Sunday, February 19, 2012

Movie Review: The Muppets

My school has finally started showing movies that I want to see again, although I had to have a friend drag me out to see this movie to get me out of a funk (which it succeeded in doing quite nicely). Now that I think about it, I haven't seen that many Muppet things and most that I have seen (Muppet Treasure Island, a Christmas movie or two) I saw over ten years ago so I don't really know that much about the Muppets in general. Which would explain my confusion when I realized the movie was a musical, that really threw me off god.....

The Muppets

Summary: Walter has been the biggest fan of The Muppets ever since he found out about them as a kid and leaps at the chance to visit their old studio in LA with his brother Gary and his girlfriend Mary. When there Walter discovers a plot to destroy the studios to drill for oil underneath, finds Kermit to warn him and then the three of them end up bringing The Muppets back together for one last show to raise the money to buy the studio back.

The Good: The Muppets is a silly, over the top movie and thankfully it acknowledges that and sometimes completely forgets that there is supposed to be a fourth wall in the first place. It's both funny when the movie acknowledges that something is weird (such as the big singing and dancing number in Smallvile) and when it completely ignores it (Mary's number in the diner). The plot was on the simple side but with spot on humor like this I didn't mind. And I was also surprised at how well the two main human characters, Mary and Gary, worked in the movie. Their subplot worked out nicely and they meshed quite well with the original cast.

The Bad: Funny enough, it was the parts of the story that focused on Walter, not Mary and Gary, that felt the most out of place and it felt a bit like a self-insert fanfiction of the The Muppets (kid suddenly has a chance to become part of a group of people he's admired for years? Sure everyone has had that dream but that doesn't make it any less fanfiction). Even by the end of the movie I just didn't care about Walter's story, it just felt awkward (such as his immediate bonding with the other Muppets)

The Audio: As noted earlier, this movie is a musical, which caught me off guard, so there are quite a few singing and dancing numbers throughout the film. All of the major character are at the center of at least one, some of them are huge group productions and others are one person acts and all of them seem well choreographed and composed. Many of the acts were ridiculous but this is the Muppets after all, the idea of them having a completely serious musical number is silly!

The Visuals: Once nice thing about the Muppets is that their puppets, no need for fancy and/or imperfect CGI and it is nice to see a movie every now and then which doesn't have a lot of special effects. That's not to say there weren't any special effects, a few "expensive looking explosions" and "traveling by map" but by and large the movie felt like a medium budget production (although as tvtropes pointed out this is Disney and that all the rods controlling the puppets had been digitally removed and that must've taken forever and some serious money) yet that fit the mood perfectly.

In short it was a fun movie and again I'm glad I had a friend to drag me to it. I can't say that it made me want to hunt down and watch other Muppet movies but I enjoyed it and would/will recommend it to all my friends and family.