It’s amazing that it took so long for another “Muppets” film to hit the big screen. For 2011’s “The Muppets” was the first theatrical released film since 1999’s “Muppets from Space”. It was an unexpected hit across all boards with critics and audiences and even big box office returns. A sequel was unavoidable and with it we get “Muppets Most Wanted”. The new film is decidedly a bit childish and will please the young ones and may run a bit too long for its own benefit. There is enough clever humor and fun moments for older audiences to be able to sit through and enjoy as well.
Now on a grand tour, The Muppets find themselves under a new manager who is not who he claims to be. He instead has a plan to steal millions in jewelry with the Kermit look alike, Constantine. Who has taken Kermit’s place in the group sending the real Kermit to the Gulag.
The movie picks up right where the first one left off. Quite literally as a matter of fact, right where “the end” shows on the screen. That is literally the first shot of the film. The sequel has a very self aware attitude (at least in the beginning) of knowing it’s a sequel and takes many shots at sequels. It was very clever of the filmmakers to go that route, in the beginning. Not long after that it loses that attitude that was so charming. Never the less the film presses on and this plot is obviously more directed at children. The robbery plot just feels like a children’s plot for a children’s movie. Being a Muppets movie you expect it to be more aimed towards kids but Muppets is for everyone and I do wish the filmmakers tried a little hard making the plot a little less cartoony. However it is what it is and it’s not bad either, certainly watchable and at times fun.
There is actually quite a bit going on here in the film. Kermit in prison is a fun subplot that always delivers on some fun. There is another subplot involving “Modern Family” star and newcomer to the franchise Ty Burrell as a deviously over the top French inspector. Some of it causes the script to lose focus but never the less it does provide many laughs along the way.
The thing this film does best is make you laugh. Although there aren’t many jokes that will cause your stomach to hurt with pain, the movie will consistently make you laugh and chuckle throughout the film. Slapstick, satirical, innuendo, carefully selective word play, and classic Muppets being Muppets, if nothing else this film will make you laugh.
Like the first one there is musical numbers. Many of them were well done and very fun to sit through. None are particularly memorable but they do serve their purpose in the story and entertain us as viewers. None will be heard on the radio like “Let it Go” from “Frozen” but after each song you’ll “that was cute and fun.”
It is curious that none of the main human actors from the original came back in this film. In here we get newcomers to the franchise, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell. Rickey Gervais plays the main bad guy and is funny as he always is. Tina Fey is easily the best out of the three playing head of the Russian gulag prison. Also the aforementioned Ty Burrell is fun and delivers on many of the film’s funniest moments.
When it comes down to it the film is entertaining. Although settling for a more childish and cartoony route, the movie does provide a consistent level of jokes and humor with three excellent human actors joining the fold. The movie does run to long, the movie dragged on for about 10-15 minutes. The musical numbers were fun if not practically memorable. Kids will find the most fun out of this experience but it is good enough for adults to enjoy. Hopefully Statler and Waldorf don’t tear my review apart.