The best part about Disney’s The Muppets was the Toy Story short that preceded it. Though loved for his performances in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and How I Met Your Mother, Jason Segel appeared confused, awkward and completely out of place throughout The Muppets.
The film disregarded the fourth wall with frequent references to itself and direct addresses to the camera and Segel appeared completely uncomfortable with this style.
While he shined in “Man or Muppet,” Segel could not have appeared more out of place in large group song and dance numbers.
Even Amy Adams, who won hearts with her performance in Enchanted, was bland and flat.
Too much screen time was given to these overwhelmingly awkward performances when characters like The Swedish Chef, Gonzo and Sam the Eagle really got the shaft.
The timeless Muppets shined above an uninspiring plot and thin screenplay.
In order to save their studio from an evil gas monopoly, the Muppets have to find a celebrity host for their comeback performance of The Muppet Show.
None other than Jack Black was cast for the role. Though Black has his place in modern pop culture, his appearance pales in comparison to the iconic stars that the Muppets hosted in their heyday like Bob Hope, Julie Andrews and John Denver.
For real Muppet enthusiasts, the movie is just too much Disney and not enough Muppet. Disney’s mark is most obviously shown through the character, and ultimately new member of the Muppet crew, Walter, a boy caught between his identity as a Muppet and a man.
The classic, clean comedy for which The Muppet Show was prided was not successfully replicated. This is best exemplified when Miss Piggy is launched spread-eagle into Jack Black’s face.
Those who feel they can endure the performances of the human actors, the nostalgic joy of seeing the lovable, timeless Muppets on screen again is worth the trip to the theater.
A highlight of the movie was the Muppets performance of “The Rainbow Connection” led by Kermit and Piggy, who remained as charming as ever throughout the film.
Though the genius of Jim Henson and Frank Oz has proven itself timeless, perhaps it just cannot be recreated.