November 23, 2011

Movie Review: The Gang Unites, The Muppets is back!

Preview clip provided by Disney

Rating : ♥♥♥
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 120 min
MPAA rating: PG (for some mild rude humor)
Release Date: Nov 23, 2011

Disney's The Muppets movie finally premiers on theaters tomorrow in time for Thanksgiving. For anyone who grew up watching these adorable fuzz and fur characters during their heydays on TV,  a movie such as this is like a nostalgic journey in the past. A revisiting of an old love and rekindling those emotions past. Like a rebirth of a long-forgotten love story so unique, it's oddity is what made it so endearing to young viewers back then such as I who never saw the irony of a Pig and a frog romantically involved. Perhaps it is what made it so captivating and unforgettable.

This same oddity was strongly evident in this movie and outrightly presented at the very beginning. An out of this world reality where Gary's (Jason Segel) little brother is a puppet! Which of course, in their little world was nothing weird at all. Like a parallel universe where human and puppets coexist as normal citizens, it  rather seem a normal occurrence thickened with human drama and emotional struggles with love story and musicals mixed in to fuel one's curiousity.

The story played in on Walter's (Gary's puppet brother) growing feeling of isolation due to his undeniably uncanny stature and appearance that was evidently different against his human counterpart - his brother Gary who grew, matured and dating Mary (Amy Adams), his girlfriend for 10 years! Factors that prompted him to self-discovery that was revealed by a chance viewing of a Muppet show re-run one night where he became the world's biggest fan!

Though the movie seemingly revolves around Walter and his quest to meet the Muppets in person, the rest of the story plot did not disappoint when they added a crime twist to keep the story rolling. With Walter uncovering an evil plot by scheming rich oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper)  to take over the property and destroy it, he, with the help of Gary and Mary came together to reunite the original gang together to help save the old Muppets theater. Comical and humorous scenes ensued.

At this point, the movie had sections that was dragging and falling short on the excitement meter which was somehow redeemed by the climactic telethon scenes and the cameo appearance of the likes of Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few. Though the movie was child-focused in nature, the essence of the story seem to appeal more to an older audience. Mostly to those who are legitimately loyal fans of this iconic show.

Short interviews done on both young and adult, post-movie revealed an interesting statistic and shared common observations: The young got bored and lost interest in several parts of the movie while the adults opined that some parts of the movie were dragging and a little boring but nonetheless was commendable overall.

In agreement to that statement, my own young sidekick exhibited the same. She got restless halfway through the movie and took a while to refocus her attention back to the movie. With this being evident, will kids who never grew up with the Muppets-era and no idea about these characters, be interested in seeing this movie at all? Will they appreciate and enjoy it's oddity like how their parents have when they were younger?

Borrowing Kermit's word "you don't need the whole world to love you" might be fine and dandy in the Muppet world but could be a big issue for this movie if it wants to gain back that popularity lost - they will certainly need the  whole world to love this movie!

Interesting stories for your reading pleasure:
Life as We Know it
Strawberry Shortcake Movies
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - On Stranger tides

**Walt Disney Films provided media passes to facilitate this review**


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