Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Brian Henson
WRITER: Todd Berger
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Mitchell Amundsen
MUSIC: Christopher Lennertz
Stay the hell away from “The Happytime Murders”. When I saw “Super Troopers 2” earlier this year, I thought I had absolutely seen the worst film of the year. Little did I know that director Brian Henson asked someone to hold his beer. The movie takes the generic film noir detective story, throws in some foul-mouthed puppets and some lame jokes to take the “Worst Film” category from another lame comedy.
The story, if you want to call it that, revolves around private investigator Phil Philips (Bill Barretta), a puppet who exists in the real world with humans. He used to be a cop, but in a world that discriminates against puppets, Phil was ousted from the force after a mistake. His ex-partner that he let down, Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy), wants nothing to do with him and is upset when she has to partner up with him due to the murders of some of Phil’s old friends.
The idea of gritty puppets in the real world could have been fun, but the fact is that the movie attempts some lame social commentary with the whole puppets aren’t as good as people act. The problem is that these puppets actually do suck and you don’t care for any of them. All of the humans are pretty bad too and their parts are so bad that they sometimes come off as more artificial than their puppet counterparts.
I feel bad for McCarthy. Here you have a genuine comedic talent yet no one can seem to produce a good comedy around her. Along with “Life of the Party” earlier this year, she is 0-2 and I really hope that someone takes pity on her and decides to make a good comedy where she can truly shine.
She’s not alone at failing in her attempt to make this a good movie. There’s plenty of talent from other actors such as Elizabeth Banks, Leslie David Baker, Joel McHale and Maya Rudolph. When Rudolph appeared onscreen, I at least had a little hope that there would be a few funny moments considering that she stole every scene when she appeared in “Life of the Party”. Sadly, not even her talents could produce more than a slight chuckle.
The script by Todd Berger seems to be more than satisfied with simply being a substandard detective story that thinks its funny enough to simply replace some of the characters with puppets. When the film tries to tell some jokes, the attempts are childish and atrocious. There’s a lame attempt to spoof the famous scene from “Basic Instinct” and then there’s grade school jokes that we didn’t even find funny when we were in grade school.
I had my fears when I saw the trailer for this film that it would simply try too hard to make me laugh with dirty jokes. This film is even worse for the fact that it didn’t even try. Please, do yourself a favor and stay as far away from this film as you possibly can. I mean it! Don’t even reserve to watch it when it finally appears on your favorite streaming service.
Usually, when I say that a film is this bad, I merely contain it to year of its release. However, I’m serious when I say that I think this might be one of the worst films I’ve ever seen in all my years of going to the cinema. Once last time, I warn you to stay the hell away from “The Happytime Murders”!