The last few years have seen so many different revival projects for old franchises that it gets easy to just brush them aside and ignore them, but that would be a mistake when it comes to “The Muppets.” Proving that the old crew can be fresh and entertaining even today, the film manages to bring in a healthy dose of nostalgia for older fans and an even bigger dose of comedy for everyone.
The Muppets have been forgotten, and it seems the only people who miss them are Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother Walter (A Muppet). When Gary takes his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to Los Angeles for their anniversary, he brings Walter along to see the Muppet Studios.
During the tour, Walter manages to overhear a dastardly plot by Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to bulldoze the studio to drill for oil unless the Muppets can raise $10 million to buy it back. Walter and Gary set out to reunite the scattered Muppets to put on one last show to save the studio.
One of the great things about the Muppets formula is that while it may not be the most original, it’s still entertaining. Really, saving the old theater by raising money with a last minute show? It’s been done to death, but with the classic Muppets formula incorporating huge numbers of guest stars, witty laughs and heart-warming moments, it’s easy to forget the unoriginality. Plus it certainly doesn’t hurt that the Muppets themselves are remarkably self-aware and poke fun at their own slightly tired storyline.
While there are plenty of jabs at old school humor, “The Muppets” takes aim at modern entertainment too. The number one show in the universe is called “Punch Teacher” and is hosted by Ken Jeong (The Hangover). The show consists of, well, punching teachers. Even Tex Richman provides a tongue in cheek joke when he brings in his own team of Muppets called the Moopets, who he calls a “hard cynical act for a hard cynical world.”
The film is also chock-full of cameos. From old timers like Mickey Rooney to newer stars like Selena Gomez, “The Muppets” brings in more celebrities than you can shake a stick at. My personal favorite cameo was from Jim Parsons.
All in all, “The Muppets” is a heart-warming movie that’s great for viewers of all ages and perfect for the holiday season, even if it’s not a Christmas movie.