No Sesame, All street…The Happytime Murders isn’t your children’s movie.
Directed and produced by Jim Henson’s son, Brian, The Happytime Murders is about a former policeman turned detective who sets out to solve the murders of a 1980’s popular puppet TV show. As one by one the former cast members are murdered, Phil Phillips (a puppet) must work with his former partner, Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) and his former flame, Jenny (Elizabeth Banks) while the FBI sets out to prove he’s the puppet who murdered them all.
The puppets are second-class citizens in this movie’s world. They are beaten up, ignored and are forced to sing and dance on the street corners for cash. Phil lost his badge when he missed a shot on another puppet who held a gun to his partner and was drummed out of the force. His guilt over the incident has left a scar and made him weary of people.
The Happytime Murders is anything but happy. These puppets are raunchy, not even PG-13 but totally R-rated. It’s over the top how they have portrayed them with sugar addictions, strange porn habits and anger management issues. The storyline and world creation has a touch of Who Framed Rodger Rabbit but without any of the good lines or artistry. Happytime launches from one sexual innuendo to the next, rather than creating any depth to the characters. Melissa McCarthy comes off as a sad and angry woman. She spends most of the movie yelling and swearing at someone or snorting candy sprinkles.
Since this movie was produced as well by Melissa McCarthy and her husband, you know it will feature her as the lead, and will have Maya Rudolph as a character in addition to a sneak peek at Melissa’s husband, Ben Falcone in a scene. It was the only joke I laughed at. Melissa is leaving the station after being suspended and tells off each of the officers in the office. She tells Ben’s character that she wished she’d have slept with him, and he says, “There’s still time.”
Happytime will appeal to a certain demographic who like movies with a lot of sexual jokes and raunchy comedy but for most, they will be put off by the lack of a storyline and one-dimensional characters. Watch this one on DVD.
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