The Muppets Sucks
by Reginald Bateson
So normally I don’t write long reviews. As you know, I hate every movie. They ALL suck. So why bother making you suffer through my long diatribes about how much every movie does in fact suck. I may be a masochist for sitting through so many crappy movies, but I am not a sadist. I sit through the filth and garbage so you don’t have to endure the pain. In that way I am like a Cinema Savior.
But perusing Facebook this last week had me chomping at the bit. Everyone seemed to be praising the newest Muppet movie, posting quotes, clips, and song lyrics. At the time of this writing, The Muppets currently holds a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The final straw was when Bret’s dog Gibbs wrote an absolutely glowing review of The Muppets in which he calls it the “BEST movie of the year!” Now I am aware that Gibbs seems to like every movie but the fact that everyone is so adamantly sharing his moronic dog opinion has me fuming with anger, rage, and everything The Muppets is not.
For starters, co-writer and star Jason Segel is a big idiot doofus. He is so blindly happy to be starring in a movie with The Muppets that he doesn’t act like anyone but himself. His singing and dancing are mediocre at best. His best trait is smiling at everyone else’s talent, but even their talent is like comparing the taste of escargot on the way down and on the way back up. Obviously it tastes better on the way back up because it is diluted with bile. But neither tastes great.
Jason Segel’s character has a Muppet brother. I don’t know how this logic work and the movie never attempts to explain itself. Walter is so in love with The Muppets as well that his dialogue is mostly “Wow! It’s [insert Muppet here]! I am so in love with you!” The movie is done in the meta fashion of being self aware how much everyone loves The Muppets and the movie does nothing to build off of this love, just exploit it.
Kermit, whose normal sunny disposition is replaced with an overcast disposition, is constantly giving up on everyone else’s dream of reuniting The Muppets. He clearly does not want to do this and everyone forces him to do it by constantly begging like babies and putting on sad puppy dog faces. In most movies, this storyline would conclude with Kermit giving the “It’s not what I want… It’s what YOU want” speech. Instead he succumbs to everyone’s demands and puts on a show.
Fozzie Bear’s jokes are TERRIBLE! They are not funny.
Ultimately, I normally don’t care that these things exist because I expect every movie to fail and indeed they all do. But it is the deeper messages under this movie that I take issue with. Things that we not only are allowing our children to watch, but encouraging them to laugh at and enjoy.
For starters, Walter whines his way through the movie and tags along on his brothers trip and gets EVERYTHING he wants. He does not do this on his own, but instead gets everyone else to do his work for him and whenever they say no or have to do something else he runs away or sulks in sadness. Lesson Learned: “Hey kids, if you don’t get your way… make others feel bad and never settle for meeting someone halfway because if you make them feel bad enough they will meet you all the way and you can get your way all the time!”
Miss Piggy has a successful Vogue career and living in Paris and the moment Kermit comes back she basically crawls back after calling herself a strong independent female and saying she won’t several times. Amy Adams’ character Mary only serves to be a pretty face and act all cute and girly and be mad at Jason Segel for not spending time with her. Lesson Learned: “Hey women you should either be so head over heels in love with a MAN (or frog) that you sacrifice everything else that is material to be with them OR you should just be an accessory to a MAN and sing and dance and pout and whine (Note: the previous Lesson Learned does not apply to females because obviously they are only there to serve the story arc of the MAN)!”
Similarly to the previous Lesson Learned, it’s not only the female characters that are one noted, but all of them. Fozzie tells bad jokes. That’s it. Gonzo does weird stuff. That’s it. Rowlf plays piano. That’s it. Miss Piggy Swoons over Kermit. That’s it. Walter drools over The Muppets. That’s it. Swedish Chef cooks things. Well… he doesn’t even do that in the movie. So he is a complete waste of space. These characters don’t do anything. They are so one noted and simple. You see this in a Michael Bay film and people complain (as they should!) but here everyone loves them. In this movie, one character is so one noted most of his dialogue is his trait: Drums. Lesson Learned: “Hey kids don’t worry about being a well rounded person you just have to do one thing over and over and over and over and over and people will love you for it! Hurray!”
Lastly, this movie plays up stereotypes. The biggest cinematic criminal is Chris Cooper, who plays an evil older white business man. Is there any other kind? NO! Not according to The Muppets. He is mean. They all are. You should hate them because they only love money and not real people or Muppets. And Chris Cooper plays along! He actually plays the evil man as an evil man and ‘laughs maniacally’ at his own evilness. He should know better. Instead of just doing this role the way the movie makers wanted him to and getting a paycheck or having fun he should have challenged them and if they didn’t compromise he should have quit. It is not okay to use stereotypes to reinforce negative things, especially when those things aren’t universally true. I’m sure there are plenty of older white business men who aren’t evil. Bill Gates donates bunches of money to charity every year. Lesson Learned: “It’s okay to use stereotypes to make one noted characters and reinforce negative and incorrect beliefs about an entire group of people as long as you are using it to reinforce your own agenda.”
The Muppets doesn’t just do a lot of things badly, it gets a lot of things wrong and teaches children a lot of negative behaviors. If you want to sacrifice your child’s well being and good nature for a couple of lame jokes from a bear, then by all means take them to see this movie.
It makes me mad that no one else seems to see this. Instead, they see some puppets from a couple of decades ago and not only forgive any weakness this movie has, but praise the weaknesses and if anyone says anything bad about this movie they are evil. Well I suggest maybe the people who made this movie are evil. Maybe they are false puppets spreading a false sense of love before sticking their hands in us and manipulating us to their puppet mastery whim.