In Theaters: The Muppets

By Tommy Bond, Film Critic

The Muppets are back, baby!  And boy are they fun to hang out with!

In this latest fuzzy misadventure, three Muppet fans from Smalltown USA set out to save the Muppet Theatre from being bought out by a greedy oil tycoon, Tex Richman, who wants to demolish it to drill for, what else, oil!  But how can they come up with the million dollars needed to stop this evil man?  Why, gather up the old puppet gang, of course!  And once they have Kermit convinced, everyone else follows suit.  Animal gives up his life of being “undeeeer controoool” at an anger management retreat with Jack Black, Gonzo walks away from, and blows up, his uber successful plumbing company, Fozzie leaves a nasty stand-up gig in Reno, and Miss Piggy reluctantly takes a leave of absence from her post as the plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris.  The rest of the stories aren’t nearly as exciting. (There’s a funny gag there, but you’ll just have to watch the movie).

The group lucks into a time slot with a popular television studio, and they begin rehearsing for a Muppet Telethon to raise the dough.  Along the way, characters learn who they truly want to be, what they never want to be, and what they can accomplish together.  They sing and dance, and the bad guy even has an awesome rap.  There are fart shoes and cannon balls and explosions.  And characters continually note that they are in a movie.  Oh how I love The Muppets!

Although The Muppets are generally a tad underwhelming, I think that is what makes them so endearing and timeless.  They are all very real and unique characters, with hopes and desires and stories that we canall relate to.  That they are all very aware of their distinct physical characteristics, and yet see nothing wrong with them, is a rare thing indeed, and one that lends to much great situational comedy.

The Muppets is a great, whimsical time at the movies, with great songs, smashing one-liners, and a great cast of cameos that will keep you guessing.  And although this one was co-written by puppet enthusiast Jason Segel (who stars in it as well), he keeps all of his clothes on this time.  This is a film that the whole family will enjoy.

“Mah na mah na”

Rated PG for some mild rude humor.

Running Time: 98 Minutes.

Released in theatres: November 23rd, 2011.

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