So I ended up seeing The Muppets, and, well, it was... okay. Not great, but not necessarily bad, either. Just very much okay. Granted, I'm not exactly much of a fan of the Muppets, and I don't really have much in the way of nostalgia for them. So if you're a fan of them, then you may well enjoy the movie more than I did.
But really, it's kind of an unfocused mess of a movie. It starts off following a new Muppet, Walter, his brother, played by Jason Segel, and his brother's girlfriend, played by Amy Adams. They go on a vacation that includes visiting the old Muppets studio, where they find out that someone intends to purchase the studio and tear it down. So in order to save the studio, Walter and the gang go off to reunite the Muppets.
This whole time we're just following Walter and his human friends, and it's very clear that they're the central characters of the story. Or, at least, they were. The very instant that Kermit the Frog enters the movie, he takes over as lead, while Walter and the gang are relegated to background characters for the remainder of the flick. I found this pretty annoying, considering how much time they dedicated to building up these new characters and establishing their goals, only to see them become all but forgotten for the better part of the rest of the movie. Of course, I realize that the Muppets are supposed to be the stars of the show, but still, this could have been handled better. But anyways, once focus shifts over to the classic Muppets, they go off and gather up the whole gang to put on a show and raise enough money to buy back the studio. Simple enough.
The movie is littered with fourth wall references and random cameos from various celebrities. The fourth wall jokes started out decent enough, but they quickly become overused. We get it, you guys are aware that you're in a movie! Basically, a lot of the jokes just fall flat, with only one, involving Rowlf the Dog, getting a good laugh out of me. And as for cameos, I really got a kick out of Jim Parsons' appearance, but other than him, everyone else just seems pointless. They don't really do anything other than flash on screen and maybe deliver a single line. And sometimes that single line isn't even a joke, like Sarah Silverman, who merely greets Amy Adams at a restaurant, and then disappears.
And speaking of which, there were at least two scenes which just felt entirely out of place in this movie. There's a scene were Amy Adams breaks out into song and dance in the restaurant, which ultimately adds nothing to the movie, and feels like its there for the sole purpose of wasting a couple of minutes. There's a similar scene involving Chris Cooper rapping, which beyond being overly ridiculous, did nothing but detract from the movie. It really was kind of odd, as if they figured there weren't enough musical numbers, so they just threw a couple more in there just to make up for it. But the movie suffers for their inclusion, so you gotta wonder why they even bothered.
Not that all of the songs are bad. "Man or Muppet" was a great moment in the film, and one that'll stick with you well after the fact. And the opening and closing musicals were also really fun to watch.
Overall, while it may seem like I'm tearing this movie apart, it's really not entirely bad. I had a good enough time, it's just that the movie didn't do anything to really make it stand out, other than the mere fact that it is, in fact, a Muppets movie. It has its flaws, and its a bit of a mess, but I still had a decent enough time watching it. And hey, if nothing else, this is the first time I've actually been able to sit through a Muppets movie all the way through, so it has that going for it!