The Happytime Murders 2018 Movie Scene Melissa McCarthy as Detective Connie Edwards and Bill Barretta as Phil Phillips the puppet who's now a private investigator

The Happytime Murders [2018]

What’s the last really creative movie you’ve seen? And I don’t mean “mainstream quirky looking for an Academy award” creative. The Happytime Murders, better known as that Melissa McCarthy movie with Muppets, is a highly entertaining comedy for adults. It’s a refreshing take on the neo-noir subgenre that’s bound to steal your heart. So, just because this movie has puppets do not think it’s suitable for kids because it’s most certainly not. This will become perfectly clear when you see the opening scene featuring Phil, a puppet cop, driving a car and smoking a cigarette.

Welcome to the world of tomorrow! In this world, puppets and humans relatively peacefully coexist. However, our furry friends are considered second-class citizens. After a string of murders, Phil and Detective Connie Edward, a human female, will have to track down the killer. Their quest will lead them to all sorts of situations and establishments. One of them is a sex shop and I think right about now you’re starting to get what kind of movie this is. The Happytime Murders is an expertly crafted masterpiece coming to us from Brian Henson. In case that name sounds familiar, you’re probably over 30 and The Muppet Show has been a part of your childhood.

I know it sure has been a part of mine. And yes, Brian is Jim Henson’s son and he’s now in charge of The Jim Henson Company. I just love how the movie instantly and efficiently creates this strange world where puppets are just like ordinary people. Also, after twenty minutes, you slowly start to forget just how surreal this premise is. And this is exactly the time when The Happytime Murders uses this fact to shock you into realizing what you’re actually watching. I have to say that Brian did the impossible and updated the whole puppet thing to modern standards. He made puppets cool again and I was hoping to see a lot more movies like this.

Sadly, this didn’t happen. Probably because this movie was a box-office flop. The general population is kind of slow and I’m certain that in the coming years, they will catch on. You just need to watch the end credits to see just how much work went into making this movie. There were a total of 125 puppets but 40 of them were all brand new ones. And to see them do and say adult things is a blast. I mean, did you ever hear a puppet tell a dirty joke or swear? Moreover, did you ever see a puppet in a sex shop? And even more moreover, do you know how the puppet semen looks?

Towards the end of the eighties, we had the pleasure of watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a similar movie starring Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd. However, that’s a PG movie without almost any violence or swear words. The situation here is, as you can already guess, very much different. Oddly enough, that same year, Peter Jackson released his bizarre adult puppet movie, Meet the Feebles. Moving on, apart from bubbly and hilarious Melissa McCarthy we also have Elizabeth Banks and Joel McHale.

All of them gave good performances along with our voice actors who gave these puppets distinct personalities. Finally, I kept hoping that with the new TV series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, we would see a revival of these sorts of movies but things didn’t pan out that way. Then again, you can always go back to the eighties classics like The Dark Crystal and The Neverending Story. Or, if you’re looking for a similarly funny parody, Spy, also starring Melissa McCarthy is a great choice. 

Director: Brian Henson

Writers: Todd Berger, Dee Austin Robertson

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Barretta, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Kevin Clash

Fun Facts: Officer Donny is played by the actor Ben Falcone who’s Melissa McCarthy’s husband in real life.


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