Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most WantedKermit (Steve Whitmire) and the gang are still performing their variety act. Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) comes to the troupe and offers to take them on a world tour. After some pressure from the rest of the Muppets, Kermit accepts the offer. The tour takes them to such sites as Berlin, Madrid, and London.

Unbeknownst to the Muppets, there is a frog named Constantine (Matt Vogel) who looks remarkably like Kermit. Constantine is being held in a maximum security prison in the Ukraine under the watch of prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey). Constantine manages to break out of the gulag and swaps places with Kermit.

As the Muppets continue their world tour, none of them notice that Kermit has been replaced by Constantine. Coincidentally, everywhere they tour, a break-in occurs next door to the theater where they are performing. Inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) of InterPol and Sam Eagle (Eric Jacobson) of the CIA are assigned to the case. They begin to suspect the Muppets as the perpetrators of the heists and try to make a case against them.

Will the Muppets be able to stop Constantine and rescue Kermit before they are arrested?

I have been watching the Muppets for as long as I can remember. They have always been a staple in my life. It is good quality fun. This latest romp is a little different from the Muppets that I remember.

To start with, even though the Muppets have always been a musical act, I find Muppets Most Wanted to be a little too musical for me. It seems the scenes between the songs are getting shorter. They jump from song to song, with very little interlude. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if done properly. I just found it as a way to cheat around actual story telling.

That said, it wasn’t a terrible movie. In fairness, I haven’t seen 2011’s The Muppets with Amy Adams and Jason Segel. From what I’ve heard, however, that movie was a bit of a disappointment. Muppets Most Wanted starts off by reminding you that it is a sequel. And that sequels are never quite as good as the original. There is an entire opening number about this fact, full of cameos. (As is the whole movie. I won’t spoil any surprises by revealing all the cameos. I will tell you that most of the kids won’t appreciate how out of character some of them are, though. Especially the other prisoners in the gulag.) I have a hard time believing this sequel isn’t as good as the original, again, given what I have heard. Of course, this is ignoring the previous 7 or so movies to which the “original” would be considered a sequel.

The plot is fairly obvious and it is easy to figure out who is involved with the villainous plot. That is to be expected, though, as this is a movie aimed at younger kids. Having too many twists and bad guys who aren’t as obvious wouldn’t play out well for the intended audience.

Of the few live characters we see, most of them are over the top caricatures. Ricky Gervais acts exactly as one would expect Ricky Gervais to act. Tina Fey’s gulag warden is obsessed with putting on her annual prisoner monologue. She gets in her share of the jokes, and does so with her great comedic timing. Ty Burrell, whom I love, as a French InterPol agent, is the exact opposite of Sam Eagle’s CIA agent. The majority of his role pokes fun at the differences in how Europeans do things compared to how Americans do. It gets a little repetitive at times, but it works. Again, the film is directed at younger children who need more obvious jokes. Although, I think even a lot of these jokes will go over their heads.

Overall, Muppets Most Wanted, while not exactly being the Muppets I know and love, is a fun film to take the family to. It is fun to introduce them to something that has been a mainstay in my life and watch them enjoy it.

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