This misguided comedy plays like an unholy mixture of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Gerard Damiano’s notorious X-rated feature Let My Puppets Come (1976). It takes place in an alternate-reality Los Angeles where puppets live alongside humans and operate an underground community filled with drugs and illicit sex. When someone starts killing off the cast members of a Sesame Street-like TV show, a puppet private investigator teams up with a human cop (Melissa McCarthy) to catch the culprit. The film is basically a string of variations on the not-that-funny joke of cute puppets saying and doing naughty things. It’s never as shocking as Peter Jackson’s cult classic Meet the Feebles (1989) or, for that matter, as funny as any of the PG-rated Muppet movies. Brian Henson (son of Jim) directed; with Maya Rudolph and Elizabeth Banks.
The Happytime Murders
R • 1 hour 31 min • 2018