Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: The Muppets (2011), dir. James Bobin

The following review is spoiler free and is meant to be read BEFORE seeing the movie, as opposed to the upcoming podcast episode, which will contain spoilers and an in-depth discussion of this movie

The Muppets is a hard movie to judge objectively. I don’t think it’s a great movie because it can be slow at times. Some of the humor falls a little too flat as well. The Muppets is self-aware in a way that is cute, but comes dangerously close to being too cheesy.

However, The Muppets is more than a movie. The Muppets is a piece of nostalgia that isn’t draped in irony or cynicism (much like I Love The 80’s seemed to be). It is a reminder of an important aspect of many of our childhoods. It takes us back to a time of innocence and wonder. It makes us feel happy. Most of what I loved about this movie had to do with The Muppets themselves, and not with the movie.

After all, in my mind, a movie should be self-contained. Much like The Passion of the Christ or the Harry Potter series, the movie is meaningless if you have no frame of reference. The Passion of the Christ, Harry Potter, and The Muppets do nothing to help any viewers who are not familiar with the source material, and The Muppets will suffer for it if anybody goes into it not knowing just what is so special about the Muppets.

Some jokes will work, and the celebrity cameos are brilliant in every way, but most of the references will leave those unfamiliar with the history with nothing to grasp onto.

Now, if it feels like I am being too down on this movie, I will elaborate that I loved the experience of watching this movie as a fan of the Muppets. It had everything I had ever wanted to see from the Muppets since I last watched them regularly (over 20 years at this point). So while I think it was an okay movie, it was an amazing experience as a Muppet fan.

If you grew up watching the Muppets, you need to see The Muppets; if you did not, then you can skip this one.


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