The Happytime Murders is a lowbrow comedy featuring Melissa McCarthy and a horde of swearing puppets that like to get nude.
The Film’s main premise – obscene puppets fighting crime – was put together by puppet godfather Jim Henson’s company, Jim Henson Productions, then directed by his son, Brian Henson.
Set in Los Angeles, the film reveals an extraordinary world where puppets coexist with humans, but are regarded as second-class citizens.
Puppet private investigator Phil Philips (Bill Barretta) re-teams with his ex-partner Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) to find a serial killer who murdered Phil’s brother. The killer is targeting the cast members of the 1980s television series The Happytime Gang, and Phil’s ex-girlfriend Jenny (Elizabeth Banks) is also on his kill-list.
The duo, not each other’s favorite people (or puppet), are forced to work collaboratively in a predictable buddy cop scenario in order to solve the brutal murders and ultimately, as mentioned, save Phil’s ex-fling.
Old resentments and bad blood resurface between the two heroes, but clues begin pointing at the only suspect who seems viable, the main man/puppet, Bill Barretta himself. He goes on the lam, and hilarity, complete with a plethora of puppet pubic hair and felt genitals, ensues.
It seems that if you’ve seen Melissa McCarthy in one film, you’ve assuredly seen her in every film. Forever playing the comedic fatty with a heart of gold. The Happy Time Murders is no exception, as she is the same chubby character she was in The Hangover Part III and the atrocious politically correct female Ghostbusters remake/debacle, yet with a little more crude thrown in. Again, she says ‘f*ck’ lots, and there’s lots of her usual schtick of a dedicated crime fighter with issues.
We are not picking on her for being overweight, it’s just frustrating seeing such a talented and amusing actress being the ‘fat chick’ in each film. It would be refreshing to see her in something where her weight was not the unworded comedic crutch of every scene.
All in all The Happytime Murders is good for a cheap laugh, but that’s about it. Think a poor man’s Ford Fairlane crossed with The Muppet Movie and you can guess the whole plot in the first five minutes.
An R-rated film with foul-mouthed puppets is a great premise, but unfortunately it just doesn’t deliver. In a nutshell, there’s nothing clever about this film. Wait until it comes out on cable. Don’t waste your popcorn money.
The Happytime Murders was released today, and is now showing in cinemas globally.