that they've been gone for a while and that the characters had almost become irrelevant in pop-culture. But I see that changing and expect to see the Muppets stick around for a while and entertaining a new generation of fans for some time.
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