In review: The Muppets

From the moment the reel started rolling, there was a smile plastered on my face. It didn’t leave until the lights came up. The Muppets are back.

Starring in their first movie since 1999, the rag tag team of felt stars return in arguably their best, most endearing effort on the silver screen to date. From the mind of writer/star Jason Segel, the film provides a loving take on friendship and what it means to find where you fit in. And while that all sounds like the stuff of kid films, the factor of nostalgia and the pressures of fame play a huge role in establishing The Muppets as entertaining for anyone who grew up with them.

The film concerns Gary (Segel) and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) travelling to Los Angeles. Accompanied by Walter, Gary’s “muppet-like” brother, they accidentally unveil a plot formulated by oil tycoon Tex Richman to tear down the former Muppet Studios. The three then take it upon themselves to reunite the long broken up Muppet gang in order to stop the plot and save entertainment landmark from being overhauled.

Musical supervisor Bret McKenzie (of Flight of the Conchords fame) intersplices newly classic songs with perfectly chosen pop music, as well as a few tunes familiar to any Muppet fan. The soundtrack is right in step with any recent Disney animated release, the studio responsible for the comeback.

Keeping with all previous films, The Muppets includes an array of hilarious cameos by A-Listers. There are plenty, but they’re better if seen first hand.

Prior to the film’s release, a number of former original Muppeteers spoke out against the movie’s script stating that they were unhappy with the way certain Muppets were being handled in this new version, including Kermit. And while he may be noticeably different in this incarnation than in previous, it works when taking into consideration the plot that Segal and co-writer Nicholas Stoller have mapped out. In fact, it works wonderfully.

Throw in the always-lovable Amy Adams and Segel as well as a particularly fantastic comedic turn by Chris Cooper as villain Tex Richman (he raps…seriously), The Muppets is one of, if not the, most enjoyable film of the year. There are admittedly a few moments that don’t necessarily translate the sketch-comedy style of the Muppets on to the screen, but it will definitely warm your heart nonetheless (even if you weren’t a fan of the original series or films.)

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