Thanks to Cinemait.com, we had the opportunity to see the new Muppets movie earlier today. We’ve been anxiously anticipating this movie for months, watching trailers, parody trailers, and listening to the soundtrack. This movie has been thoroughly marketed – so did it live up to the marketing? After watching it for the 1:50 running time, my conclusions are below.
The Premise: It’s been years since the Muppets performed together, and a puppet named Walter (not a “muppet”) along with his non-puppet brother Gary (Jason Segel), along with his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), journey to California and help the Muppets get back together.
The Good: This movie is perfect for kids and nostalgic adults. In my opinion, the real stars of this movie are the songs, along with Jason Segel and Amy Adams singing and dancing. Although it’s great to see all the Muppets, and the movie does have a reasonably-thought-out plot, there were times when things slowed a little bit, and I found myself wishing for another song. The songs are extremely well written, and the soundtrack is absolutely worth purchasing.
Kermit and the other Muppets have new voices, since Jim Henson passed away in 1990. ( I realize 21 years is not new, but still. I’m comparing from childhood memories of watching the Muppet show.) At the beginning of the movie, this bothered me – however, by the half-way point, I forgot that this was even an issue.
Warning – Jack Black is in this movie. Jack Black has the tendency to destroy movies (Gulliver’s Travels was so bad I had to shut it off and go do something else). However, Jack Black is certainly used sparingly in this movie – just the right amount. Any more, and it would have become a typical “Jack Black is allowed to make stupid musical noises and call it acting” type of movie. Thankfully, this never happens.
The Bad: I found myself searching for bad points, and coming up extremely empty. I felt there were a few times, during tender moments, that the kids in the audience seemed a little bored. The movie could probably be about 10 – 15 minutes shorter, and that would have kept things moving a lot more quickly.
The amount of cameos was wonderful, but some could have been a lot longer. Neil Patrick Harris’ appearance, in particular, made me wish for him to sing a musical number – but he had only an extremely brief cameo. My favorites were Zach Galifanakis and Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters).
The Muppets definitely did not all get equal screen time. Rowlf the Dog, in particular, had minimal screen time and no notable real contribution – an oversight in such a long movie.
The Final Word: I’ve left out a lot of the things I loved about this movie to save the surprises for you. If you liked the Muppets, go see this movie. If you like it, get the soundtrack. And make sure you check out CinemaIt.com for future movie screenings.
Bonus: Before the movie starts, there’s a Toy Story short. This, alone, is worth the price of admission – because there is a Buzz Lightyear minature.