Muppets Most Wanted

Director: James Bobin

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Sam Eagle, Animal

Rated: PG (Some mild action)

 

While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.

 

Muppets Most Wanted

By Cole Schneider

The opening song for “Muppets Most Wanted” gleefully declares that everyone knows sequels are never as good. I didn’t realize at the time this was such heavy foreshadowing. The 2011 Muppet reboot was unrelenting fun and to expect this years model to top it would be unreasonable, but “Muppets Most Wanted” fails on its own terms.

It’s not that none of the songs are as memorable as “Man or Muppet”, it’s that the songs are utterly forgettable. It’s not that none of the acting is as magnetic as Jason Segel and Amy Adams were, it’s that the acting is almost completely void of heart. It’s not that the script wasn’t brimming with humor like the recent reboot was, it’s that we have to ensure several long segments of dead air.

The film, which follows the Muppets as led by an evil Kermit doppelgänger named Constaintine and his number 2, aptly named Badguy (Ricky Gervais) on a world tour that plays shows at venues next to museums that Constantine and Badguy rob. It’s the Muppets take on James Bond and while it’s much more Muppets than 007, it’s more boring than either.

“Muppets Most Wanted” isn’t a complete failure and when it’s funny it’s very funny–in that unique Muppets kind of way. There are some great gags and some fun cameos. When the two mix, such as when we see prisoners (including “Prison King” Jemaine Clement, “Big Papa” Ray Liotta, and Danny Trejo as himself) singing Boys II Men with the gusto of a teen girl from the 90s, the joy is tangibly wonderful.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Muppets Most Wanted

By Matt Greene

Being a sequel is hard. Being a sequel to a successful franchise reboot largely based on nostalgia is harder. Muppets Most Wanted has this to overcome. It’s not the labor of love the last film was and suffers from worrying about plot more than jokes.  However, MMW will definitely quench any Muppet fan’s thirst. The innocence, wit, and anarchy we have come to love in Kermit and the gang is present, making for a fun outing of sweet comedy.

MMW picks up right where the last film ended…literally. The Muppets immediately break the fourth wall and play with the meta humor they revel in, singing about being in a sequel. In this story, Kermit is captured and replaced by a wonderfully comic doppelganger, Constantine, who uses the Muppets as a front for evildoings.

The cameos we’ve come to expect do not disappoint. Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo bring their hard-personas to the comic table, singing and dancing through their rugged exteriors. Fey nails the hard-nosed Russian prison guard, and Burrell’s pairing with Sam the Eagle is utterly inspired. Gervais is the only dull knife in the box, never seeming to fully buy in to the Muppet world.

Sure, the plot is a bit heavy and could benefit from some tightening, and the self-awareness doesn’t completely forgive the deficits, but these shortfalls far from ruin the fun. This isn’t the monumental victory the 2010 reboot was, and may be among the Muppet’s lesser efforts, but the smiles it will bring are undeniable.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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