Cert (UK): U
Runtime: 103 mins
Director: James Bobin
Cast: Alan Arkin, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Zach Galifianakis
Good evening my friends. My name is Uncle Deadly and I am a muppet, you know, the only one with 200 stage performances to his name. I first appeared with the ramshackle team in the year 1976 in an episode that featured the splendid Mr. Vincent Price. If you’ll believe it, the beloved group have not appeared on the silver screen since 1999, and since then, my involvement with the team that was originally created by Mr Jim Henson has been slight. I have consistently been on the London stage, including a run with Sir John Gielgud on a production of Othello at the Bloomsbury. However, I was contacted by the powers to be to star in the feature-length film, The Muppets, and to appear as myself. My character is the henchman of the nefarious capitalist Tex Richman and so, I have been asked to give you a synopsis of the film, and here it is-
It all begins appropriately enough with a young man called Walter, who is the Muppets biggest fan and is tickled pink by the fact that he will be going to see their old studio in Los Angeles. The endearing scamp is accompanied by his likeable brother, Gary (Mr Jason Segel from the recent show, How I Met Your Mother) and Gary’s vocally talented girlfriend (Miss Amy Adams). However, the trio have to contend with the heinous intentions of Tex Richman (Mr. Chris Cooper, whom one may remember from American Beauty), who intends to shut down the studio to dig for oil. Walter and his companions meet Kermit the Frog (voiced by the inimitable Mr Steve Whitmire), who realises that the only way to save the studio is to bring back the original team. After a nifty bit of travelling around America, including a stop in a dingy motel to rescue Fozzie Bear (Mr. Eric Jacobson) from a disreputable Moppets tribute band, the team return to prove themselves again.
The Muppets manages to charm all with an irresistible blend of song-and-dance routines that cater for a post-recession audience with a certain aplomb. The passion of actor and writer Mr. Segel is plain to see, which results in this wholesome family entertainment. Although certain lines fall as flat as dear Fozzie’s tired stand-up routines, an endearing script which includes in-jokes about the film’s budget and an prodigious amount of celebrity cameos makes this immensely enjoyable.