The Happytime Murders Review: Has its moments, but could’ve been a lot better



Watching puppets do adult comedy is funny for only so long.

Did you ever watch The Muppets as a kid? If you did like most, then at first glance this may appear to be like those classic Muppet films. Well be forewarned, it’s NOT. This is a film by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, and it takes the classic thought of The Muppets and flips it on its head. It shows us the dirty, adult version. I was actually kind of excited for this film, because I love Melissa McCarthy and the trailers had some funny moments. Well, unfortunately, this is one of those films that doesn’t really go for all that it can be.

You can do a lot with an adult oriented Muppet caper film, and while they do explore some funny situations, by the end of it all, you just feel they could’ve done better. So what’s the plot of this film and what areas do they explore? Former police officer, Phil  is a puppet who is now working as a private consultant. He was fired because of a situation where people believed he purposefully missed while shooting at a puppet who had a gun to his partners head. Well, now there is someone killing off every member of the Happytime gang (a TV show in the film), because of this. He and his old partner must now team up to stop them. Along this journey of trying to find and stop this killer, we see: porn shops, strip clubs, murders, drugs. just about anything you can think of.

The adult aspects are the hallmark of this film and it’s the main selling point. The big question is: did they pull off the adult humor? In the beginning especially, I was laughing and thought the humor and gags worked pretty well. The jokes in the porn shop are funny and part of that is because it’s puppets doing super raunchy things. Not all of the humor worked but  as a whole, it is helped by McCarthy and Maya Rudolph. These two are given some pretty good material as far as humor goes, I actually thought Rudolph kinda outshone McCarthy in some areas. To be honest, she’s what made me laugh the most in the film, she has a lot of good dry humor here. The main reason why not all of the humor works is because the main schtick is the whole puppets being naughty thing, and once you’ve seen that for a bit of the film, it eventually starts to get old.

Melissa McCarthy stars in The Happytime Murders

For the parts of the film where the comedy is kinda bland, you’re left with this whodunit plot, and they did some interesting things with it. It is not hard to guess who the villain is, but even so, I liked some of how they revealed who that was. Suffice to say there’s some backstory as to why the villain is doing what they’re doing.

So, if you take all of what this film has to offer and put it together, it turns out to be pretty average. I’ve for sure seen a lot better by McCarthy, and I really wish the comedy would’ve been less spotty. The comedy needs to be really on point and consistent in a film like this, because that’s what the whole attraction is. People will go see this film for the comedy and not really for anything else, so you gotta bring it. There are some solid laughs to be had here, but not enough.

So to wrap it up simply: I’d wait for this one when it’s streaming or on TV, I’m not saying you shouldn’t see it, but if I’m being honest, the laughs just aren’t consistent enough to be worth the price of admission.

The Happytime Murders
Is it good?
The Happytime Murders has some solid laughs, but unfortunately is not consistent enough to be worth the price of admission.
Some solid laughs to be had
Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph
Laughs aren't consistent throughout
Joel McHale
5.5
Average