Shock value when it comes to movies is a tricky subject. While movies like Team America and South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut manipulated shock value to new and greater heights, in the wrong hands, shock value comes off as desperate.
Such is the case with The Happytime Murders. Sure, it has some shocking moments… watching an octopus milk a cow in ecstasy or seeing a puppet ejaculate silly string just to name a few, but none of it leads where it should lead: Namely humor. It’s there simply to be shocking which is the cinematic equivalent of a spoof movie reminding you that pop culture exists without making a joke.
Simply put, I don’t expect movies like this to be deep or profound, but I do expect them to be funny and this movie just isn’t. It wants to be, it yearns to be, but it simply can’t differentiate between actual humor and bodily functions. I’m no prude and I completely admit to laughing a couple of times while I watched, but more than anything, I was shaking my head and rolling my eyes wondering how this movie got a wide release.
It doesn’t help that the puppets in this movie aren’t that great. Mostly, they are expressionless, soulless things without the ability to emote or make you think for one instance, even with the blessing of suspension of disbelief, that they are real beings.
If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, I have more bad news… this murder mystery isn’t that much of a mystery. In fact, I had it all figured out as soon as a character was introduced. It’s not very well written, but at least they sacrificed script quality for silly string semen.
Avoid this one like it’s Elmo and he wants a hug.