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The Happytime Murders               review by Bobby Blakey

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There is no denying that the late great Jim Henson brought us countless joy with his world of the muppets. During this time his son Brian Henson took on directing duties of some of the famed characters adventures with The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. Now he is stepping out of the world of children’s entertainment with a darker tone to the world of puppets with his film The Happytime Murders starring Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Elizabeth Banks, but does it offer up the fun times fans want or will it feel stuffed?

The Happytime Murders follows the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show. Going in I had high hopes for the over the top comedy fun of getting to see that rare time of using puppets for a more adult oriented film. Of course this isn’t the first time a film like this was done. Back in 1989 director Peter Jackson unleashed his adult puppet themed film Meet the Feebles on the masses. The big difference here is both the quality of the film and the overall tone. Surprisingly this film is way more grounded in the old school detective mystery than I had expected.

There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, but a big chunk of them are already in the trailers. Sure there are numerous others that aren’t but just not as many as I expected in the way it was advertised. That being said I have to admit I kind of had fun watching the detective story as well. I would have been just fine with it going a more straight laced direction with it as opposed to the comedy, but since they did I wished they had pushed it a bit more. I believe that they were really trying to make a more cohesive story that didn’t get lost in the sex and vulgar fun, but that is what most will likely be expecting.

This is a hard film to fully say is good or bad because it will only appeal to a select audience. Although not fully what I had hoped for I still had a fun time and laughed out loud numerous times so it still did its job. There are some subtle moments that made me laugh the most including a nod to Basic Instinct that shouldn’t be as funny as it was, but I could not stop laughing.

In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes, a gag reel, line-o-rama, commentary, trailers, and featurettes taking you behind bringing this puppet world to life. Join the case to solve the murders with The Happytime Murders available now on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.

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