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Muppets Most Wanted



muppets most wantedReviewer: Luke Walkley

Director:  James Bobin

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell Steve Whitmire (Kermit) Eric Jacobsen (Miss Piggy)

Released: 28th March 2014 (UK)

After The Muppets embark on a world tour following the success of the first movie, Kermit is replaced by a look-a-like master criminal, Constantine and it sent to a Siberian prison in his place. Under the watchful eye of Nadya (Fey) Kermit is unable to help his friends as Constantine and Dominic (Gervais) plan the ultimate heist in London, using the Muppets tour as a cover-up.

The Muppets franchise has never taken itself seriously, which when you’re a comedy starring puppets, is probably the best approach. With this in mind the 2012 film was a big success and for the first time in years, fans of The Muppet’s hey-day were able to bring their children to enjoy a genuinely funny and entertaining movie.  With snappy lines, a solid plot and most importantly of all, original and hilarious songs.

The Muppets Most Wanted had a lot to live up to and they knew it – during the first song, reference is made to the fact that sequels are never as good as the originals – and so, Muppets Most Wanted set itself up for a fall.

It all begins rather well, continuing where the last movie finished on the street with the mass encore, everyone goes home and The Muppets are left wondering – what next? Enter Dominic Badguy (Gervais) who plants the idea that a world tour should be the next step and offers to be the tour manager – offering the Muppets what they think they want, they convince Kermit to agree and the wheels are in motion.

The plot is a decent way of progressing the story along to the finale as The Muppets move from Country to Country and Dominic and Constantine pull off a series of robberies in readiness for the final job – but it becomes rather stagnant. The Muppets move, there’s a few songs and a robbery and then they move again. All the while cutting back to Kermit in Siberia where he spends his days teaching Nadya’s inmates, who include Danny Trejo and Ray Liotta, how to sing.

The film provides a few moments of inspired comedy, causing the adults in the audience to laugh out loud on occasion, myself included. However these moments are too thinly spread over the almost two hour running time. It also seemed a little dull for the children it is aimed at – there’s a lot of dialogue to sift through and the slapstick moments that The Muppets usually include are limited to a few scenes mainly involving the bumbling lab assistant, Beaker.

The songs are a big step down from the original and this is Muppets Most Wanted’s biggest flaw – the only song to come close to anything from the original is the ‘Interrogation Song’ by Sam Eagle and Ty Burrell’s character, bumbling Interpol agent, Jean Pierre. However, Oscar-winning standard like ‘Man or Muppet’ it is not.

Jason Segel and Amy Adams really set the bar high for the sequel and it is Ty Burrell who becomes the most regular source of entertainment. Ricky Gervais fails to make an impression in a leading role in such a big film. His scenes are mixed with his usual wittiness, it’s just unfortunate that he plays out more like David Brent-gone-bad than anything more…original (I make reference to David Brent as he effectively recreates the dance during his song) I’m a massive fan of Gervais’ and felt this was his chance to steal the show, but he unfortunately missed the mark. The cameos were also a little wasted, Danny Trejo and Ray Liotta were gifted the most screen-time, but others such as Chloe Moretz and Stanley Tucci could have been utilised far more than the few seconds they appear for.

The Muppets Most Wanted is not a ‘bad’ film it’s just a far cry from it’s predecessor which provided much hope for the franchise. There will be more sequels and I look forward to seeing them, but a new approach is needed if Kermit and Co want to be back among the big-time.


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