Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Muppets

Year: 2011
Director: James Bobin
Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Jack Black, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the entire Muppet gang

Plot: Three Muppet fans: Gary, his girlfriend Mary and his puppet brother Walter, enlist the help of Kermit the Frog to round up the entire Muppet gang to put on a show in order to raise money to save their beloved Muppet Theater from being demolished by an evil oil tycoon.

Review: I didn't quite grow up with The Muppets when I was little, but I did see Kermit and Miss Piggy on Sesame Street many times. That said, I was wary going in to see this, knowing that in order to enjoy this, I'd have to remember what it's like being a kid again.

Thankfully, director James Bobin and star Jason Segel make it very easy for the audience. Segel is a huge Muppet fan, as he pulls triple duty as star, co-writer and executive producer for this film. He and Nicholas Stoller do a great job in keeping things lively and entertaining throughout without a single dull moment, and know when to slow down when the dramatic moments come in.

Of course, this being Disney and all, you'll have to suspend your disbelief a bit, like how a man can have a puppet as his brother, but it's easy to forget this once the film gets rolling. The film is filled with song and dance sequences, and though I am not a fan of stuff like this, I didn't mind it too much. The Muppets do their best in keeping things light. Heck, a few times they even acknowledge that they're in a movie. It's hilarious.

Segel is great as Gary, you can see the wide eyed excitement on his face throughout the film. It may seem out of place had this been a role that he'd have to play it straight, but it's The Muppets, so it works. Amy Adams makes a great match for Segel. We all know she can sing and dance, and she proves it again here. But of course, the real stars of the film are the title characters. Kermit and Miss Piggy still make a great couple, through all their bickering and lovey-dovey moments. Other Muppets like Fozzie, Gonzo and Animal are fun to watch too. Then there's Jack Black, who does his best becoming the target of the Muppets' jokes. Watch out also for cameo appearances from Alan Arkin, Mickey Rooney, Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris and get this...Dave Grohl. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him. Ha! Oh but wait, lest I forget, Chris Cooper hams it up as the villainous Tex Richman, who even gets to break into song at one point. Epic.

All I can say is I had a blast with The Muppets, and that surprised me a bit. If you love musicals and still remember what it feels like being a kid, go see this. (4/5)

P.S.: Look out for the Toy Story short before the film plays, it's awesome.

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