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THE MUPPETS review
If anything can really make a film be more worthwhile than a film already is its nostalgia. Nostalgia is a powerful method that makes even the smallest things better than they already are. It’s no secret that nostalgia has been a huge factor in some of the most well received kids’ movies over the last few years. Toy Story 3, Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh and the film I’m reviewing today, The Muppets. Coming from someone who’s grown up on the creations of Jim Henson, This new Muppet movie really had me excited to see some of my favorite characters for the first time in years on the big screen again. I had high hopes for this film, and I hoped that this continuation will actually be something worth it, and luckily, The Muppets is easily one of the most nostalgic, funniest, and charming films you’ll see this year.
The plot of this film is very basic, it’s the old well know plot of getting the gang back together for the first time in years to help get back into the spotlight and make sure their studio isn’t destroy. The story is extremely simplistic but much like Winnie the Pooh, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mainly because the Muppets were always sort of simplistic when it comes to plot and also much like Pooh’s return the big screen, The Muppets doesn’t try to over complicate things and while definitely has more references to modern pop-culture than Pooh, it doesn’t do it to the huge extreme like many other modern kids films do. Speaking of modern pop-culture reference, some of the best moments of this film are when they actually focus on how the Muppets have kind of lost some of their popularity over the years. It’s definitely the most emotional aspect of the film and it works to a really strong extent because it makes you feel a lot for these characters and how they’re not as big as they used to be. Even with The Muppets losing a bit of their popularity over the years, another huge strong point of this film is how much focus they have on The Muppets. The creators of this film knew that they were making a Muppet movie and they shy away from that fact. While there are a few Muppets that could have had more screen time then they already had, you do get to see at least one or two small or even big scene with nearly every Muppet who has been a part of this franchise.
Even though the main focus of this film is The Muppets, we can’t forget that Jason Segal and Amy Adams are in this film as well. Though much like the human characters from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, they have don’t detract from the main focus of the film, which in Planet of the Apes, it was of course the apes and in The Muppets, it’s well who else, the Muppets. However, also much like Planet of the Apes, while they’re not necessarily bad characters, they could have been written a little bit better and could have been fleshed out more as well. Though what also makes up for Amy Adams and Jason Segal being a little undeveloped is the new addition to the Muppets, Walter. Walter ends up being an incredibly likable character especially for a new character, because he’s the most dedicated Muppet fan boy out there and there’s also a very unique charm about Walter considering he’s a Muppet himself and relates to them because he feels different and I’m sure everyone can relate to that and it definitely made Walter an even more likable character than he probably would have been considering he’s a new character. In the end, these characters while not perfect are a good welcome addition to this Muppet movie and don’t decrease the quality of the film.
Another huge hope I had for this film in particular is the music. One of the best parts of the Muppet movies for me, are the great songs that are both catchy and funny to watch, and thankfully, this film does not this disappoint in that region. Even not every song is an A+ for me; nearly all of the songs are incredibly enjoyable to listen to. My personal favorite being Life’s a Happy Song, Man or Muppet and Pictures in my Head, which are great additions to the Muppet’s music library. The movie even has a great re-mastered version of both the Rainbow Connection and The Muppet Show theme song which are both a huge treat to listen to them again in a new way. And of course, what’s a real Muppet movie without a ton of comedy thrown in, and yet again this movie success on that as well. While there are a few jokes that don’t work too well, 90% of the time, the Muppet’s wacky self-referential humor works incredibly well and anyone could really enjoy this humor whether you’re young or old, or a hardcore Muppet fan or even a casual one.
Despite most of my praise for this film, I did have a few minor complaints. One of them being that, some of the cameos could have been a little bit better. There are quite a few cameos that worked really well, including Donald Glover’s, Jack Black’s(who had a bigger part than I originally expected), and Zack Galifianakis. However, there were just certain celebrities just there in the background at one point, or just said one small line throughout the entire movie, and there could have been more done with these cameos than what we were given. The other small complaint is that, I felt that some of the Muppets could have had more screen time and a bigger role in the film than they already had. While it was great seeing them in general during this movie and even get a great moment or two to shined, I wished I would of seen more of them, mainly Gonzo, Animal, Beaker and Rowlf just to name a few. The last thing I had a small problem with, while it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I felt the ending was a little big rushed. Granted it was appropriate for the film and the reprise of Life’s a Happy Song made up for it a bit, but if they took a little more time to make a better ending for this movie, I wouldn’t of mind it. To be fair, most of these complaints could be consider nitpick really, and the movie is still really great even with these minor flaws.
Over-all, The Muppets is an excellent return of a great franchise. It’s clever, charming, funny and just brings out the kid in you. While not everything in this film is perfect, nearly everything falls into place incredibly great, and if you’re like me and love the Muppets, you just can’t wipe a smile off your face while watching this film. It’s a film that almost everyone should see and even if they don’t fall in love with the movie, they could find something they could appreciate greatly in here. Plus, I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, any hardcore Muppets fan has to see this movie, just to see the return of some old friends for the first time in years. It’s a film so good, that I hope this won’t be the last time we will see these characters, and I hope this will give the Muppets the biggest comeback in years.