The Muppets - Blu-ray Review

'The Muppets unintentionally raises a meta question it never wanted posing: just how often can a film get away with telling you that its main stars are over-the-hill before you start to believe it?'

In a film overtly concerned with the meta nature of its relationship with the audience, during a narrative which constantly breaks the fourth wall, The Muppets unintentionally raises a meta question it never wanted posing: just how often can a film get away with telling you that its main stars are over-the-hill before you start to believe it?

Placing a plot around the very concept that The Muppets are too dated to carry a major entertainment show is risky business and the creaky nature of the ageing creations rears it head in more ways than one. Ironically, the most prevalent of these ways is in the script, penned by young-ish Hollywood hotshots Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller. Occasionally the jokes fire with bravado and wit ('I think that's just an Internet rumour. Like there's a country called Turkey!') but too often it feels flat and Segel and Stoller allow the twee nature of Gary (Segel himself) and Mary's (Amy Adams) romance to lull things along in a gentle flotilla of a narrative.

Elsewhere the gang is, of course, all here, presenting their own problems to the narrative. Kermit and Miss Piggy get, predictably, a main arc in the story and its nice to see Fozzie Bear play a major part too but almost absent are the characters who made other Muppets' offerings such joys. Gonzo gets two laughs, Swedish Chef and Pepe The Prawn one a piece, Rizzo doesn't even seem to have a line. Its an ensemble - it always was - but the balance here is worse than in previous incarnations.

Despite these failures though, the meta-narrative (of The Muppets relevance in a harsh world) is borne out well on the back of the script and accentuated wonderfully by committed, up-beat performances by Segel and Adams. The Oscar-winning Man Or Muppet is probably the singing highlight but there are plenty of tuneful delights in a joyous, if flawed, family adventure.



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