Muppets Most Wanted is fun sequel to series reboot
While it may not be the groundbreaking entry in the franchise, Muppets Most Wanted offers up another welcome slice of everything Muppets fans could ask for with an adventure guaranteed to please audiences of all ages.
After getting the band back together in The Muppets, the 2011 outing that successfully revived the franchise, two-thirds of the creative team — Director/Co-writer James Bobin and co-writer Nicholas Stoller — return for this sequel, which picks right up from its predecessor’s final act.
Star/co-writer Jason Segel opted to skip this outing, which in some cases would be a major red flag, but his absence actually isn’t a big deal and brings the focus squarely back to the Muppets themselves instead of a human sidekick.
The Muppet puppeteers, as usual, so skillfully perform their characters’ gestures and movements that it’s easy to forget that someone is literally pulling the strings of Kermit, Fozzie and company and not just the handiwork of some smooth CGI.
Hot off their comeback, the Muppets meet Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), who convinces them to strike while their popularity is still hot and go on a world tour.
Kermit is a bit leery of the plan, but Dominic and the others soon convince him otherwise. Kermit’s amphibian intuition proves correct, but not quick enough as he’s replaced by Constantine, a near mirror image, who seeks to use the Muppet tour as his cover for a worldwide jewel heist.
The evil doppelganger isn’t exactly a cutting-edge plot, but it’s a lot of fun as Bobin and Stoller fully play up the idea of a sinister, dastardly version of Kermit. With his ill-placed overconfidence, struggles to perfectly mimic Kermit (specifically butchering the names of the other Muppets) and over-the-top villainy, Constantine is a winning new addition to the gang and fully steals the show.
While Constantine seeks to complete his plan, Kermit is sent to a Siberian gulag where he encounters Constantine’s old gang and the beautiful warden, Nadya (Tina Fey).
As Kermit plots his escape, an amusing subplot sees Sam the Eagle and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell, Modern Family) hot on the trail of the jewel thief.
The three main supporting cast members interact great with The Muppets, with Burrell especially being a blast in his inspired pairing with Sam.
Like any good Muppets outing, Muppets Most Wanted packed full of child-appropriate humor and enough gags to keep adults just as entertained, if not moreso.
Bret McKenzie’s songs are catchy and spirited enough to make for a nice break from the puns and sight gags. There’s also a slew of celebrity cameos, but since celebrity spotting is part of the fun with a Muppets movie, I won’t spoil them.
Bobin and Stoller commendably manage to work in at least a little fan service for each Muppet character so every audience member’s favorite has at least a little feel good moment or joke without making the extra effort feel forced.
For those Muppet fans fearing the last film was a fluke, no need to worry. Even Statler and Waldorf wouldn’t be able to find much to complain about with Muppets Most Wanted, an immensely satisfying installment.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Jay Maidment/Disney Enterprises, Inc.