HOLLYWOOD—There are very few films that I find somewhat appalling or as I would call it gross-out and pushes the boundaries so far that I have to ask myself, “Am I really watching this?” I though the animated flick, “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” was the one flick that had so much hype, so much flat out disgusting antics that the flick was warned by tons of people that it is not intended for kids. Well, there is a new flick that is earning a bit of ire that being “The Happytime Murders.”
This is not Jim Henson’s the puppets; the behavior of these puppets are very much adult-like, utilize pouty language and take no prisoners when it comes to their actions. I love the premise of the flick which revolves around funny lady Melissa McCarthy as Detective Connie Edwards, who is working with her puppet pal Phil Philips (voice of Bill Barretta). The two have a bit of an estranged past, but when a series of unexplainable events take place involving puppets being killed who were members of a popular series known as “The Happytime Gang,” the former partners link back up.
This movie is like murder mystery, but comedy takes the reign of the horns instead of the thriller element. The great thing about this plot is that it is really fun to watch; while absolutely ridiculous as a viewer you fall under the spell of the characters and the narrative. The puppets are foul-mouthed, they are violent, they engage in adult activities, and the chaos of the game revolves around a world where puppets and humans co-exist together.
The supporting cast of Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale and Elizabeth Banks is perfect casting in all honesty. They add elements of comedy to an already hilarious flick. Its subtle comedy, but it works in such a way it already elevates the comedy being delivered by McCartney and Barretta. You have puppets dealing drugs, doing drugs, working at strip clubs, having sex; the list goes on and on.
As a viewer it is slightly unfathomable to watch because you can’t believe you are witnessing what you’re witnessing with your eyes, but it’s happening and it’s a hoot to watch. The script dare I say is quite clever thanks to witty writing from Todd Berger. The direction by Brian Henson makes the audience feel as if you’re watching an actual thriller, when in all actuality it is indeed a comedy. It’s so good, you cannot argue mishaps with the film beyond the scope of reality is bent to a degree that we know none of this can transpire, but frankly you don’t care while watching. “The Happytime Murders” delivers laughs that I haven’t felt in a very longtime in the multiplex, it was everything I didn’t expect and so much more.