#REVIEW: “THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Warning: this Movie is not for the faint of heart nor the easily offended. All felt and no play make Melissa McCarthy go cray. The Happytime Murders, directed by Brian Henson (yes, that Henson) is like an R-rated Sesame Street that is essentially Avenue Q, if it were a take on a classic Film Noir, hold the music. The Movie veers on the derivative, but it is the way it is executed that makes The Happytime Murders a satisfying Comedy.
The Movie starts off with Phil (Bill Barretta) our hard-boiled puppet, who is a former police officer turned P.I. after some circumstances lead him down this path. He is driven to clean-up the streets and all is well until Sandra (Dorien Davies) introduces herself and Phil then finds himself at the center of some haunting puppet murders. Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) is the lead officer on the case and once again finding that her former partner Phil, whom she hates, is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. After more puppets end up dead, Lt. Banning (Leslie David Baker) pairs Edwards and Phil together to find out who is looking to kill next the puppet stars of The Happytime Gang.
The chemistry between McCarthy and Barretta is undeniable. You believe and feel the tension between them and that is pretty remarkable considering one is seen on-screen as a puppet. Also, the off-brand humour for these familiar-feeling characters is quite funny, if you can appreciate humour in the same vein of Matt Stone and Trey Parker. In a world that knows horrific abuse of political power, a crass, crude Comedy actually is very “now”.
The Happytime Murders feels nostalgic, a Film Noir, and once you realize what it is all about, it loses some of its finesse. The pairing of people and puppets is seamless and done rather well, taking some raunchy and gruesome subject matter, somehow making it innocent and uproarious.
The Happytime Murders is silly as it is enjoyable. It doesn’t go deeper than that, nor does it need to. It’s adult audience will find itself bursting from the seams with stuffing from laughter.
VVS Films release The Happytime Murders Friday, August 24, 2018.