The Happytime Murders reminds me of a joke I used to make as an edgelord Middle School kid. What would make “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” into a better movie? If Eddie and the Weasels got filthy with Jessica Rabbit. While that is a half-remembered and heavily edited quip, the juvenile chuckles of that head canon has drifted throughout the years and down into Brian Henson’s brainpan. Sure, it’s not a film he wrote, but the guy has his dad’s directing eye.
Unfortunately, he chose to make a movie about detective fiction cliches and Melissa McCarthy’s puppet kidney. Was I supposed to bad mouth the puppet sex? That wasn’t ever going to happen. Hell, I was taken aback by how tame it was for our sensitive times. They are puppets. Town simpletons and kids have been making felt and foam puppets do far grosser things for ages. What audiences should be concerned about is yet another detective story that hides its story flaws behind crass material that goes nowhere.
Veteran Muppet performer Bill Barretta kills as the lead private investigator, but he often gets upstaged by a movie that doesn’t know how to use his character. The facts remain the same, though. Brian Henson can still direct amazing puppeteering and there was a great vision to be had. However, nothing gelled together in a way that inspires audiences to remember it past Labor Day. If you have someone telling you it’s the worst movie of 2018, you can safely call them an idiot. However, if they say it’s a mediocre to average movie with the promise of puppet vagina…you’re home.