Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Muppets (2011)

I guess I should apologize for not updating in, what, twenty days?! Sorry about that. Job-hunting and the like. Not much new to report. I am still actively looking for jobs, but in this cash-strapped period I have not gone out to see many movies. Actually, I think The Hunger Games and The Avengers are the only movies I saw in theaters since I returned.

I caught The Muppets onboard Singapore Airlines during my flight back to America. I was swept up by a wave of nostalgia that compelled me to press “enter” on my remote control and select the movie. It ate up a good fifth or so of my flight, and I enjoyed most of the experience.

I imagine there are many more qualified people who could be reviewing this film. While I grew up watching Kermit and Miss Piggy on the Muppets Tonight television series, I never really followed their work after that, except for a cameo in the Keep Fishin’ music video by Weezer. Most of the time I spent watching The Muppets was spent re-acquainting myself with the cast of characters, Fozzie and Gonzo and all the rest.

The Muppets’ movies were coming out during a period between 1976, the premier of The Muppets Movie, and Muppets From Space, which came out in 1999. The new film plays out as a reunion of sorts, using Jason Segel’s everyman character (Gary) to reintroduce the audience to all of our childhood favorites. The human element to this story comes in the form of Walter, Gary’s brother, born a Muppet but not one of the Muppets. He struggles to come to terms with his identity and is inspired to visit the Muppet Studio for guidance.

The brothers work with Kermit the Frog to reunite the Muppets and put on a show that will allow them to buy their studio back from the trope-tacular evil business tycoon who has purchased it. The film is littered with throwbacks to the original series and movies, as well as a handful of fresh humor that almost seems out of place in terms of modern-day relevance. For every call-back to my childhood, there was also a new chuckle to be had.

This is not one of those films that needs to secretly work in a bunch of covert dirty humor to appeal to the parents that wind up sitting through it with their children. The nostalgia factor will keep parents in their seats as their kids gain an appreciation for these classic characters. The film did well at the box office, so hopefully this is the start of a new series of Muppet movies.

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