You’d think that an R-rated comedy touting a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-esque murder mystery and a cast of foul-mouthed puppets might deliver at least a few laughs. Alas, Brian Henson’s film fails quite spectacularly in this respect. It follows an ex-cop puppet teaming up with his old, human partner (Melissa McCarthy, wheeling out her increasingly one-note shtick) to find the murderer of various puppet cast members of TV show The Happytime Gang. Nothing funny or witty has been done with the premise – unless you think that silly-string jizz and puppets getting high by snorting sugar is the height of comedy. Todd Berger’s script is astonishingly poor; worst of all, you get the irritating impression that the writer believes he’s edgily pushing the envelope of good taste.
Every thigh-slappingly shit moment of this laughter graveyard only made me want to re-watch Peter Jackson’s Meet The Feebles, a 1989 comedy that paved the way for other similar adults-only puppet-featuring comedies like Team America: World Police or Ted. Jackson’s irreverent film still remains the authority when it comes to hilariously subverting and depraving the tropes inherent to children’s entertainment; The Happytime Murders, conversely, manages to raise a solitary mild chuckle with a Children Of The Corn reference. A waste of time and felt.
The Happytime Murders | Directed by Brian Henson (US 2018) with Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks . Starts October 11.
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