Muppet Mayhem (Part 7): Muppets From Space

Gonzo is awaken by a nightmare that deals with him being the only whatever alive and it puts him into an existential funk. Everyone tries to get him out of his depression, but he remains unswayed until his Captain Alphabet tells him that he needs to watch the sky. Meanwhile, C.O.V.N.E.T. (an organization that tries to find extraterrestrial life) and it’s director, K. Edgar Singer (Jeffrey Tambor), find out about the messages that Gonzo has been getting (but doesn’t know how who the recipient was). Gonzo finds out about the alien-themed TV news show that Ms. Piggy works on and goes to send a mission back to his alien family. Edgar captures Gonzo and brings him back to C.O.V.N.E.T. in order to study him and find the other aliens. Edgar reveals himself to be completely crazy as the Muppets set out to rescue Gonzo from the government organization and get him to meet his family.

There are a number of celebrity cameos this time around with appearances by Hulk Hogan, Pat Hingle, Ray Liotta, Kathy Griffin, and Rob Schneider. The problem is that the movie doesn’t really have any place for these actors to really do anything of merit. The story is strong, but the writing isn’t very good and the comedy is weak at best (except for a few jokes here and there). There just really isn’t anything there that really makes this movie seem like a Muppet movie besides the fact that the Muppets are in it. The film just lacks the zaniness and insanity of the other films. Frank Oz even said that Muppets From Space was not “up to what it should have been,” and “not the movie that we wanted it to be.”

Muppets From Space is the first Muppet film to not have original songs. Instead the soundtrack is full of disco and various funky sounding songs and a very mediocre and forgettable score by Jamshied Sharifi. While I do enjoy the funk, the lack of original songs is just another aspect of this movie that does not make it feel like a Muppet movie. It’s very much a “one of these things is not like the other” kind of situations. Also, the funky music just doesn’t really fit with the tone or story of the film in the slightest.

This was the last Muppet film made before the acquisition of the Muppet Studios by the Walt Disney Company in 2004, but this film and Muppets Take Manhattan are actually the only Muppet movies not owned by the Walt Disney Company despite the buy-out. They are still owned by Sony Pictures for the conceivable future.

Overall, is weak. The story is good, but there really is nothing special about the film. The music is mediocre, it’s not terribly funny, and it doesn’t feel like a Muppet movie. I would say that unless you absolutely have to see every theatrically released Muppet film, you should skip this one.

There are going to be two more Muppet Mayhem posts, with my review of the Muppets coming on Saturday rather than on Wednesday when it is released.


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