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Laughs Quickly Lost in Happytime Murders

Critics blast the film as unfunny 'travesty'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2018 9:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Remember the hubbub over this trailer with NSFW puppets? Well, The Happytime Murders is out Friday, starring Melissa McCarthy as a detective probing a series of puppet murders with her puppet partner. Critics, meanwhile, are busy investigating why the R-rated film is, in their opinions, downright awful. (The film has a 26% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) What they're saying:

  • While "there's a cheeky freshness in the early scenes," the film "too often comes across as a skit that runs for too long … probably because the plot is nonsensical and pointless," James Berardinelli writes at ReelViews. McCarthy surprisingly doesn't help, he writes. She "has the life of a piece of background furniture."
  • Brian Truitt argues "McCarthy is as sharp-witted as ever," but his praise basically ends there. With gags that "make Fozzie Bear a comedic genius by comparison," this "scattershot comedy isn't nearly as clever or subversive as it thinks it is," he writes at USA Today, adding "there are much better uses of your time than this travesty."

  • "There's more fun to be had watching a kid play with some socks," Johnny Oleksinski writes at the New York Post, noting the film is "as stale as a neglected saltine." The prevailing problem: "It's not funny," Oleksinski writes. In fact, "the only cast member who earns some giggles is Maya Rudolph."
  • Mara Reinstein is just relieved her viewing experience is over. "The Happytime Murders simply goes for the lowest common denominator of comedy from beginning to end. And those 90 minutes in between are excruciating. Let me put it in italics for emphasis. Excruciating," she writes at US Weekly, calling out the "lazy use of gross-out humor."
(Read more movie review stories.)

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