The Happytime Murders Review A Very Dirty Muppet Movie

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The cast is another piece of the puzzle that fits well. While Melissa McCarthy is mostly doing the same thing she always does–yelling and falling down, while cursing–she somehow manages to have chemistry with a puppet. However, there is an odd running joke throughout the film that everyone thinks shes a man. It might have been funny once or twice, but by the third, fourth, or fifth time that particular joke is revisited, its just tired.

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The biggest standout of the of the movie is Maya Rudolph, who plays Phillips secretary Bubbles. She serves as a potential love interest for the former cop and manages to have many of the movies funniest moments, whether at her desk in Phillips office or out in the field helping to solve the mystery.

In all,The Happytime Murdersis a fun and very interesting film to watch. Its as close as youll ever get to a Rated-R Muppet movie and sets up what could become a potential franchise that would be exciting to revisit–just maybe with a little restraint next time.

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The Happytime Murders Review: A Very Dirty Muppet Movie

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The villain is very easy to figure out

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Theres still plenty to like aboutThe Happytime Murders, though. Strangely, building this odd world where humans and puppets live together in something far less than harmony is whereThe Happytime Murdersexcels most. From the beginning of the film, its explained that puppets are seen as less than, and often subservient to, humans. Theyre the target of verbal and physical abuse, and some of them spend their time and money in an attempt to transform their looks to appear more human, while others have bought into the idea that they exist only to entertain humans.

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Its examination of racism was very unexpected

As it turns out, for the most part, it lands pretty well.The Happytime Murdersis set in a world where humans and puppets coexist. When the former stars of a 1980s TV show get murdered, disgraced former puppet cop Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta) and human detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) are forced to work together to find the killer. Its a pretty straightforward murder mystery that just so happens to be loaded with foul-mouthed puppets, lots of violence, and one wildly awkward sex scene.

As simple and interesting as the story is, though, there is one major problem withThe Happytime Murders. This adult puppet movie is simply too adult. There is a certain novelty to the idea of puppets that curse, have sex, and do horrible things. In practice, though, its very easy to take the joke too far. Throughout the film, puppets and humans let the cursing fly so gratuitously and frequently that the impact of it simply wears off. It happens so often that it ceases being funny and instead seems like the movie is trying too hard to be edgy. How many times can a character drop an F-bomb in the span of two minutes before it means absolutely nothing? Thats somethingThe Happytime Murdersis keen to explore.

If youre expecting to see some of your favorite Muppets in the film, youll be disappointed. None of them make cameo appearances. After all, the Muppets are owned by Disney. Still, it will be impossible to look at the puppets in this film without knowing they were designed by The Jim Henson Company. Likewise, Muppet veterans Barretta, Kevin Klash, and Alice Dinnean make up the puppet voice cast.

When the first trailer forThe Happytime Murdersarrived, it was clear what kind of movie this was going to be. Its a dirty version of the Muppets. Whats more, its from director Brian Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson. The potential for something cool and different was obvious. The only question is whether the movie would hit the mark or not.

Still, the story actually works. While its not hard to figure out who the villain of the film is, figuring out their motivations is a different story. The plot also opens up a world that would be very interesting to visit again in future movies, should that be in the cards.

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The use of notable Los Angeles locations helps ground the movie

Likewise, with graphic content, this movie doesnt seem to know when to stop. In thered band trailer, there is a sequence where one of the puppets has an orgasm that lasts so long it overstays its welcome a bit. Somehow, though, its even longer in the movie. Theres an audience for gross-out humor that will undoubtedly find themselves giggling at these moments in the film, but just a bit of restraint would have greatly improved the movie.

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Chris E. Hayner was named the Pog King of Stockton, California in 1995.

The Happytime Murders is in theaters on August 24.

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Chances are youre not expecting the dirty puppet movie to examine racism in America at all. However imperfect a comparison it may be, though, its one of the thingsThe Happytime Murdersdoes well. Whats more, setting the film in Los Angeles, a city with a massive immigrant population, goes a long way in illustrating the divide.


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