In for anything but a Happytime.
The Happytime Murders follows the story of puppet Phil Phillips – a deadbeat ex-detective that is partially responsible for puppets being banned from the police force. He’s now taken up a position as a personal investigator, and when a new client seeks his help with a threatening letter, he is thrown into a wrong place, wrong time murder scenario involving members of the daytime puppet TV phenomenon ‘The Happytime Gang’. Phillips must team up with his old partner Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) in order to find out who’s behind it all and prevent the remaining members from losing their stuffing.
While this film seems as though it was meant to be in the same vein as the likes of Sausage Party, it would have helped if it was in any way funny. Barely five laughs were heard throughout the duration of the film, and even if you came for crude humour there’s barely 25 minutes of that, with the majority of the film’s jokes falling completely flat. It makes a general commentary on puppets being excluded from society and a general laughing stock, with even McCarthy being against them at times, but doesn’t ever really try to offer any counter arguments. The conversation and jokes are entertaining for fleeting moments, but more often than not you’ll find yourself simply bored.
The Happytime Murders isn’t funny, and won’t necessarily keep you entertained for the fairly short runtime of an hour and a half. The writing is lazy and predictable, but to the film’s credit there is a discernible story – which is more than can be said for some films these days. You’ll want to be movin’ right along after this one.
In cinemas: August 23, 2018
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph
Directed by: Brian Henson