Movie Reviews

Published on March 21st, 2014 | by Genevieve Mc Bride

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Muppets Most Wanted

It was nostalgia and curiousity that made the Muppets successful return to the big screen in 2011 such a hit. Parents wanted to introduce their kids to the dysfunctional entertainers of their childhood, and the adults who grew up on the Muppets wanted to see if the crazy bunch could still make them laugh. With the help of celebrity cameos and catchy parodies of popular songs, I remember thoroughly enjoying the Muppets’ comeback.

Three years in real time means just a few seconds in Muppet-land. Muppets Most Wanted begins where the last movie ended. Riding high on their successful return to stage, the Muppets are approached by a promoter named Dominic Badguy. played by Ricky Gervais, who convinces the Muppets to take their show on a worldwide tour. Despite his misgivings, Kermit agrees and soon the gang is traveling across the Atlantic.
Of course, no surprise Badguy has ulterior motives, which involve switching Kermit with an imprisoned doppelganger named Constantine, the word’s most dangerous frog. He and Kermit are identical, except for a mole Constantine must hide to trick Kermit’s friends into believing he’s Kermit, because his awkward American accent isn’t a dead giveaway at all. With awful accents themselves, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey play a French detective and a Russian prison warden who provide some of the human comic relief.
Riddled with funny moments and entertaining musical numbers, this sequel meets the expectations of most sequels. Even the Muppets know sequels are rarely as good as the original – they even sing about it. The movie has the silly capers and signature acts the Muppets know how to deliver, which will keep the kids entertained. The curiousity factor may not motivate, and nostalgic feelings may have waned a bit, but like its predecessor, the revolving door of celebrity cameos is what will keep the adults interested.
3 out of 5
Review by Barnetty Kushner

Muppets Most Wanted is the eighth big screen Muppets adventure, which carries the warmth and charm that we come to find with the Jim Henson created lovable characters. What sets this film apart from the 2011 reboot “Muppet Movie,” is that the characters are the forefront of the entire story and their human counterparts serve as secondary.

This time they are no longer worried about reuniting or trying to reintroduce themselves, the Muppets are on a world tour with their new Tour Manager, Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). Dominic arranges a European tour for the Muppets with the ulterior motive of trying to replace Kermit with a look-a-like frog named Constantine, a wanted criminal who escapes prison and uses the Muppet tour as a cover to stage a multi-national heist ultimately ending with stealing the crown jewels. While Constantine attempts to play the role of ‘head muppet ‘, poor Kermit gets whisked away to the gulag, a maximum security prison located in Siberia, Russia where he has to contend with the warden, Nadya (Tina Fey). Due to Kermit’s good hearted nature and excellent stage show management skills, the prisoners and Nadya quickly realize that Kermit is not Constantine and forces him to direct the prison’s annual “Gulag Review.”

Even though the storyline is a bit drab, the production numbers are epic-from the “everybody knows a sequel is never quite as good” opener, the Miss Piggy/Celion Dion duet number, to the Siberian prisoners 1980’s Chorus Line show stopping dance sequence. In true Muppets tradition, this movie is peppered with dozens of amusing celebrity cameos along with a spirited stew of wordplay, slapstick comedic jokes. You can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia back the days from your childhood of waking up Saturday mornings and watching “The Muppet Show.” Kids will enjoy the movie, adults will laugh out loud at all the bad puns, and hopefully in the end they will have succeeded in connecting the new generation to the charm of the Muppets, in a world more that is more familiar with CGI and 3-D animation.

 

3.5/5


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