The Muppets

3 out of 5 stars
The Muppets

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

The Muppets are splitsville. Kermit, Miss Piggy et al. packed up the M-Show theater long ago and moved onto other gigs, some more lucrative than others. (Scooter works for Google; Fozzie's headlining Z-grade comedy bills in Reno.) But to Walter---a young Muppet living with his human brother, Gary (Segel), in Smalltown, USA---these felt-and-fur icons of children and acid-droppers alike are still variety-series superstars. So when Gary and his chirpy gal pal, Mary (Adams), take an anniversary trip to Los Angeles, Walter just has to tag along to visit the Muppets studio. It's there that he overhears, per Statler and Waldorf, a "very important plot point": The site is set for demolition at the hands of evil oil baron Tex Richman (Cooper). Time to get the gang back together!

There's a lot to like in this Disney-backed reboot: star cameos ranging from Jack Black to James Carville, some nicely staged musical numbers and several truly gut-busting gags, like our favorite frog's heavenly choir intro. Yet the nostalgia-tinged story, cowritten by Segel and Nicholas Stoller, is overstuffed with dewy-eyed character arcs (Walter needs to find his hidden talent) and shtick that seems more appropriate to Judd Apatow (Kermit owns a New Coke--delivering, "We Built This City"--spouting '80s robot) than the late Jim Henson. The Muppet legacy is in no way sullied, but the over-the-moon magic is missing. They should try Hare Krishna.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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Release details

Release date:
Friday February 10 2012
109 mins

Cast and crew