It's been a fair deal of time since we last saw the Muppets in action, but it's clear from their new film that Jim Henson's felt funnymen haven't lost a beat. The script, cowritten by star Jason Segel, isn't always focused and doesn't always keep an even keel, but it's a sidesplitting comedy/variety mash-up that clearly demonstrates an understanding of these characters and what they're all about. Sure, some of the jokes are easy gets, and maybe they throw in one self-referential gag too many, but silly though it may be, it consistently draws roars of laughter (the third best gift a anyone can give, according to the film), and the Muppets shouldn't have it any other way. Nostalgics won't be able to help but adore the dozens of classic Muppet homages, the most affecting of which is a brief but beautiful new recording of “Rainbow Connection”.
It's too bad they won't get to host the Oscars this year, but if we're lucky we'll get to see them perform one of the film's songs (assuming one gets nominated).