By Hemanth Kissoon
“Guys, we can't kidnap Jack Black. That's illegal!” Kermit the Frog
“What's more illegal, Kermit: Briefly inconveniencing Jack Black, or destroying the Muppets?” Fozzie Bear
“Kidnapping Jack Black!” Kermit
Who hasn’t grown up with The Muppets? Anyone? Anyone? That’s right the new generation. The last cinema release of a Muppets film was MUPPETS FROM SPACE (1999). Not only do we have here the reigniting of a much loved franchise, but the makers have gone all Pixar on us, and ladled on huge entertainment, for all ages. There are so many gags. You come out at the end beaming. The humour is impressively diverse: clever songs (Oscar nominated – ‘Man or Muppet’), fart shoes, in-jokes, political satire, observational, etc. I particularly like how Muppets and humans interact without anyone drawing attention to it.
It’s a getting the gang-back-together story for a good cause. Think THE BLUES BROTHERS. Actually, hang on! THE MUPPETS is the most energetic quasi-musical since John Landis’ classic. Evil oil magnate Tex Richman (he continually demands his henchman to laugh maniacally at his ideas) decides to exploit the Muppets’ “fame and fortune contract”, to take away their legendary theatre and the rights to their names. The dastardly plot is uncovered by our entry into this world, Walter. He is a Muppet, but also the brother of a human, Gary. Err… lots of unwanted questions and images in my head arose as a result of how these siblings came to be. Of course, it could be totally innocent, and Walter was adopted. Anyway, it is Walter that overhears Tex Richman’s scheme, and reports it to Kermit. A plan is hatched: To put the Muppets back together, and do an old-school variety show telethon to raise the $10 million required to save their heritage. Cue a brilliant montage where they track down the team, in the most random of places.
I could go on and on about THE MUPPETS. There’s the inspired direction, such as Walter running with the camera attached to him while he panics - remember how Scorsese used that technique so well in MEAN STREETS? Also, wait till you get to the rap! This is a celebration of cinema, with references from Charlie Chaplin to The Devil Wears Prada; with meta gags commenting on the film as the film progresses. The cameos come thick and fast, especially at the end. I’m sure if there’ll be a sequel, the queue for celebrity appearances will be around the block.
So, first contender for my favourite film of 2012.
Hello, click on the icon to visit me on Twitter!
Hello, to 'like' my page on Facebook please click on the icon!
Hello, to follow my AudioBoos click on the icon!