Katy Winn / AP
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 | 3:20 p.m.
Critics might love the new Muppets movie, but our neighbors in Reno, maybe not so much.
RottenTomatoes.com — a website that aggregates movie reviews from critics around the world — currently has “The Muppets” with a “Certified Fresh” rating of 97, meaning 97 percent of movie critics listed on its site like the movie.
That would give “The Muppets” the highest rating of any movie opening this holiday week, and one of the highest ratings on the site among movies released this year.
But that number might not include folks concerned with the image of Reno in the new Disney flick.
Early in the movie, Kermit the Frog, along with Jason Segal and Amy Adams, head to Reno to find Fozzie Bear, as they try to reunite the Muppets for a telethon show aimed at saving the old Muppet theater from destruction by an evil old baron.
Fozzie is performing at a casino in Reno on the edge of town in a Muppets tribute act called the Moopets. Though the majority of the scene was shot on a soundstage in Los Angeles, pickup shots for the scene were shot in Reno in April, primarily at the Bonanza Casino, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Once Kermit and the gang enter the casino, they find Fozzie singing an updated rendition of “Rainbow Connection” in a sparse casino lounge. The new lyrics are clearly aimed at the situation:
Why are there such great deals on our hotel rooms? And continental breakfast is free.
HBO in every room and free gas if you check in after noon. Free parking for cars, not RVs.
Our wedding chapel is 24 hours, no marriage certificate is needed.
After the performance, the group goes to talk in Fozzie’s dressing room, which is actually an alley behind the casino, complete with gunfire in the background.
Later in the movie as things aren’t looking so hot for the felt-based fauna, Fozzie voices concerns that he might have to return to Reno, which got one of the loudest laughs from the crowd at a preview showing of the movie this week at the Brendan Theaters at the Palms.
But it’s the Muppets, which means it’s all in good fun. Unless you’re the head of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.