Movie Review: The Muppets

I never grew up with the muppets. I did see the occasional movie now and then. ‘A Muppet Christmas Carrol’ is one of those movies that never gets old. I did, however, grow up with Sesame Street. The sketches with Kermit had always been among my favourites. So, when I heard there was a new Muppets movie in the works, I got excited. Especially when I learned that it would be written by Jason Segel (HIMYM), who had proven in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ that he was a big fan of puppets.

When the hype machine was turning at full RPM, I was treated -like everyone else- with great trailers making fun of a lot of well known movies. I wanted to go and see it, but the Dutch theatrical release was very late in comparison with the US. I waited and waited, but now, I’ve finally seen it. And boy, did I enjoy it.

The story circles around Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother Walter (a muppet voiced by Peter Linz), who have been fans of the muppets for all their lives. Walter, who is just a puppet, feels estranged by his surroundings for being a puppet. Watching the Muppets on television with his brother, makes him realize there’s still hope for him.

When Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) decide to go to Los Angeles for their ten year anniversary, they bring Walter with them to visit the Muppet studio’s. While there, they notice that the lot is abandoned, and an evil oilbaron wants to bring down the muppet name. In order to fight this, the only option is to get the old Muppet-gang back together. This goes along with great jokes and cameo’s by some famous, and some less famous actors.

The cameo’s I discovered while watching were Donald Glover (Community), Sarah Silverman, Ken Jeong (The Hangover 1 & 2, Community), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover 1 & 2, Bored to Death), Rico Rodriguez (‘Manny’ from Modern Family), Whoopi Goldberg (That old dreadlocked African American woman), Selena Gomez (Justin Bieber’s alleged girlfriend), John Krasinski (The Office US) and Neil Patrick Harris (HIMYM, Harold and Kumar 1, 2 & 3) .

There were undoubtedly more, but these where the ones I recognized instantly. The best movie reference was made by ‘the Swedish Chef’, who did a short but hilarious take on a scene from ‘Scarface’. I’m not going to spoil anything, you’ll see it for yourself if you pay close attention, it’s hard to miss.

Jason Segel has proven to be a mastermind of comedy. I never really cared much for his character in the beginning of How I Me Your Mother, but after seeing ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, he’s been growing on me. Now, I think he’s up there with NPH in terms of awesomeness.

The one, tiny remark I have on this film, is that after having added both Donald Glover and Ken Jeong, they should’ve put in Abed (Danny Pudi, Community) in. Danny Pudi could’ve really added something while in his character from Community, especially together with Donald Glover. But hey, you can’t have everything, right? I’m proud of Jason Segel, for making this movie. The newfound popularity of the Muppets has already resulted in a new series of shows, produced together with Jim Henson’s Company and the BBC. This will result in more kids growing up with the Muppets, as they should.

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