tek's rating: ¼

Muppets From Space (G)
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Caution: spoilers.

So, this came out in 1999. I think I first saw it sometime in the early Aughts, either on TV or VHS, I forget. I'm writing a review after watching it in 2019, on DVD. (Aside from the basic premise of the movie, the only thing I actually remembered about it was that the song "Brick House" was in it. Rewatching the movie now, I discovered a remix of "Flash Light" called "Flashlight (Spaceflight)" played over the end credits, and I was like, "Where have I heard that song recently?" I finally realized I was thinking of a parody I'd heard earlier this year called Gaslight.) Anyway, it's certainly not among the best Muppet movies, but I thought it was reasonably amusing, and while not as touching as it could have been, I did genuinely care about Gonzo's emotional arc.

Well, it begins with Gonzo having a dream (or rather a nightmare) about being left off of Noah's Ark because he was the only one of his species... and he doesn't even know what he is. He just refers to himself as a "whatever." This dream leads him to become depressed when he wakes up, because he really is the only one of his kind (as far as he knows). However, he soon finds new hope of discovering his origins when his alphabet cereal rearranges the letters to spell "WATCH THE SKY" and then "R U THERE". But of course, no one believes him about that. Meanwhile, the head of a secret agency called C.O.V.N.E.T., Ed Singer (Jeffrey Tambor), finds that the "R U THERE" message has been appearing all over the world, so he believes aliens are trying to communicate with one of their own, on Earth, and that they'll soon be coming for him. However, his own boss (I guess), General Luft (Pat Hingle), doesn't believe any of this. (The main character besides Ed who we see at COVNET is an assistant, played by Bobo the Bear.)

Meanwhile, Miss Piggy has taken a new job at a TV studio. She claims to be a reporter, but actually she's just working as a "coffee pig," bringing coffee to the higher-ups at the studio, including Shelley Snipes (Andie MacDowell), the host of a show called UFO Mania. When Shelley misses a flight or something, so she can't get back to the studio, Piggy begs the producer (played by Rob Schneider) to let her take over as host. And then Gonzo shows up, after having received another message from aliens, and insists on air that he himself is an alien. A sort of cult of UFO enthusiasts soon springs up around him, though they're not particularly important. What is important is that Ed sees the show, and sends a couple of MIB-type agents (one of them played by Josh Charles) to escort Gonzo to COVNET, under the pretense that they can help him contact the aliens. In truth, Ed just wants to use Gonzo as a pawn. But since Gonzo doesn't actually know anything about the aliens, Ed decides to have a scientist, Dr. Phil van Neuter, extract his brain. (He's one of several Muppets in this movie who I'd first seen in Muppets Tonight.) Meanwhile, Rizzo the Rat accompanied Gonzo to COVNET, and was then imprisoned in a lab with some other rats. (The scientist who takes fiendish delight in testing the lab rats is played by David Arquette.) And we do get to see a few other employees of COVNET, including a gate guard played by Ray Liotta, a security guard played by Kathy Griffin, and another agent played by Hulk Hogan (as himself).

Meanwhile, Piggy had figured out the truth, and gathered her friends to sneak into COVNET and stage a rescue, which is ultimately successful. They all then go to a beach, where Gonzo expects the aliens to arrive (after receiving yet another message). The UFO enthusiasts are all there waiting, as well. Oh, I should also mention that Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes have cameos as their characters from Dawson's Creek. (But by the time I wrote this review the day after watching the movie, I'd already forgotten whether they were part of the crowd at the beach, or at a party that happened earlier in the movie, or both.) Anyway, the aliens do eventually show up, so Gonzo finally learns of his origins. (And they seem to have personalities a lot like his own.) So... that's nice, but I'm not sure whether any of this is considered canonical within the Muppet-verse, going forward. Not that it really matters. Other than that, I don't know what to say. Except that the end of the movie kind of reminds me of the end of My Stepmother Is an Alien.


Muppet movies