Review in a Hurry: Make a rainbow connection with this charming Muppets reboot. Jason Segel joins Kermit and the other fuzzy friends to save their old studios from an evil oilman. With its goofy humor and rousing put-on-a-show spirit, The Muppets will win over "the lovers, the dreamers" and, yes, you.
The Bigger Picture: The Muppets go meta for their first big-screen adventure in 12 years, as the entertainers reminisce about past glory days and bemoan their current pop-culture irrelevance. This clever wink-wink approach should please older Muppet fans (no, that's not a lump of felt fluff in your throat—it's nostalgia) and hopefully captivate a new generation.
Gary (Segel) from Smalltown, USA, is the world's biggest Muppets fan. So he takes his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), and his Muppety-looking brother, Walter, for a vacay to L.A., where they visit the now-dilapidated Muppet Studios. During their tour, they overhear a nefarious plan by tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the theater and drill for oil.
To retain ownership of the property, the Muppets must raise $10 million, and of course, the only way they can do that is...Animal's drum roll, please...to put on a show! Gary helps reunite all the Muppets, who've had varying levels of success over the last decade: Fozzie Bear fronts a terrible tribute band called The Moopets, while Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, with Emily Blunt as her snippy assistant.
Though the energy dips a bit as Gary and gang prep their telethon, The Muppets is chock-full of wocka-wocka fun. Witty new songs are sprinkled throughout, with the infectious opening number setting the sunny but skewed tone. There are pop retreads as well—in a moment of crazed hilarity, Gonzo's plucky chickens "bwawk" their way through Cee Lo's "F--k You."
Several stars also drop by, including Zach Galifianakis, Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris, though Jack Black is "kidnapped" and forced to serve as their celebrity host while still tied to a chair. As it should be.
Good show, Muppets, and welcome back.
The 180—a Second Opinion: Disney shamelessly cross-promotes their other properties with Cars 2 billboards, a Selena Gomez cameo and Mickey Mouse ears in the fireworks. It's enough to turn you into grumpy Statler or Waldorf.