(James Bobin, 2011)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Breezily paced, cameo-laden 'The Muppets' is a triumphant family film with plenty of energy that should satisfy all ages.
Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller previously wrote the brilliant adult comedy 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' which Segel also starred in. This, their revamp of classic family show 'The Muppets', is a whole other animal but just as enjoyable in its own way.
Segel stars as Gary, a pretty average guy. He's been going steady with his girl Mary (an infectuously bubbly Amy Adams) for 10 years now. To celebrate that milestone anniversary, they're set to visit Los Angeles when Gary decides to invite his muppet brother Walter along for the ride.
Walter is the world's biggest fan of the Muppets so when he finds out that an evil oil baron (Chris Cooper! Rapping!) plans to drill under the old muppet theatre, he convinces the disbanded Muppets to get together for a benefit show to save the theatre.
What doesn't make this a complete rip-off of 'The Blues Brothers' storyline is the subplot that Gary and Mary's relationship are threatened by Gary's devotion to his brother.
The plot isn't original, but its presentation is suitably vibrant. Segel writes in enough jokes to satisfy the adults as well as the kids. Another plus point that makes for family viewing is the roster of cameo appearances - Dave Grohl, Alan Arkin and Selena Gomez are three of many diverse players of which this seems to be a passion project.
But given the stars that flocked to the TV series (Steve Martin, Robert De Niro etc), it's somewhat frustrating that Jack Black is built up as the celebrity pinnacle for the film. You keep on expecting a bigger bang, but we are left to simmer moderately with Black's predictable antics. Still, the Muppets themselves with their winning personalities always stole the show anyway.
'Flight of the Conchords' star Bret McKenzie's songs are wonderfully melodic, catchy and perfectly suited to the Muppets' trademark mix of smart, darkly funny quips. McKenzie's composition 'Man or Muppet' triumphed with an Oscar win this year. You can watch the music video right HERE at Cinemas Online.
Other film news
Jean Dujardin, the French actor who enjoyed worldwide recognition and an Oscar for his work in 'The Artist', has been convicted of driving under the influence.
When the Christian Bale reboot of the 'Terminator' franchise misfired at the box office and with the critics, the future of the series was thrown in doubt. Until now. Original series lead star Arnold Schwarzenegger has confirmed the 5th film and his part of the Terminator itself.
Director Michael Bay, famed for his big budget action flicks such as 'The Rock' and the 'Transformers' franchise, will develop a screen adaptation of 'Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon', the bestselling espionage action game title.
Comedy stars Jim Carrey and Owen Wilson will team up for a new crime comedy entitled 'Loomis Fargo', according to reports.
An assistant film editor has filed a suit citing harassment, gender discrimination and wrongful termination against the Walt Disney company.
Oscar winning 'Titanic' actress Kate Winslet is pregnant with her third child, it has been confirmed. The 'Mildred Pierce' star is expecting her first child with recent husband Ned Rocknroll.
'Skyfall' director Sam Mendes previously walked away from working on another James Bond film due to his busy schedule and the pressures of directing such a huge title again, but now it seems that he has returned to the fold.
Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour drama 'La Vie DâAdÃ¨le - Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Colour)' has been awarded the top prize (the Palme d'Or) at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Veteran actor and frequent Oscars host Billy Crystal is heading to TV: the 'City Slickers' star will front a TV sitcom for network FX entitled 'The Comedians'.
Oscar winning film Ang Lee has just backed out from directing his first television show - a TV pilot for the FX network called 'Tyrant'.
The stars were shining a little dimmer at this year's Cannes Film Festival after a massive jewellery theft robbed the celebs of their jewels.
Britain's premiere film lot Pinewood Studios, the home to James Bond and Harry Potter, has lost a Â£200m planning permission bid for a Hollywood-style expansion across 100 acres of green belt land.
The last time Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson appeared in a film together it was a massive studio production that went on to break box office records. Now the 'Avengers Assemble' stars are reteaming for an independent feature.
Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie has undergone a double mastectomy after genetic tests revealed that she held a high risk of developing breast cancer.
'TV Burp' star Harry Hill's film debut has started shooting with himself in the lead and Matt Lucas as his twin brother alongside Sheridan Smith, 'Inbetweeners' star Simon Bird and Oscar winners Jim Broadbent and veteran actress Julie Walters.
'Jurassic Park 4' was due to begin production on June 24th for a release date almost exactly a year later, but studio Universal has pushed it back.
When it comes to optical effects in the movies, few have had a career as iconic as Ray Harryhausen, the special effects pioneer who recently died at 92.
The bank holiday weekend saw not one but two tentpole franchises get the sequel green lights from their studios: 'Men in Black 4' and 'Mission Impossible 5' are on the cards at Sony and Paramount.
In somewhat unexpected casting news, TV star Kelsey Grammer (best known as classy radio psychologist Dr Frasier Crane from 'Frasier' and 'Cheers'), has been cast as the lead villain in 'Transformers 4'.
First came the news that Michael Fassbender was onboard, and now it's been confirmed that Oscar winner Natalie Portman will be joining him for a new film version of 'MacBeth'.