Statler and Waldorf would have a thing or two to say about this. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the best movie of the year so far stars felt puppets from the 1970s.
The Muppets, which opens today, was poised to debut at a perfect 100 percent on the review accumulation site… but a pair of last-minute critiques dipped the film’s score to a still-stellar 98 percent. Perfection would have been a nice feather in the cap of writer-star Jason Segel, but the actor and Muppet champion can still take pride in his passion project being the best-reviewed wide release of the year. The nearest competitor is this summer’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which scored 96 percent.
Not surprisingly, the film also scores considerably higher than its franchise predecessors. The most recent, 1999’s Muppets From Space, holds a score of 63 percent, and earlier installments The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Great Muppet Caper (1981) scored 90 percent and 74 percent, respectively.
Only time will tell if the (nearly) unanimous critical acclaim translates into box office success. While some would-be viewers feel fatigued by the omnipresent marketing campaign – which produced a stream of parody trailers, posters, and TV appearances from the WWE to Saturday Night Live – others see the film’s lo-fi minimalism as a breath of fresh air in today’s world of 3-D extravaganza and CG wizardry. Nostalgic fans went as far as a Facebook campaign to have Kermit and the gang succeed Eddie Murphy as hosts of the 2012 Academy Awards – is a similar Muppets for Best Picture movement on the horizon?
What do you think PopWatchers? Are you planning on seeing the movie? Is it time to meet the Muppets?