The Muppets returned to the big screen this past Friday, but do they have the same flare they brought with them back in 2011? To make a long story short, for the most part “Muppets Most Wanted” gets the job done but leaves audiences wanting a little more.
When “The Muppets” movie came out two years ago it was great to see all the old characters reunited again with a strong cast and great story. It brought the innocence and adventure of the Muppets to a new generation, while still holding true to its roots. When all was said and done, there was no surprise that a sequel would be inevitable.
“Muppets Most Wanted” picked up right at the end of its predecessor; the end of the first film is the first two words in the second movie. Coming off of a successful movie, the Muppets are the next hottest item, and with their success they decide to take the show on a world tour, which ends up being just Europe. An “international” show is exactly what the Muppets need, at least according to Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), their new manager. With a little hesitation from Kermit, an almost unanimous vote leads the Muppets off to Europe. A prison break, a body switch and a few robberies later, the Muppets come together and find that while they set out as a family, fame has a way of changing people and it can’t always get you what you want or need.
We get a nice twist when Constantine, evil Kermit with a mole and a Russian accent, comes into the picture. Kermit ends up in prison and Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell), a French Interpol agent, and Sam the Eagle, now a CIA agent, are on the trail of the mysterious thief known as The Lemur. From the start the audience can see where the movie will be going: Kermit has everyone’s best interest at heart, while the other Muppets aren’t as mindful of their leader, but in the end they see the error of their ways and the Muppets become a family again.
Burrell and Sam the Eagle were great together. Burrell brings the goofy, fatherly charm that he is known for on “Modern Family,” and Sam is Patriotic and stern as always. They play off each other incredibly well and are one of the funnier aspects of the movie.
While the Muppets unknowingly travel Europe with Constantine, Kermit is locked up with some of the world’s worst criminals and Nadya (Tina Fey), the strict guard with a soft spot in her heart for our little green frog.
The movie didn’t have any big laugh-out-loud moments. That being said, I found myself chuckling throughout most of it. It would also have been nice to see more of Walter, the newest Muppet introduced in the last movie, throughout instead of rising to prominence in the end. Story-wise, I understand why Walter was marginalized; it is a big Kermit and Miss Piggy movie and focuses on where they and the rest of the Muppets will go after their big adventures.
The music stood out with an impressive score. The script itself could have been a bit cleaner; However, the jokes were funny but nothing too hilarious. but the music really had that Muppet charm to it. If you like the Muppets then I would completely recommend watching the newest installment. However, if you hate puppets, a somewhat strong human cast, catchy songs and more cameos than I can count (nod to Zach Galifianakis and Tom Hiddleston for unexpected cameos), then maybe “Muppets Most Wanted” just isn’t for you.