Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) You know the old saying, right? “It’s time to meet The Muppets.” Yet, in the year 2011, in a world drastically different from the world when the popular group was created in the 1950’s, does the public still want to meet them?
The Muppets have entertained the world for decades, leaving a distinct mark on pop culture that has been seldom seen. We all know the familiar faces of Kermit the Frog, Ms. Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the whole gang, but it has been twelve years since we last saw Jim Henson’s creations on the silver screen. So here we are, in the age of CGI animations and 3D films, with a new Muppets movie. How does the old song and dance hold up?
Superbly. The film stars Jason Segal, Amy Adams, and, of course, a whole lot of Muppets. Segal, best known for his lead role in the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is actually the reason this film exists at all. Segal was one of the ones that approached Disney about making a new Muppets film. He is also the screenwriter for this outing, and what a job he does. The film feels like an ode to the Muppet legacy, with a plot that walks the line of breaking the fourth wall into reality.
The film focuses on Gary (Jason Segal), his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), and Gary’s brother Walter (Peter Linz), who happens to be a Muppet, sort of. He looks like a Muppet, acts like a Muppet, but he sees himself as a regular person. A trip to Los Angeles brings the three to the old Muppet’s Studio, which is on the brink of being sold to a greedy oil tycoon. The only way to save it is to the raise the money, which means finding the legendary Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) and bringing the band back together for one more show. Antics ensue, choices are made, and the road to prominence is once again traveled.
Musical numbers are afoot, as what self respecting Muppets film would not have music? The performances pack the punch you would expect from Muppets, as the whole film feels like it was done with such excellence. The entire cast, person and Muppet, all the cameos, all feel so right, so fitting. I can only think that Jim Henson himself would be proud of the outcome, proud that his legacy lives on strong. If you are looking for a family film, if you’re a fan of the Muppets or just want to feel good when you leave the theater, then you need to meet The Muppets, again.