Sunday, March 23, 2014
Film Review: The Muppets Most Wanted - Spoilers
I'll be the first to admit it -- I'm a Henson fangirl! I own Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppets, and The Muppet Show on DVD. I have a Brian Froud art book in my collection. I'm head over heels about Animal (sixteen t-shirts just aren't enough) and the Swedish Chef.
We went to see The Muppets Most Wanted on a Thursday evening at 9:30pm and had the cinema to ourselves. It was lovely. My husband and I could talk about the movie as it played, and point out the funny nuances in the film. I think this helped us enjoy it.
We saw it again on a Sunday evening at 6:30pm and went with friends. The other side of the theatre was filled with annoying Urkel laughers and candy bag rustlers. It wasn't ideal. The picture had also been moved into a smaller cinema with lower sound, and it just wasn't the same. I could hear my friends laughing, but of course, we couldn't communicate about the funny bits.
My opinion of the film is very biased. I love Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, so I was super happy when I heard the opening number and could recognize its Flight of the Conchords familiarity. I was even more chuffed when Jemaine appeared on screen. Both my husband and I love those two New Zealanders, so we were very happy with their work.
If there was a rehabilitation center for Ricky Gervais fans, I'd be in it. I love the man and watch his comedy routines on a regular basis. Nothing and no one makes me laugh the way that he does. Just hearing his giggle sets me into fits of laughter. My husband doesn't enjoy his comedy, though. Not in the same way that I do. I must admit that I've a bit of a crush on the man.
I'm not a huge fan of Tina Fey, but I think she did a great job in this role and I'm warming to her. When she's away from Amy Poehler, I enjoy her performances more. I think it's because I don't feel excluded from the funny club. You know how it can be, when something is funny between actors it can sometimes feel awkward for the viewer. I feel like they're the cool girls and I'm not in on the joke.
I have little-to-no experience with Ty Burrell, but I thought he and Sam the Eagle's relationship was adorable. They did a great job with the running badge and EU jokes, too.
The film hearkens back to The Muppet Show days that old-school Muppets fans will love, but also has some amazing subtle jokes ("Press button to open all doors in prison", "Slow News Week: Muppets Dominate Headlines") that only adults will see. I love it when Constantine mispronounces Muppet names ("Zongo" and "Fonzie") and forgets who some people are ("Small man in glasses"). Bonus points to whoever wrote those funny bits into the script.
There were tons of celebrity cameos, including Usher, Gaga and Diddy, but the best were the lesser-known actors. My husband and I both LOLed seeing Zack Galafianakis. That dude is funny no matter what role he plays.
The only problem I see with the re-vamping of the Muppets franchise is that the younger audience isn't getting it. I didn't hear any laughter from the kids in the audience, nor did any of the kids with me laugh. They recognized Gaga and heard a One Direction name-drop, but without any toilet humor or dazzling CGI, they seemed lost. They were most excited about the Rio 2 trailer than the film they went to see, and that's a shame, since Rio wasn't one of my favorites and I paid to see The Muppets Most Wanted twice.
All in all, this film was a "Good Frog!". I'd recommend it to adults because it really captures the fun of Muppets past. Maybe ditch the kids and enjoy this in a smaller audience, because it can really be ruined by Matilda in aisle 7 taking 13 potty breaks with her brood (who were bored and didn't want to watch the film at all).