I’m a big Muppet fan and have been since I was a kid. I loved the original Muppet Movie and still enjoy watching that today. Reruns of the Muppet Show still crack me up. The Swedish Chef, Animal, and Beaker are my favorites. So it was good news for me that a major Muppet Fan, Jason Segel, was behind the making of this movie.
I was a little disappointed, then, in the result. I guess I wasn’t surprised, though, because part of the magic of the Muppets was Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Jim Henson died years ago and Frank Oz is in semi-retirement so without either of them, it’s not really the same Muppets. Jason Segel and Amy Adams were earnest enough to fit in with the cast. But I think some of the charm of the original Muppet stories was about how they tried to cope in a human world – different from Sesame Street where the Muppets and humans were equals in the pretend world. The Muppets were wowed by Hollywood and Manhattan and by every place on their epic road trip in the early movies. But in this one, the Muppets themselves seemed tired and that left the story feeling sadly flat.
There were some great gags, some cool cameos, and a couple of decent songs. I loved Animal in anger management therapy and Jack Black as an unwilling guest host. Also, it should be noted that this was less a movie featuring the Muppets and more like a pretend documentary about how the gang got together for one last Muppet Show. And therefore, it was a little more like a long version of The Muppet Show, so perhaps expecting it to be a full feature film was unreasonable.
And yet it was feature film length and in theaters so it was a feature film. I wanted to like it more than I did. And if Jason Segel can convince Disney to get the Muppet Show back on TV with a new batch of “special guest stars” (NPH, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Degeneres, Kristin Chenoweth, Drew Carey, to throw out a few names that would be fun), then even better. But the movie on its own just doesn’t get me too excited.
Rating: 5 (out of 10)