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Film Review – The Muppets: Most Wanted

2 min read

The Muppets: Most Wanted opens immediately after the conclusion of the 2011 reboot of the beloved Muppets series. The filmmakers quickly dispense of the charming duo Jason Segal and Amy Adams and introduce Ricky Gervais as the not-so-ironically named Dominic Badguy. He encourages the reinvigorated Muppets team to embark on a world tour. Little do they know, Badguy is actually the minion of Constantine, a Russian supervillian and doppelganger for Kermit the Frog who has recently escaped from a Russian gulag. Naturally, poor Kermit is apprehended and thrown back into the gulag, under the strict (and adoring) command of Tina Fey’s Nadya.

Meanwhile, Constantine assimilates into the group (with barely any of the Muppets members batting an eyelid) and joins with Badguy to steal precious art from museums neighbouring the Muppet’s performance venues in Berlin, Madrid and Dublin. This is all part of Constantine’s grand plan that is due to culminate in the robbery of the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Ty Burrell makes a comical appearance as a laconic Interpol agent, and a whole cast of cameos will keep audiences both surprised and amused; particular highlights being Kermit’s fellow gulag prisoners and Miss Piggy’s debut with her diva idol.

MUPPETS MOST WANTED

The film plays like a globe-hopping adventure ala Bond, and a playful subversion of the Hitchcockian ‘Wrong Man’ scenario. Unfortunately, it does not reach the comedic heights of its predecessor. The first song of the film gleefully describes how film sequels are never as good as the original. Considering it seems to be a self-imposed, self-fulfilling prophecy I am not particularly sure how to feel about this reference.  Are they trying to prove the point whilst remaining irreproachable? I am not convinced. The Muppets have, and always will be, devilishly self-referential, but it just seems arbitrary and lazy this time around. That said, even a disappointing Muppets film is not bad at all. The filmmakers raised the bar quite high with the previous reboot and the characters here still have all their charming idiosyncrasies. Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell each add their deft comedic touch and it is enjoyable to watch them loose themselves in the absurdity. The Muppets Most Wanted will certainly satisfy fans of the series, young and old, but the film is just not a strong enough vehicle for the enduring ensemble.

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