Title – The Happytime Murders (2018)
Director – Brian Henson (Muppet Treasure Island)
Cast – Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph, Leslie David Baker, Joel McHale, (voice of) Bill Barretta
Plot – Puppet P.I and disgraced former detective Phil Phillips (Barretta) must team up with his old police partner Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy) to help solve a series of murders relating to cast members of famous TV show The Happytime Gang.
“I don’t take compliments well; but I get them all the time”
Review by Eddie on 28/08/2018
I’m fairly certain no one expected The Happytime Murders to be a good film, but I’m also fairly certain no one expected this puppets gone bad film to be this bad.
Stuck in development hell for a number of years, in which it had seen such stars as Cameron Diaz come and depart, Happytime see’s legendary puppet/Muppet master Jim Henson’s son Brian direct this adult’s only comedy that fails to ignite in any single way thanks to a cringe-worthy script, fascination with low-common denominator jokes and another unfunny lead turn from the increasingly frustrating comedic antics of “star” Melissa McCarthy.
Directing his first feature film in many a moon (and quite possibly his last based on this effort), Henson can’t bring the crass-filled good times as we follow disgraced former puppet cop turned private eye Bill Barretta investigating a series of murders connected to the cast members of one time hit television show The Happytime Gang that also forces the alcoholic P.I to re-team with his one-time partner Connie Edwards (McCarthy), who plays her role exactly how you’d expect her to, which means lots of yelling, loud-mouth behaviour with sprinkling’s of generally unlikeable tendencies which help make Happytime more of a chore than an enjoyment to sit through.
Most frustratingly, it’s not hard to see where Happytime could’ve become a poor man’s Team America, the idea of a world filled with working-class puppets marginalised by us humans has potential, while the actual investigation into who is killing off the Happytime Gang could’ve been of interest but the whole film lacks heart, soul or energy, giving off the feeling that everyone involved here really couldn’t have cared less about how the end product turned out.
99% of the jokes in the film fall flat and are delivered even flatter, while a continual focus of the comedy elements of the film being either around puppet sex or drugs doesn’t exactly make for an appealing time out at the movies, with McCarthy’s eye-rollingly bad turn a shoe-in for next year’s Razzie Awards for worst female actress.
After breaking out as a feature film star in Bridesmaids in 2011, McCarthy’s career as operated on a continuous downward trend and when you combine this appearance with her other recent outings in film’s such as Life of the Party, Ghostbusters, The Boss and Tammy, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of an actress that has taken a particular persona and run it well and truly into the ground.
Final Say –
An overly dirty and unfunny so called “comedy”, The Happytime Murders squanders its possible potential on a lame story that’s poorly put together and poorly played out, making this a puppet picture that you should avoid at all costs, unless of course the idea of puppets getting their heads repeatedly blown off is your idea of a fun time out at the movies.
½ a Maple Syrup bottle out of 5