Friday, March 16, 2012

Rainbow reconnection

It’s self-referencing and has a roster of characters that can be described as an acquired taste, but “The Muppets” entertainingly brings back the late Jim Henson’s disparate and strangely charming puppet characters from the hit TV show.

Yes, “The Muppet Show” had a bizarre, mostly era-reflecting group of puppets, led by the familiar Kermit the Frog, who also appeared on the more educational “Sesame Street.” We get to see how the Muppets are doing post-cancellation, tracked by a devout fan, Walter.

Walter is a misfit among regular humans, and is the puppet sibling of kind and loyal Gary (Jason Segel). The brothers, together with Gary’s teacher girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), help look for the long-forgotten Muppets during the couple’s anniversary trip. The former stars must reunite to stop a mean businessman, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), from owning and demolishing their old studio.  

Often hilariously nonsensical, the film co-written by Segel and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s” Nicholas Stoller nonetheless manages to tell different characters’ tales cohesively, and quite imaginatively. We see how changed the characters are post-stardom, working hard to find some renewed relevance in a radically changed world.

It’s hard not to get giggly at the disco era- and ‘80s pop culture references, lively music numbers, and the rekindled inter-species attraction between Kermit and the ever-feisty Miss Piggy. It’s also star-studded; there are precious cameos by Dave Grohl, Leslie Feist, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Neil Patrick Harris, and Emily Blunt, among many others. A new, updated version of Kermit’s beloved classic “Rainbow Connection” is also performed, bringing back memories of the characters’ first film, “The Muppet Movie,” released back in their heyday.

“The Muppets” opens March 21 in Metro Manila. 

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