I grew up with the MUPPETS in all forms and inspired by the Hensons, worked as a professional SAG Puppeteer for Film & TV for over 10 years before I retired from it to work as a Writer/Producer/Comic Book Creator.
I was excited, yet nervous when Disney relaunched the film franchise in 2011 with THE MUPPETS. But happily I found that movie absolutely delightful and certainly a MUST SEE MOVIE for kids and adults alike.
Though with that said, the track record for Muppet sequels hasn’t been exactly stellar. So once more into the fray with MUPPETS MOST WANTED…
I liked it. It’s definitely a worthy follow up, but if I’m to be completely honest, it wasn’t nearly as great as the 2011 film or 1979’s THE MUPPET MOVIE. It comes in a close third though.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED begins, literally where the first film ended (In the scene are the backs of the Jason Segel and Amy Adams body doubles). In a moment of “meta” genius, the Muppets break into a song about doing a sequel called “THE MUPPETS AGAIN” which I learned in a Q&A with the writers and director was the original title of the movie.
Kermit feels that having just got back together, the crew should strengthen their show and relationships. But when they are approached by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) to go on a world tour, the others can’t resist saying yes.
Of course, Dominic is not on the level and this is a ploy to swap Kermit out with the notorious thief Constantine. He’s the world’s number one criminal and a doppelganger for Kermit (except for a tiny mole on his right upper lip). There plan is to steal the Crown Jewels and while Kermit rots away in a Russian gulag ruled with an iron fist (but a warm heart) by Nadya (Tina Fey), the rest of the Muppets have no clue that the odd sounding Kermit is not their fearless leader.
The plot is somewhat thin and pretty much an excuse for numerous gags and jokes as well as a who’s who of movie, TV and music cameos. But that’s why you go to a Muppets’ movie. Combined with some pretty catchy songs courtesy of FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS’ Brett Mckenzie, it’s definitely entertaining.
My only gripe is that it’s a little long. At 1hr. 52min., it starts to grow a little long in the tooth, which could be problematic for younger kids. And, unlike THE MUPPETS, it doesn’t have the same emotional pull of the first one that played better with the heartstrings as well as the funny bone.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED is worth seeing and will entertain young and old. Plus there’s a great PIXAR MONSTERS UNIVERSITY short at the beginning.