Today, we’re going to be looking back at 2018’s The Happytime Murders, a black comedy directed by Brian Henson, the son of Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets.
Starring Melissa McCarthy as Detective Connie Edwards, this R-rated movie takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist (although puppets are treated as second-class citizens) and follows her and her ex-partner, puppet Phil Phillips, as they try to solve a collection of grisly murders, targeting the cast members of an old puppet sitcom, The Happytime Gang.
I’ll make something clear from the off, this isn’t a great movie and you shouldn’t go in expecting anything with substance. The film essentially relies on its niche of having puppets in R-rated situations, and it keeps throwing that at you throughout the movie to see which situations stick and which ones fail. If you’ve ever wanted to see Muppet-like creatures doing drugs, being violent, and having sex, then you’re going to love this film. But if you’re expecting much else, then you’re going to be disappointed.
The plot itself is very basic, and predictable… The chances are you’ll suss out what’s going on long before the third act comes in to play. The performances are average at best, and a lot of the humour doesn’t come off or just doesn’t have the intended effect.
I haven’t painted a great picture of this film, so you’d be forgiven for assuming I didn’t like it. Really, I shouldn’t have done, at all. But I’m just going to come out with it, I quite enjoy this film, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I know what I’m watching isn’t great, in fact, I know a large portion of it is pretty terrible. However, it makes me laugh, and I feel good after watching it. The gimmick of X-rated puppets didn’t really wear off for me, mostly due to the short runtime, so I found myself quite enjoying the concept.
That being said, I’m not under any illusion, I know this isn’t great and I’m not surprised it was a total box office failure. But, I think we’re all entitled to have the odd film that we know is bad, but we can’t help but like, The Happytime Murders is one of mine.
I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but if you ever see it on Netflix, or if you fancy downloading it, (not condoning that, but hey, it’s your life!) then why not give it a go? At the very least, you might get a few chuckles seeing some ridiculous, vulgar and crude puppet humour.
I give The Happytime Murders a 5/10.