Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Muppets Review

Directed by James Bobin and Starring Jason Segal, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper, The Muppets follows the story of three fans as they help to reunite the muppets and save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon. 

As a child from the late 90's, I have always regarded The Muppets as a tame kids show, that alike ' Sesame Street' was slowly dying out. I never really took notice of The Muppets until I saw the impressive 'Christmas Carol' years after it's release date, which to this day remains my faveourite adaptation of Dickens' classic. From then I began to respect the Muppets for what they were, silly, eccentric, yet hilarious puppets. So when the Muppets was released earlier in the year, I was eager to discover their new adventures (song and dance numbers included), and although I didn't see it in theater's at the time, I managed to catch it on DVD, and 'Wow' it was fantastic! 

Ignoring the occasional Pixar masterpiece, childrens film's rarely manage to achieve critical acclaim throughout both, adults and children. However the Muppets is quite a different story. With the obvious appeal to children being the involvement of bright, colurful and kind-hearted puppets, aswell as innocent yet ineviatble silly humour. What's the adult appeal? Most adults will watch this film to reminise about their childhood 'friends', while others will be forced by their excitable children. However The Muppets is in no way 'just for kids', as along with supplying silly puppet humour, there are a lot of genuinly hilarious material in this film, with the vast involvement of cameo's aswell as 'pop-culture' references and references to past films for all you avid fans! 

The story is very much one that we are all familiar with, and similarly follows 'the tracks of a typical kids film'. A disbanded group, join together once more to help save their old studios. This coincidentally provides for quite a predictable film .However I don't nessesserely see this as a bad thing, the simple storyline is easy for children to follow and the lack of a complex plot also left room for mini heart-warming side-plots aswell as a plethera of fantastic musical/dance numbers. 

Eight minutes in we are treated to our first musical number (Life's a happy song), and this really 'gets the ball rolling' for the rest of the film. Throughout the whole song I had a huge smile on my face, and I found myself rewatching the song multiple times, as it really was that brilliant. 'Flight of the conchords' star Bret McKenzie did a fantastic job, writing the songs that were used throughout the film, as every last one was heart-warming and memorable. 

The acting within the film, is generally pretty good with a few standout performances coming from the two (human) leads! Jason Segal and Amy Adams, who I thought put a lot of soul and realism into their performances, creating very relate-able characters especially for adults, who remember the muppets from their childhoods. However I couldn't comment on the acting within the film without commenting on the terrific voice actors of each of the many Muppet's, every voice is perfect, mirroring the exact personality that their 'Muppet' is trying to radiate. 

There was one aspect of the film however that I really disliked, and I couldn't help but feel an underlying frustration as the film ended. Which was really frustrating as apart from this factor, I absolutely loved the film. Toward's the end of the film, we see multiple shots of the cities landscape, one of the many views we can see, is a clear and bold billboard advertisement for 'Cars 2'. I could not believe it, and I was left open mouthed at the horror that stood before me. To see an advert for a different film within another film I think is insulting to the Muppet film, and frankly embarrassing for Disney and Pixar alike. For a start, this advert completely detracted me from the film for a good 2 minutes while I squirmed in my seat, missing a good chunk of dialogue and heart-warming fun. Which brings me onto my second point, this advert says to me that 'Disney don't believe that the Muppet's will be successful' so they decide to promote a film that they think will do better, this is quite ironic as the actual theme of the film, ( that the Muppet's is gone out of fashion) is clearly shared by the industry who owns them. 

Overall however I did really love the Muppet's and although the billboard-advert did deeply annoy me, it isn't prominent and some viewers may not even see it. The Muppet's is a heart warming children's film that contains, fantastic songs, hilarious characters (my personal favorite being the chef!) and is most importantly a film which both adults and children can both enjoy...Just block your eyes when you see the billboard! 

90%- An outstanding film for both Adults and children which will leave you with a huge smile on your face. 

Calum Russell

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