Rescue me, Elmo!
That’s what you’ll shout in the event you’re trapped in a movie show taking part in “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 comedian abilities and beats well-trod territory with a mallet.
“The Happytime Murders” is as recent as the previous “Wayne’s World” jokes it shoves in. It’s a film during which puppet crabs make cracks about getting pelvic crabs, and the line “Seems to be like the carpet doesn’t match the drapes” is uttered twice.
As stale as a uncared for saltine, the flick is one other police-noir parody with all the acquainted hallmarks: brooding narration, a cigarette-smoke-filled workplace, a door with a frosted window and a helpless blond bombshell. Suppose “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” minus the innovation or enjoyable.
The bawdy story is set in a decrepit Los Angeles that’s stricken by crime, and the place our felt-y buddies are an oppressed minority. Youngsters yell “silly puppet!” and beat them up, whereas the phrase “sock” is now a racial slur.
The smoky workplace belongs to Phil Philips (Invoice Barretta), a puppet personal investigator and former cop. He was kicked off the LAPD years earlier when, his bosses imagine, he purposefully didn’t gun down a puppet perp. His human associate, Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy), was practically killed in the botched operation.
That bumbling duo is thrust again collectively when puppet and human solid members of fashionable TV show “The Happytime Gang,” together with Phil’s well-known stuffed brother, begin getting killed off one after the other. He goes rogue to unravel the case with Connie.
What’s not solved is the movie’s No. 1 drawback: It’s not humorous.
Most bits are both gross or groaners. A gag involving boudoir foolish string is amusing till it turns into nauseating. Watching McCarthy snort puppet crack didn’t make me crack a smile. The one solid 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 flip turds into gold.
“The Happytime Murders” is the newest addition to McCarthy’s do-not-see CV. Since “Bridesmaids,” filmmakers have slapped her in principally dumb schlock like this.
Being a Henson undertaking, you’d anticipate the movie’s puppetry to be the one redeemable issue. However these characters are unusually generic and clumsily dealt with. Forgettable.
There’s extra enjoyable available watching a child play with some socks.