Starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz
Directed by James Bobin
Expectations: High. Muppets were my thing as a kid.
OK, this review could very easily slip into a 1200 word rant on why this is a disingenuous attempt at bringing back the Muppets, characters I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. These guys are in my soul, from Sesame Street to Fraggle Rock to the Muppets proper. When I heard Disney was producing a new, old-school Muppets movie, I became instantly excited. Star and screenwriter Jason Segal assured everyone that it was his passion, and that no one would be disappointed. On one hand, they’ve totally pulled it off: The Muppets is a fun, lighthearted movie for the whole family. But on the other hand, for hardcore fans of Jim Henson’s work and the three original Muppet films, there’s a distinct difference in the quality of the end results.
The Muppets is essentially a remake of The Blues Brothers, with the Muppet Theater in jeopardy from an evil oil baron and Kermit forced to get the band back together for one big fundraisin’ show of a lifetime. Before we get to Kermit and the rest of the gang, though, we’re introduced to Gary and Walter. Gary is a human (played by Jason Segal) and Walter is a puppet. They’re brothers and no one ever mentions how or why he has a puppet for a brother. Walter does notice the difference, though, and feels like an outcast until he discovers the Muppets. While Walter is ultimately a good addition to the cast, he is also part of the problem.