20 November 2011 | neji107
The Greatest Possible Addition, and Tribute, to the Series
The Muppets may quite possibly be one of the best movies of 2011. I don't just mean that as a fan. The Muppets had everything spot on – it was clever, entertaining, adorable, heartwarming, and absolutely hilarious. The magical thing though is that The Muppets pleases everybody -- average moviegoers and Muppet purists alike, and that I believe is its greatest triumph. On one side is a modern comedy, chock full of hysterical celebrity cameos and pop culture references. And on the other side is a nostalgic throwback to the Muppets era. Those who remember the old series will unquestionably find delight in seeing their favorite puppets reunite for another big show, literally.
Funnily enough, the movie treats the Muppet characters as if they were real life actors, with The Muppets shows and movies being their past careers. The Muppets haven't seen any action in years (a fact also true in real life), and each muppet has taken his/her own path in life with varying degrees of success. When crisis arises, the old troupe is forced to find each other and give it another go.
It is all weaved through a fascinating metanarrative that begs the question, what happens to the Muppets when they aren't The Muppets? After all this time away, can The Muppets make a comeback through a reunion and relive their former glory days? – a question ultimately answered by the movie itself.
The film opens with a common puppet named Walter, whose childhood consists of watching The Muppets and dreaming of joining them. His older brother Gary (Jason Segel) extends the invitation to come with him and his girlfriend of 10 years Mary (Amy Adams) to Los Angeles so that he can visit the Muppet studio. Much to his disappointment, the Muppet theater is abandoned and Walter even overhears an oil tycoon's (Chris Cooper) plot to tear down the place. Walter and Gary quickly seek out Kermit the Frog to reunite the Muppet crew and remedy the situation, but all the while Mary is upset that the turn of events is ruining her 10 year anniversary with Gary.
As you can imagine from the premise alone, the movie is a tribute to the Muppets in every sense. It travels respectfully through the old Muppet history, and relives it instead of trying to replace it. In fact, seeing how each one branched off from the group like members of an old band and "grew up" gave, I would say, substantially more character to each Muppet than they ever had before. I think fans will agree that this is the best possible way the muppets could have returned.
Simply put, I can't imagine anyone with a heart not enjoying this film. There's something in it for everybody, especially if you're in the mood for laughter and catchy musical numbers. The creative humor was a breath of fresh air. There is plenty breaking of the fourth wall and oh so much of that lovely deadpan irony and absurdist humor, reminiscent of old comedies like Airplane! The audience in the theater was cracking up almost every other moment, myself included. And while humor is its strong suit, the movie is also an incredibly heartwarming tale of friends that go their separate ways but are still connected through their hearts. Moviegoers and Muppet fans alike, go see this movie!