I got to do something exciting today, go to the movies. I saw "The Muppet Movie"! I've been a Muppet fan all my life, ever since Muppet Babies back when I was five (and younger). So, you know I was psyched to see it. And let me tell you, I simply loved about half of it.
Let me explain, it was the Muppet part I loved. I was a little worried how they would come off in the movie but they were great, true to character, heartwarming, and sounded really good (although Miss Piggy and Fozzie were off sounding from time to time).
You could really split the movie up into two parts, the Muppet part and the Jason Segal and Amy Adams (plus one Muppet) story. And let me tell you, we didn't need Jason or Amy. (and I love Amy Adams, so it pains me to say that.) You really could have removed their entire storyline, shifted a couple key points to other characters and had a much tighter movie. I will say that Amy Adams, while unnecessary looked AMAZING (love her hair!), and she also acted on par with the Muppets. When working with a co-star made of felt and ping pong balls, you really need to bring your A game. You need to be both cartoonish but believable. Not shocked that Ms. Adams can do that since she was amazing in Enchanted (or is that... enchanting in Enchanted?). Jason Segel on the other hand... I was not impressed. His acting was a little flat. He was a little too... average for the part. I've never really gotten his appeal, he's a bit too average Joe in everything I've seen him in. I didn't see any spark from him. I didn't really start to enjoy the movie until the Muppets showed up and his screen time was limited. Every time he got more focus my attention was spent wondering when he'd be done and we could get back to the Muppets. Did you know he also wrote it? I find that sometimes when people write something they then act in, their acting isn't on par with the rest of the cast (I felt the same was about Tina Fey in "Mean Girls"). Perhaps they are so intimate and familiar with the dialog they feel that they become more natural with their acting choices, but nobody else does that so it comes across a bit flat compared to the other actors. I don't know, maybe Jason Segal's just a bad actor.
On terms with the writing, I had a few issues with that too. While I thought a lot of it was very well done (the Muppets), I felt a couple of the repeated jokes were really never that funny, so it was so annoying to hear them repeated. Also there were several jokes in the beginning basically pointing out how it was a movie. I understand the Muppets have a tradition of breaking the fourth wall, but I'd dial them back a bit. I don't need to be keep reminded that I'm watching a movie, that's just distracting. And my biggest issue with the writing was the ending. The ending was totally wrapped up in the last minute (Spoiler alert- It happens during the credits). It was so fast, and so stupid to solve the problem how they did it. I hate lazy writing like that. It wasn't funny, cute, or original. I found it annoying, cheap, and took away some of the enjoyment of the movie.
And one more complaint (I promise, I really did like lots of the movie), I really wish that there were less celebrity cameos. For some reason there was another D or C list celebrity every five minutes or so. I wish that if they needed to add celebrities they would get bigger names, or pick people who had already done something with the Muppets. It also took me out of the moment seeing all these familiar (and not really liked faces). Come on, the Muppets should be the stars! And not to be too snarky... how many of those people in the cameos are going to be still famous down the road... Hmmm?
But I do plan on getting the DVD, I just think I'll have to fast forward though several spots to make the movie better to me. But really, if you like the Muppets, you'll enjoy this movie. Just focus on the Muppets and it'll be all good. I just wish they'd remembered the Muppets are (and should be) the stars of the movie. I paid to see them, not Humans.