Muppets From Space

Craving contact with his own indeterminate species, Gonzo, a strong sympathetic character, becomes convinced he hails from outer space. But this puppetry-effects vehicle, set to overused soul classics, demonstrates such a twisted relationship to sex and gender that his spiritual journey can't always compete. Muppet-actor interactions—including Rob Schneider in the role of a TV producer who treats Miss Piggy as more than a Muppet and less than a woman—are the focus of much of the action and comedy. But the main agenda is to justify such stunts as a catfight between Miss Piggy and anchorwoman Andie MacDowell, in a scene suggesting that Miss Piggy's combat skills are as ironic an attribute as her vanity. A surprising amount of gratuitous sexual innuendo makes the whole bland spectacle reek of desperation. Tim Hill directed a screenplay by Jerry Juhl, Joseph Mazzarino, and Ken Kaufman; with Jeffrey Tambor, David Arquette, Ray Liotta, and Muppet performers Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta, and Frank Oz (1999). G, 82 min.

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