March 19, 2012

The Muppets

On the way home from SXSW: American Airlines DFW > BOS. Somewhere over the Midwest I finally got to see The Muppets, I movie I narrowly missed seeing last fall.  CAVEAT: Read this review knowing that I heard it over earbuds on a noisy plane, and watched it on a LCD screen mounted on the ceiling of a badly-lit airplane.

A gentle and loving reintroduction to the Muppets, as hosted by Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and a new Muppet named Walter. It was a little odd that Kermit was not the star of the movie, it was almost like the idea of the Muppets was the star. In fact, every minute spent on Segel, Adams, and Walter meant less time for the Muppets, so by the time the movie was over, every Muppet had been bumped down three slots to the point where second banana Fozzie Bear was reduced to fifth banana.
The humor and music was just the right tone for a Muppet movie, and the overuse of random Hollywood celebrities was very familiar- Jack Black has an extended cameo.
The ending didn't make any logical sense at all- even for a movie with a preposterous premise, the ending didn't jibe with the premise. I found Kermit to be too wishy-washy. Kermit gives up over and over (I counted three times), and must be coached and urged to fight on. He seemed to have no backbone at all (insert frog joke here).
There was one scene in the Muppets variety show where a Muppet barbershop quartet (in a barbershop) perform a shave and a haircut while singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit". If that's funny, I don't know how, and how a 20-year-old song is relevant, I don't know either.
I'm going to give The Muppets another shot, but I didn't see the slam-dunk I had hoped for.
NOTE: The movie playing on the BOS > DFW flight was The Big Year, also starring Jack Black. (No review: I was in the window seat and could not see the whole screen.)