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Segel steals show in 'Muppets' movie

By Chancellor Mills
On November 28, 2011


As far as I can remember, I have never really been what you might call a "true fan" of "The Muppets." If something Muppet-related were to come onto television, I would probably watch it, but my fandom would, by no means, be described as "die hard." Luckily for this year's "The Muppets" movie, I am a pretty hardcore fan of Jason Segel. Ever since I really got into "How I Met Your Mother," I have done my best to see anything and everything he appears in.

"The Muppets" follows the story of Gary (Segel) and his inexplicably muppet-tized brother Walter. As time progresses we see Gary grow from being a boy to being his natural six-feet-four-inch frame, while Walter remains a two-foot-tall puppet. On the eve of his trip to Hollywood with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Gary invites Walter along to meet his idols: the Muppets.

While there, the main conflict of the film is revealed. Oil baron Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) is trying to purchase Muppet Studios in order to tear it down to get to the oil underneath. The only hope for the Muppets is to put on a show in order to raise the $10 million necessary to get the studio back. Armed with this information, Gary, Mary and Walter set out to find Kermit and reunite the Muppets gang.

I'm not sure what the thinking behind this movie was because, for some reason, all of the emotional development of the film seems to go to the Muppets while all of the fun, singing and dancing scenes seem to go to the human counterparts. It's just not what I expected. I figured the highlight of a movie called "The Muppets" would actually be the Muppets. Crazy, I know.

However, the dynamic set up by the film was very enjoyable. Gary, Mary and Walter's musical numbers were very entertaining and funny from the get-go. Actually, sadly enough, the dull parts of the movie were in the middle where Kermit is trying to wrangle the rest of the Muppets to put on a good show. The movie only picks up again in the sequence where Gary and Walter each sing a ballad about choosing between being a man or a Muppet after Gary misses his anniversary dinner with Mary to help the Muppets prepare for their show. (The funniest part of this ballad being when the audience is presented with a Muppet version of Gary and "Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons as the human version of Walter.) The movie then remains on a very high note as the Muppets conduct their $10 million show to save the Muppet Studios.

"The Muppets" was a pretty entertaining movie in its own rite. However, what added to that entertainment was a few well-place celebrity cameos. For instance, in order to put on their show, the Muppets need a celebrity host or they will be out of luck. When they have trouble finding a celebrity who wants to do it, they end up kidnapping Jack Black and force him to host the show while tied up in a chair. I'm no longer a big fan of Black but he is absolutely hilarious as he squirms and screams during the entire show.

If you need to know whether or not to see this film, you need to understand one thing about me: I hate seeing PG movies. I would much rather have had a R-rated Muppets movie full of cursing, violence and sexual content. That being said, I would gladly go see "The Muppets" again.

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