‘Happytime Murders’ is the most miserable puppet show ever

0

That’s what you’ll shout if you’re trapped in a movie theater playing “The Happytime Murders,” the wretched puppets-behaving-badly comedy directed by Brian Henson.

The son of Muppets creator Jim Henson has delivered a cliché-ridden, laughless bore that wastes lead actress Melissa McCarthy’s prodigious comic talents and beats well-trod territory with a mallet.

“The Happytime Murders” is as fresh as the old “Wayne’s World” jokes it shoves in. It’s a movie in which puppet crabs make cracks about getting pelvic crabs, and the line “Looks like the carpet doesn’t match the drapes” is uttered twice.

As stale as a neglected saltine, the flick is another police-noir parody with all the familiar hallmarks: brooding narration, a cigarette-smoke-filled office, a door with a frosted window and a helpless blond bombshell. Think “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” minus the innovation or fun.

The bawdy tale is set in a decrepit Los Angeles that’s plagued by crime, and where our felt-y friends are an oppressed minority. Kids yell “stupid puppet!” and beat them up, while the word “sock” is now a racial slur.

The smoky office belongs to Phil Philips (Bill Barretta), a puppet private investigator and former cop. He was kicked off the LAPD years earlier when, his bosses believe, he purposefully didn’t gun down a puppet perp. His human partner, Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy), was nearly killed in the botched operation.

That bumbling duo is thrust back together when puppet and human cast members of popular TV show “The Happytime Gang,” including Phil’s famous stuffed brother, start getting killed off one by one. He goes rogue to solve the case with Connie.

What’s not solved is the film’s No. 1 problem: It’s not funny.

Most bits are either gross or groaners. A gag involving boudoir silly string is amusing until it becomes nauseating. Watching McCarthy snort puppet crack didn’t make me crack a smile. The only cast member who earns some giggles is Maya Rudolph as Phil’s secretary, who’s secretly in love with him. She’s a comedy alchemist who can turn turds into gold.

“The Happytime Murders” is the latest addition to McCarthy’s do-not-see CV. Since “Bridesmaids,” filmmakers have slapped her in mostly dumb schlock like this.

ReadMore…

Leave A Reply