It’s hard to figure out who the audience for “The Happytime Murders” is intended to be. Is it fans of The Muppets looking for the cheap thrill of puppets up to no good? Is it fans of irreverent, foul-mouthed comedies looking for something a little different? Or maybe admirers of Peter Jackson’s similar “Meet the Feebles”? Whatever the case may be, the resulting movie is a disappointment all around. The screenplay is lazy and has an unfortunate tendency to recycle its own jokes, there’s not much for the hyper-talented cast to do, and the whodunit mystery is predictable. The puppeteers do great work and their enthusiasm shines through, but once the novelty wears off, the movie just sits there like a rapidly deflating souffle.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)