A rewatch for me but it's been 10+ years so wanted to see how the comedy holds up - 15 year-old Will found this thing hilarious. Still a fun watch but not a "classic" comedy as I thought it had the potential to be in my nostalgic mind's eye.
Most of the laughs fall into a few categories: physical comedy that comes from the puppets awkwardness, parodying the action genre, pop culture / celebrity references, ethnic stereotypes, and gross out gags. Still fun stuff but it doesn't hold up like a DUMB AND DUMBER might - with a strong emotional core, situational comedy, or other strong comedic frameworks that have more lasting power.
Most of the fun here lies in the visualization of puppets as action heroes, elaborate sets, and visual gags that come along with it - destroying national monuments, killing celebrities, using cats as panthers, puppet sex, and lots of vomit. Seeing the strings of the puppets is a nice constant reminder that says 'hey, loosen up. this is all a joke.'
On a structural note, the story was well paced and the mid-point was a low point for the protagonist, which I don't tend to see (or recognize) as often.
Glad I revisited but I don't think I need to see it again until next decade.