When The Muppets returned a couple of years ago, it provided fans of the original television series and movies with a fantastic film that both paid tribute to what made the franchise great as well as giving new fans a fun and smart movie that hopefully won over a new generation of kids.
The Muppets Most Wanted starts off when the last movie ended. Literally. The movie starts at the last note of the final song from that movie and then all the extras are sent home. The Muppets are left alone to figure out what to do next and then break out into a song about making a sequel.
One of the lines is that the sequels are never as good as the first movie, and in this case it was a warning as much as a clever use of words. The Muppets Most Wanted is not a bad movie by any means, but it is nowhere near as good as the first movie and has too many let downs to be anything more than an average Muppet caper.
The plot sees an agent named Dominic Badguy (pronounced Bad-G) convince the Muppets to take their show on a world tour. He then convinces them that they should play a very large venue, something that Kermit the Frog is against because he knows they are not big enough to sell it out. However, they do sell it out and it looks like their tour is off to a great start.
However, Kermit never sees it because he is tricked by Dominic into taking a walk to clear his head and is soon attacked by Constantine, a frog that looks exactly like Kermit, except with a black mole. Constantine slaps a mole with glue on it onto Kermit’s face and then escapes. The police show up, assume that Kermit is Constantine, and arrest him, taking him to the Gulag in Russia. At this point, Constantine takes Kermit’s place (using green makeup to cover the mole) and it turns out he and Dominic are master criminals and are robbing various locations that happen to be next door to where the Muppets are putting on their shows.
Meanwhile, Kermit is in prison and agrees to help the prison guard Nadya (Tina Fey) put on a stage show for the guards. Ty Burrell also stars as a French detective named Napoleon who teams with the FBI agent played by Sam the Eagle, the two men trying to figure out who is in charge of the robberies.
Honestly, there is a lot to the story of this movie, and it is a fun story at times. However, at heart, this is a musical and there are a number of huge song and dance numbers throughout the movie. Honestly, you should probably buy this soundtrack. But, be warned. Most of the songs are great but others just seem to drag the movie to a dead halt due to uninspired lyrics and a seemingly out of left field addition to the movie.
That is the main problem. The bad songs don’t move the plot and are just there to try to have another creative song. These songs are what drags this movie down more than anything else. Plus, the camaraderie between the Muppets from the first movie is missing here. This movie is all about Kermit and Constantine (and Dominic), and the rest of the Muppets are really just set dressing.
The biggest downfall to this movie is that the Muppets themselves are afterthoughts. That is unforgivable.
Now, one thing that you can’t miss out on in this movie is the cameos. There are so many recognizable faces in this movie and the most fun you will have at the movie is trying to catch them all.
There are the obvious ones, such as Christoph Waltz and Salma Hayek who starred as guests on their world tour. There was also great faces in the prison with Kermit, including prisoners like Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta, Jemaine Clement and Hornswoggle, as well as a maximum security prisoner voiced by Josh Groban. Plus, Ty Burrell is just fantastic as Napoleon, especially playing off Sam the Eagle.
Here are more blink and you miss them cameos that you should watch out for: Stanley Tucci, Saoirse Ronan, Usher, Diddy, Chloe Grace Moretz, James McAvoy, Frank Langella, Toby Jones and Tom Hiddleston. There is also some fun stuff from Zach Galifianakis and a wonderful running joke about Celine Dion.
Here is the bottom line: The Muppets Most Wanted is a funny movie at times with some really good songs and fantastic cameos. However, it also has some really bad songs, spots of stupid humor and a lack of care about The Muppets themselves. Be warned and know what you want to see before choosing to see this movie.