The new MUPPET movie may well be the best film of the whole year.
Of course, I'm partial to Muppets. I once wrote a column about how THE MUPPETS are actually both for adults and pythonesque: http://www.matchflick.com/column/1731.
I had my doubts about another Jason Segal project, however, since I haven't overly enjoyed his part work. The new MUPPET movie is in fact written by Segal and his writing partner from FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. There was no need to be worried, however. These guys didn't just make FORGETTING MISS PIGGY. They made a true, wonderful MUPPET movie.
One of the best choices they made was to have Bret McKenzie of FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS as the music supervisor. He wrote some of the songs for the film (if you're a fan, you'll be able to tell which ones).
Segal said in an interview with Terry Gross that this film was a love letter to THE MUPPETS. That's true. As you watch, you find yourself signing your name at the bottom—you don't want Kermit to doubt for a moment that his audience doesn't still love him.
This film is the most nostalgic of the whole series. It reminded me, in fact, of the STAR TREK movies made with the original cast—each of the films took as its premise an aging crew, questions about life after your career was over, your legacy, and death. Although it's wonderful to see Fozzie, it's odd to see his eyebrows grey.
I will confess that I teared up twice during this movie. There's something about "Rainbow Connection," especially when sung by Kermit and/or the whole Muppet gang, that always gets to me. I also got a bit of salty water in my eyes at the most predictable moment—when almost everything has worked out for our Muppet heroes.
My son also praised the film, bestowing on it a word he confessed to never using prior: "heartwarming."
All of the things you want in a movie are there: explosions, road trips, karate chops, Sweetums, chickens, a rapping villain, metafilm moments, barbershop quartet performances of grunge music, maniacal laughter, and Zach Galifinakis. It's even got Pepe, though not enough of him.
Let this be a holiday present to yourself!
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