Muppets Most Wanted
Another Muppet Caper
Everybody’s favorite puppets are back in a sequel to their successful 2011 comeback film. Never ones to be afraid of breaking the fourth wall, the movie opens with a musical number about them making a sequel. As Dr. Bunsen Honeydew points out in that number, this is not the first Muppets sequel. In fact, this could actually be considered the seventh sequel to the original The Muppet Movie that came out back in 1979. Like the first sequel to that movie, The Great Muppet Caper, this sequel also revolves around a heist.
After the opening musical number, the Muppets must decide what to do next now that they are in the public spotlight again. Encouraged by a suspicious man named Dominic Badguy (hmm…) who claims to be a tour manager, the Muppets decide to embark on a world tour. The tour begins in Berlin and while taking a walk through the streets, Kermit is mistaken for Constantine, a wanted criminal and the world’s most dangerous frog. Kermit is whisked off to a Russian Gulag where he can only hope his Muppet compatriots will come to rescue him.
Unfortunately, Kermit’s friends do not realize he is gone because he has been replaced by the look-a-like Constantine. As it turns out, Constantine is partnering with Dominic in an effort to steal the Crown Jewels of England. They manage to book the Muppets tour into venues adjacent to the museums and banks where their heists will take place culminating with a wedding in the Tower of London. Will the Muppets discover the plot in time to rescue Kermit and prevent the dastardly crime? Well, this is a Muppets movie, so it probably won’t be endangered by spoilers.
The Muppets are very up front about their movie, reminding us in the opening musical number that this is a sequel and sequels are rarely as good as the original. Muppets Most Wanted is not as good as its predecessor, but that is less of a knock on this movie and more of a compliment to the previous film. The 2011 film had the advantage of being a comeback film that not only introduced a whole new generation to these popular characters, but also paid loving tribute to their history, which was appreciated by the legions of Muppets fans already out there.
Despite the shadow cast by its predecessor, Muppets Most Wanted manages to be very entertaining in its own right. The song-and-dance numbers are catchy and fun, the heist plot is cheesy but effective, and the sense of humor is consistent with what made these characters so loveable in the first place.
Although the Muppets are the real stars of the show, the film also benefits by having a talented group of comedic actors in the human roles. Ricky Gervais makes for a playful Muppet villain as Dominic, while Tina Fey shows off some pretty good singing pipes as Nadya, the warden of the Russian Gulag where Kermit is held. Ty Burrell is also funny as the French Interpol agent who teams up with Sam the Eagle’s CIA agent to investigate the burglaries. Of course, the movie is also filled from beginning to end with celebrity cameos, which can make for a fun identity game within the movie.
Muppets Most Wanted is a welcome addition to the Muppets canon and should delight its intended audience… that being fans of the rascally puppets both young and old.
Muppets Most Wanted is rated PG for “some mild action.” This is exactly what you would expect from a Muppets movie.
Courtesy of a local publicist, Jeff attended a promotional screening of Muppets Most Wanted.