I’ll admit to being a harsh critic during the past few months. I expected a lot more from Henson’s Muppet movies, some form of pure, untapped genius that so many dreams were crafted from, and the issue with a mostly singular input is the hit-and-miss nature that can’t be avoided with a sole perspective. There was a hopeful glimmer by December, when we were out of the woods of some good jokes, lots of unwarranted sentimentality amidst the poor gags and had the beautiful and hysterical Christmas Carol. Maybe January’s funny but dull Treasure Island wasn’t a great stepping stone, but I take back all the negatives from past reviews, because someone took The Muppets and turned them into another generic franchise for kids to enjoy the same film again with Muppets From Space.
I’m pretty sure the basic plot of Muppets From Space is the same as every kids film from the mid-90’s to the early noughties. Just. So. Painful.
In Muppets From Space, Gonzo isn’t sure what he is, and wants to discover his true home, when conveniently his cereal talks to him, as his species converse through objects. Jeffrey Tambor is the paranoid CIA guy seeing signs across the globe, and thinks it’s a world invasion: Battle: Los Angeles, so grabs Gonzo when he appears on a show hosted by Miss Piggy who fills in for Andie McDowell (Probably too busy standing outside trying to work out if it’s raining) and The Muppets have to save him. Also Sports Night’s Josh Charles kung-fu fights Miss Piggy and is hit in the genitalia. Jim Henson would be proud.
Oh jeez, this film man. I’ve sat through some tough stuff (I welcomed the new year with a viewing of Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Box Office Flop With A 0% Rating On Rotten Tomatoes) but there are some things which should never be made. And one of those is a painfully dull, conspiracy theory/government plot thriller meets family comedy where the titular cast of characters are only there for money, and interchangeable. The same film could probably be made with a gaggle of Hanna Barbera cartoons, or Tom and Jerry, maybe, I dunno, Felix the cat opens his bag and converses with inter-dimensional aliens through cereal. Fuck, it doesn’t matter, The Muppets are so wasted here (And not in the fun way where Fozzie and Kermie might have a Hellboy-style drunk-servation) that it destroys any fun you might have with it. You can actually hear Rizzo, Animal, Statler, Rowlf acting their paycheck, much like Jason Lee in Alvin (Which director Tim Hill also directed, along with Garfield 2. The man knows quality).
Excuse me a second, I’m just going to think of any jokes from the film.
Outlook not so great.
Yup, a film with Rob Schneider, Ray Liotta, David Arquette, Kathy Griffin, Hulk Hogan (In his timeless Hollywood Hogan guise) and Katie Holmes is not at all funny, barely memorable, or registered in any way, shape or form.
Actually, what registered most with me was the lack of anything interesting during the kaleidoscope credits. Not a single ounce of additional footage, bloopers or Muppet fun. 1 hour 19 minutes, done, 9 minutes of credits, nothing more for the KIDS IN THE AUDIENCE!!! Nope, they get screwed over with this cashgrab. Shameful, shameful, shameful.
Full. Of. Shame.
Also, the film is shit.