FILM REVIEW – ‘THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS’ (2018)

Currently in theaters is The Happytime Murders, a raunchy comedy from Brian Henson (yes, as in those Hensons) starring Melissa McCarthy.

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Well, okay… can I really say it’s starring Melissa McCarthy, per se? I mean, yes, technically she’s in it, but the main “star” is really Phil Philips (voiced by Bill Barretta) a disgraced former LAPD detective and, yes folks, a puppet. After all, the whole movie centers around puppets and their interactions with humans, and also, there might be some murders of various puppet and human characters thrown into the mix.

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Now, if you’re walking into this film thinking it’s another Muppet production… I got nothing for you. The previews have been pretty clear that it’s absolutely not your parent’s Muppets. It’s R-rated after all, and a very hard R at that. I would suggest that you leave the kiddos at home for this one. Unless you’re planning on using this film to introduce your kids to 1) the birds and the bees in a really weird and inaccurate way and 2) show them why drugs (or in this case, sugar) are bad, and still, I think you’re better off showing them those charts and diagrams you’ve surely already prepared.

However, if you’re adult-ish, have a pulse, and are not a complete and total prude, you might get some enjoyment out of this film. By five minutes in, the guy next to me could not stop laughing. I thought he might choke on his pizza at one point. Of course, I laughed, but I have questionable tastes and a love for old and violent, somewhat sexually explicit cartoons. Somehow, I think a few of my readers do, too. Why else would you read a review of a not-Muppet Muppet movie with an R-rating?

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Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks. The movie was pretty hilarious. The humans are more like the parents of teenage sitcoms, kinda dim, but the puppet characters are just as bad. Are there plot holes big enough to drive a Mack truck through? Sure. Could the human acting be better? Probably. It was at the level you’d expect for a Muppet-ish movie. Did I enjoy it? Not as much as Muppet Treasure Island, but that had the benefit of having Tim Curry in it, so, yeah.

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The Bottom Line:
Overall, The Happytime Murders is what it is… a raunchy, stupid, over-the-top cinematic mess that’ll definitely score some laughs, and is otherwise pretty forgettable. I wanna give it a higher ranking, but I just can’t. The plot holes are obvious. The production felt rushed. The predictability factor was way too high. It’s funny, but not really re-watchable funny, and it’s fun, but not really big-screen, movie theater prices fun. – 4.5/10

 

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-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@NerdNationPress

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