In Smalltown America, Walter (Linz) has always felt different from his brother Gary (Segel). He has longed to meet the Muppets, his childhood heroes, and gets the chance when Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Adams) take him on a trip Los Angeles. But the Muppet Theatre is in ruin, and an evil tycoon (Cooper) is planning to tear it down and drill for oil. After meeting Kermit (Whitmire), Walter, Mary and Gary hatch a plan to save the theatre. But most of the Muppets have moved on with their lives.
The script is packed with self-referential dialog about the film itself, which often adds a freewheeling sense of humour through corny knowing winks at the audience. In fact, Segel plays the whole film staring at the camera with a wacky smirk on his face. He constantly takes us out of the story in ways Adams' more sparkly goofiness doesn't. Fortunately, the Muppets themselves continually catch us off-guard with their hilariously nutty interaction.
Kermit and Piggy (Jacobson) pick up their awkward romance without skipping a beat, and all of our favourite characters are present, even if some mainly lurk in the background. There is also a hilariously outrageous stream of cameos, from Alan Arkin and Emily Blunt to Jim Parsons and Sarah Silverman. Naturally, some of these work better than others (Dave Grohl is a favourite). But when they work, the laughter is often often uncontrollable.
Due to the post-modern jokes and some gags that fall flat (such as travelling by map), the plot never amounts to much more than cartoonish slapstick. And Walter is the most forgettable Muppet since Scooter. But seeing these long-lost characters back on screen is so much fun that it's simply impossible to dislike the film. In addition to some superbly realised songs, there are also some of the funniest movie moments in years. And it leaves us wondering why they were away for quite so long. More, please.
Run time: 103 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Box Office USA: $88.6M
Box Office Worldwide: $88.4M
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 197 Rotten: 9
IMDB: 7.2 / 10
Director: James Bobbin
Producer: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Screenwriter: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Amy Adams as Mary, Jason Segel as Gary, Emily Blunt as Miss Piggy's Receptionist, John Krasinski as Himself, Zach Galifianakis as Hobo Joe, Jack Black as Himself, Jim Parsons as Human Walter, Mickey Rooney as Smalltown Resident, Neil Patrick Harris as Himself, Chris Cooper as Tex Richman, Ken Jeong as 'Punch Teacher' Host, Alan Arkin as Tour Guide, Matt Vogel as Sgt. Floyd Pepper / Camilla / Sweetums / 80's Robot / Lew Zealand / Uncle Deadly / Roowlf / Crazy Harry (voice), David Rudman as Scooter / Janice / Miss Poogy / Wayne (voice), Rashida Jones as Veronica Martin, Steve Whitmire as Kermit / Beaker / Statler / Rizzo / Link Hogthrob / The Newsman (voice), Dave Grohl as Animool, Eric Jacobson as Miss Piggy / Fozzie Bear / Animal / Sam Eagle / Marvin Suggs (voice), Dave Goelz as Gonzo / Dr. Bunsen Honeydew / Zoot / Beauregard / Waldorf / Kermit Moopet (voice), Justin Tinucci as Laughing Kid, Sarah Silverman as Greeter, Eddie Pepitone as Postman
Also starring: David Hoberman