Puppets and I have a very sordid history between being in The Lion King and Avenue Q, one could say I literally can’t escape them…not even as a film critic. However, I’m pretty glad I didn’t escape them this time. Mostly, because it gave me the opportunity to catch my favorite star Melissa McCarthy in yet another feature!!!
If you thought Avenue Q was racy, The Happytime Murders makes that musical look like a Saturday morning cartoon. The level of raunchiness, language and overall tone is off the charts. I kinda loved it!!! I thought I had seen it all in Avenue Q, but there is are some puppet ejaculation scenes that had me crying with laughter.
Also similar to Avenue Q, is the theme of being a bully to those that are different. The overall premise is that a cast from a popular sitcom are being murdered off one by one. Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy) and her partner Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta) begin to investigate who is behind the merciless killings. With a film-noir, murder mystery vibe mixed with pure-absurdist comedy, The Happytime Murders is really quite enjoyable. Puppeteers for this feature deserve their own bow, as it took a total of 125 puppets, with sometimes more than two or three humans operating just one. If you stay for the credits you will see exactly how it was pulled off. Kudos to Brian Henson for keeping the legacy of the late, great Jim Henson alive for another generation to enjoy.
Don’t let the puppets fool you, this is NOT an experience for kids. It is extremely adult themed. Hence, the scene where a puppet who is very similar to Sharon Stone crosses her leg inspiring the comment ‘the purple carpet doesn’t match the drapes’.
Produced by STX Entertainment and Brian Henson, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone and Jeffrey Hayes The Happytime Murders rolled into theaters on August 24th.