In a scene in The Happytime Murders, Private Investigator Phil Phillips, while investigating a murder, wanders into an adult sex shop. Behind the front counter and through open curtains, we (and Phil) get a glimpse of an octopus aggressively milking a cow, with milk spraying everywhere. Actually, it's more than a glimpse -- it's two or three shots that probably total ten seconds. When Phil recoils, the man working behind the counter (a vulture) shrugs his shoulders/wings. "The internet has stolen so many videos that I had to start making my own," he says.
I checked Rotten Tomatoes for Happytime reviews. One declared the film "the worst movie of the year." At least among reviewers, that was kind. The next review claims it's "the worst movie of the decade." Even the critics who admitted chuckling at specific scenes gave the movie a thumbs down. (The movie currently has a 21% approval rating on the site.)
At its core, The Happytime Murders is a traditionally cliche detective film. (Despite being presented as a mystery, the murderer is so painfully obvious that I thought it had to be a red herring -- it wasn't.) In this alternate universe in which puppets live side-by-side with humans, Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) teams up with her former/disgraced partner (Phil Phillips, a puppet) to solve a series of on going murders.
Melissa McCarthy plays the same potty-mouth detective she has played multiple times before, and Maya Rudolph brings a few laughs as Phil's secretary "Bubbles," but the biggest problem with The Happytime Murders is that there's absolutely nothing new here. It's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but not as good. The only chuckles from from puppets doing R-rated things; so yeah, I laughed when a washed up puppet offered to suck Melissa McCarthy's dick for fifty cents, but it's not a strong enough joke to save the film, or even the scene. It's barely even a joke.
I don't think The Happytime Murders is the worst movie of the decade, and I'm not sure how it will be remembered, but I suspect this might be both the beginning and end of the Henson Alternative production company.
Movies & Sex
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