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‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Proves A Worthy “Sequel” (Movie Review)

Muppets Most WantedI really did not know what to expect with this one having not seen anything Muppets on television or in the movies since my childhood.  I’m not entirely sure why I went that long with a Muppet-like drought, but nevertheless I did.  However, much to my surprise, Muppets Most Wanted was like a family reunion for me.  You know how you can let years past and not see extended family, but just pick things right up like nothing ever happened upon reunion?  Well, it’s simply like that.  It felt good!  As Muppets Most Wanted unfolded on the screen, I remembered all those characters like a book unravelling one is reading for the second time.  Talk about a blast from the past!  You can add wrinkles to my face, pepper my hair gray and pile me under tons of non-fun adult debt, but you can’t take away that geeky kid in me no matter how hard you try (the PlayStation 4 is evidence of that).  And best of all, Muppets Most Wanted, like the television show of my childhood, scores lots and lots of superstar cameos.  I like that!  So come on!  Let’s cut Animal loose from his chains and get this party started!

So before I get to all the stars you’ll see here, let me pause for a brief moment and tell you how ironic the name of this post really is.  I did not see the previous Muppets film, but make no mistake about it.  This one, from everything I can tell, is a direct sequel to that feature.  It even starts out talking about the success of the first film and saying hell yeah…let’s do it again as it busts into a clever little ditty, which I believe is called “The Sequel Song,” or something close to that.  In fact, one could easily call this film a narrative comedy musical as much of the “caper” tale is told through clever lyrical rhymes, song and dance.  And oh yeah, you better believe it, I loved it for that!  I’m not solely talking about the musical aspect of the whole thing, but I love how the film is so self aware of itself and how it pretty much sums up the behind the scenes shenanigans of the entertainment industry so perfectly when it comes to marketing, sequels and such.

This Disney sequel bills the likes of Ricky Gervais, who has come a very long way in his career, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey.  Just those three names alone could spell box gold for Disney’s pocketbooks, but wait!  There are so many more!  I hesitate to talk about them all since I don’t want to spoil anything here for anyone that even remotely plans to check this one out theatrically.  So maybe I’ll just drop a few names that come to mind.  Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo are the two nearest and dearest to me.  I LOVED seeing these two in here playing characters so outside their comfort zone that I just wanted to give them a standing ovation for that alone.  They both had me at hello in this feature and believe me, you’ll see enough of this dynamic duo throughout and they’ll have you in stitches.  Another big name, which I already knew about going into this press screening so hopefully it won’t come across as a spoiler is Christoph Waltz.  That guy could sell used matches to me for all I care.  However, there are so many more big, big, big names that I wish I could talk about in this paragraph, but my reviewer’s code forbids me from spoiling anything grandiose for my fan base of readers.  Let’s just say the massive lineup of cameos is out of this world fantastical ranging from name household name actors to legendary performers.  Trust me when I say you will not leave disappointed in the star power category here.  And that’s all I’ll say on the subject.  Moving on…

So let’s take a few moments to chat about what all goes down here.  I already mentioned that this is a direct sequel to the prior film.  Having never seen it, I did not feel like I missed too much as during one scene a character, whose name I won’t name in fear of divulging spoilers, blurted out about his story arc in the prior film so needless to say I felt all caught up without even having seen it before.  LOL.  However, I digress.  The main bulk of the story revolves around obviously the Muppets and their unknowing involvement in an international crime caper taking place simultaneously in the same coincidental (not) geography with their newly famed international tour across Europe.  You see, there’s this other green frog.  Yes, I am talking about a green frog other than Kermit.  His name is Constantine, and he’s the World’s Number One Criminal and basically a real life doppelgänger ( I realize that this term is not really used properly here, but instead it’s highlighted for effect in today’s generation of vampire loving teens) of Kermit’s, with the exception of a mole above his lip.  Dominic Badguy (Gervais), the Muppets tour manager, may or may not appear who he seems.  The same goes for Tina Fey’s character, Nadya, who has her own agenda in regards to her care taking of Kermit the Frog, who reluctantly gets caught up in all of this look alike business and ultimately gets framed and imprisoned in GULAG (blistery Siberia, Russia).  Will the rest of the Muppets, including Kermit’s main squeeze, Miss Piggy, figure out it’s not Kermit before it’s too late or are they all just ignorant to Animal’s supreme intellectualism?  It’s a tale of caper, mayhem, music and comedy like only the Muppets can provide in Muppets Most Wanted, and I believe kids as well as adults will get a kick out of this adventure.

Sure this movie is about the Muppets, but now let’s not dismiss the real stars of this film.  Once again, they are Ricky Gervais as Dominic Badguy, Ty Burrell as French Interpol inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon and Tina Fey as Nadya, Kermit’s GULAG officer handler in the prison he’s sentenced too.  Each of these three shine in their own respect here.  Let’s face the facts here or even the music as Tina and Ricky so gracefully do in this feature.  It’s not easy taking a role like this serious or interacting with non-animate puppets and/or cues, but that’s exactly what each of these three did so convincingly.  With the exception of the cute, furry and familiar puppets onscreen, you almost forget you are watching a real life cartoon unfold, for lack of a better term.  These three actors were the peanut butter, jelly and bread of this show that just so happened to contain everyone’s favorite Muppet characters.  For this reason and so many more that I could go on and on and list here (don’t worry I won’t), I whole heartedly recommend the Muppets Most Wanted to kids, parents and families alike that have either grown up with the Muppets in their past or want to pass this enjoyment onto the new generations of Muppets fan.  Family experiences like this can’t be had too often so you need to realize the good ones and embrace them when you can.  Enjoy folks!  I did!

Muppets Most Wanted Poster

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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