Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Now that the Muppets are back together the big question is “what’s next?” It takes some convincing from Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) but they decide to go on a grand European tour. They travel from Berlin to Madrid to Dublin and finally to London. Meanwhile mayhem follows them in the form of suspicious criminal activity that has Interpol and CIA suspecting that the Muppets are up to no good. It’s all thanks to Constantine, the world’s number one criminal master mind, who is a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog and his number two Dominic Badguy. Sadly the Muppets are oblivious to it all especially the replacement of their beloved Kermit by the disarmingly charming Constantine who gives them everything they want. Will they figure out what has happened to late or will the save the day in true Muppet fashion? Co-starring Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Ray Liotta, Jermaine Clement and Danny Trejo and countless other cameos.
It isn’t easy being green but the Muppets sure make sequels look easy when they are anything but. Muppets Most Wanted is silly fun and packed with lots of cameos – which is mostly for the adults who brought their children to see film.
The Muppet Show was one of my favorite things as a kid. My dad and I would sit and watch it together all the time. We were the hecklers…ya know the old guys in the balcony. So much fun. That is why I am glad that the latest edition in to the Muppet movie collection keeps that whimsy and fun alive. Sure it’s a bit more modern with a lot of jokes that the kiddos won’t understand but it still works. Don’t mistake me, there is nothing new in this rendition of the Muppets. It is same old same old really just revamped and revised for a new generation. You don’t go to a Muppet movie expecting greatness or thought provoking stories. You go for a few good laughs and to see those characters we all know and love. So with that in mind this one is likely to score big at the box office though perhaps not quite as big as their triumphant movie return from 2011.
The songs are alright, nothing truly memorable. It was entertaining to hear The Muppet Show opening song in Spanish during the Madrid sequence. The jokes are like the cameos frequent and not always necessary or funny but you roll with the punches because that is what the Muppets do. If I had one beef with the film it is that the story is rather complex for the younger audience. I fear quite a few parents might have to explain somethings to their kids as they leave the theater.
While Muppets Most Wanted may not be sensational it is a wholesome family film that should appeal to both the young and the old.
7/10 Stars – Definitely not a classic but still packed with loads of silly fun! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!
For those of you who did not see the first Muppets movie from 2011, go see it before you see this one. Not only is it a great film, but it sets the stage for this sequel. Right off the bat, The Muppets: Most Wanted informs us that it is not going to be as serious and well constructed as the first by having a whole musical number on making a sequel. The song is catchy and funny, but sadly right in the song itself it tells us that sequels are never as good as the first. Even though this is true, it doesn’t make The Muppets: Most Wanted a bad movie by any means. The movie from 2011 incorporated all kinds of nostalgia from the show and had songs we all know and love. Most Wanted takes the classy and respectful first movie and creates its own path of silliness and originality. If Most Wanted tried to be serious, it would be so bad that everyone would write it off and tear it to pieces, but it chooses to be ironically clever. You see, it pokes fun at itself and basically tells us, “Hey this movie is silly and stupid so laugh!” which was pretty smart idea. Unlike movies such as The Lego Movie that succeed with 1-liners, Most Wanted tells its jokes in skit form, where most of the jokes feed off the previous one. It’s like a snowball effect for jokes and I enjoyed most of them, especially the “Who has the bigger badge” gag. As far as the musical numbers, the first song I liked, but the rest I could have done without. This was the low point of the movie as none of the songs really stood out as something catchy. The cameos were fun to look for, and some were so fast that you might not even catch who the people were, like James McAvoy as the UPS delivery man. When it’s all said and done, Most Wanted is the 13-year-old teen brother to The Muppets 18-year-old adult brother. They have different feels that different audiences will take in their own ways, but at the end of the day, this is a quality fun movie that gets my recommendation.
7/10 Stars – This one is aimed more for the younger viewers compared to the 2011 film, but adults and hardcore fans will be entertained all the same!
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