Dull and Unfunny
JLFM - wrote on 12/27/12
As far as quality goes, the Muppet films are all over the board. From mediocre entries such as Muppets From Space and The Muppet Christmas Carol, to masterpieces like The Muppets Take Manhattan and the 2011 reboot, you can never tell whether you're about to watch dull puppet wizardry, or a new favorite film. Unfortunately, Muppet Treasure Island ranks among the very worst of the Muppet films, and that is a downright shame.
Following the plot of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, Treasure Island, Muppet Treasure Island is about a boy named Jim Hawkins, who with his friends Rizzo the Rat and Gonzo, as well as a host of other characters, go in search of buried treasure. Of course, their journey will not be without peril, as a dastardly plot concocted by pirates awaits the crew.
Muppet Treasure Island is dreadfully dull most of the time. Gags are bland and uninspired, dialogue is mostly the same. While there are a handful of amusing bits here and there, they don't come nearly often enough. Some smiles, one or two chuckles, and not a single belly laugh.
To make things worse, Muppet Treasure Island has a grand total of seven songs, and almost none of which are appealing. "Shiver My Timbers," "Sailing for Adventure," "Professional Pirate," and "Boom Shakalaka," fall under the mediocre/forgettable/inoffensive category. "Something Better," and "Love Led Us Here," are absolutely awful ("Something Better" may have been less painful had it not been for Kevin Bishop's high pitched and highly annoying singing voice). The only decent song in the whole film is "Cabin Fever," which is actually quite fun and is the highlight of the film.
Like The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island is much more human involved than the other Muppet films. This is a shame considering that the Muppet characters are so much more entertaining. And it doesn't help that the actors behind the human characters perform less than satisfactorily.
Kevin Bishop, playing the child lead, is clunky as an actor, though I've seen worse. The thing that really makes his part in Muppet Treasure Island nearly unbearable is his extremely high voice. Tim Curry plays Long John Silver. He's intentionally dramatic and over the top, but this is more obnoxious than comedic. Billy Connolly gets a small part as Billy Bones that's forgettable, but not poor.
The score for Muppet Treasure Island is composed by Hans Zimmer. The score makes up one of the least offensive parts about this film. It's not particularly interesting most of the time, but it's occasionally rousing.
Though Muppet Treasure Island tries hard, it's the worst of the Muppet films, and simply awful. It's rarely funny, hardly amusing, and poorly acted. Though the musical number, "Cabin Fever" is fun, and the breaking of the "fourth wall" provides a few smiles, Muppet Treasure Island lacks the enchantment and joy of the series' best entries. It's also surprisingly violent (and profane) for a G-rated flick, but in a film as dull as this, that's the least of it's problems.