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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Muppets (2011)

BOOO Tex Richman!! Ironically, Chris Cooper could find that the role he is most remembered for could be the one where he plays the arch nemesis of a green felt covered frog and a rather feisty lady pig. As someone who used to sit down at 7.15 every Sunday evening in his pyjamas as an under-ten-year-old, this is a happy and unexpected short cut down memory lane. Inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational? The Muppets is still all of these things, just not more.

This is ostensibly a very silly and loveable film written for those in the audience that remember what life was like before they could make fools of themselves writing reviews on the internet for millions to read, should they choose to. It is has a broad appeal, don't get me wrong, but whilst this will make the kids smile almost as often as the adults, it is clear that those nearer to Statler and Waldorf in age will get more out of it.

As the impending destruction of the Muppets Studio nears thanks to the evil Tex Richman planning to demolish it for the wealth of oil apparently under the ground on which it sits, Kermit, with the help of Jason Segel, Amy Adams and new Muppet star Walter, travel inexplicably quickly around the globe reforming the original cast. And all of them are here, Fozzie, Rolf, Animal, even Beaker (my own personal favourite) They need to raise $10 million to stop the sale going through and keep hold of the lease. The only way is to put on a show. Cue the sparkle in every eye old enough to remember as the first few bars to the opening number strike up in rehearsals.

The movie is chock full of irreverence, catchy tunes and the usual dumb and obvious humour we had come to expect of Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Amazingly, it seems only like yesterday and all of the tics and foibles of the characters are immediate and lovingly familiar. For example, you just know, without question, that Piggy is going to floor Kermit the first time she sees him. It's ingrained in Muppet folklore, and this is testament to Segel's love of the characters and his superlative screenplay.

Sure, the film does sneak into cheesy on a number of occasions, but that would be the only real problem to speak of, and one that will go unnoticed entirely by the younger members of the audience. In short, it's insanely fun, brain-meltingly optimistic and unashamedly kitsch. This is the Muppets as we remembered them before they came back to haunt us. With any luck, this will herald a new era for the crew. I hope to see more of them. This film has received a great response from critics and audiences alike and it is easy to see why.


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