[Review] Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

muppets_most_wantedAfter the successful rebirth of THE MUPPETS with the 2011 film, a sequel has naturally made its way to us in the form of MUPPETS MOST WANTED. The Muppets are indeed back, winning over new fans and pleasing the old ones. This new film definitely has the old Muppet feel, with a flavour to attract and keep in new younger viewers. It is a very different film than its predecessor, and it needed to be, to offer something different for audiences. But is this new film successful? It is … naturally!

As a life long Muppets fan, I was excited for the 2011 film and it delivered on all fronts. This sequel as I mentioned is quite different, but it still has that Muppet flare. It is a perfect family film because there is something in it for everyone. I saw this with my 4 year old niece who laughed a lot (when she wasn’t asleep) and I laughed at the gags that she didn’t (Ingmar Bergman reference anyone?). This time around we pick up where the previous film left off, the gang are all back together and before they can even have a chance to breathe, a new man enters their life Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) who wants to put the Muppets on a world tour. At the same time in a Russian prison the world’s most dangerous frog Constantine escapes and makes his way to Dominic Badguy. The pair have an evil plan, and Constantine looking like Kermit (aside from a mole) switches places with him. The other muppets despite the obvious clues don’t suspect anything and Kermit ends up in the Russian prison. Can kermit get back to his friends before Constantine and his side kick cause too much trouble?

This film has a very fun storyline, the character of Constantine is hilarious, his accent (which sounds nothing like Kermit’s) is worthy of lots of giggles, especially as he tries to act like Kermit. It seems odd that the other muppets wouldn’t guess that something is up but Constantine gives them all want they basically want, freedom in their performances, attention to Miss Piggy and with those distracting them they don’t suspect anything. Kermit on the other hand with a fake mole he can’t get off of his face can’t seem to convince anything of who he is, and the Russian guard Nadya (Tina Fey) seems to have taken a liking to him. The other aspect here is the law enforcement who need to figure out who is doing the crimes committed by Constantine and Dominic Badguy, with one of those being Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell). There is a lot going on and a lot to enjoy, with cameo’s aplenty (Tom Hiddelston, Lady Gaga, Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta, WWE’s Hornswoggle ect), and jokes that obviously break the 4th forth wall that usually hit the mark.

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The film is not without it’s flaws though, and having Kermit separated from the group for most of the film is its biggest one. Kermit is the heart and soul of the muppets and without him with them, it did leave a big hole. Constantine and his wackyness didn’t entirely fill that void, but it was necessary for the story, and I understand that. The eventual reunion (not exactly a spoiler, the film is predictable, which is part of it’s charm) is however even sweeter because Kermit has been separated for so long. The characters are all a lot of fun, some perhaps I would have liked to have seen more of (like Gonzo) but we did get to have newbie Walter in this and he fits in so well, as well as Fozzy, who had some great scenes. The positives here do out weight the negatives, having fun is the most important part of a muppets film.

The cast really fitted their roles well, and they had a lot of fun, actors like Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey don’t take themselves seriously and this fitted with their characters and it worked. The puppetry work and voice work for the muppets was top notch as always, the chemistry is there with them and it’s funny to say because they are puppet characters. Perhaps not having Jason Segal on board was a blow, but the team did their best to deliver a film they felt was worthy of the legacy. Honestly, you can do a lot worse with a muppet film. This is a highly enjoyable family film and it is best viewed with a group because you can have fun with it.

Rating:
StarRating-03-5

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