Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic.
Release date: March 21, 2014 (USA)
Director: James Bobin
Running time: 112 minutes
MPAA rating: PG
Screenplay: James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais
Muppets Most Wanted is the follow-up to Disney’s The Muppets. It is the perfect follow-up thanks to the efforts of James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller and Bret McKenzie. After being on the shelf for a very long time, Disney’s The Muppets needed to reinvigorate and reintroduce the Muppets to a new generation of fans. It successfully recreated the charm and nostalgia of the original Muppets and at the same time modernize them for a contemporary audience.
Rightly, Muppets Most Wanted needed to take the Muppets in the different direction. While Disney’s the Muppets brought back the heart and emotion of the Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted reintroduces new fans to the entertainers that are the Muppets. Specifically showing us that the Muppets are funny, zany and musical.
Muppets Most Wanted is a silly plot, when Kermit is replaced by international criminal, Constantine. Thus, three plots are introduced: an international crime committed by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), Constantine and investigators Sam the Eagle and Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell), an international variety tour managed by fake Kermit with Walter as the only Muppet that cares about the quality of the show and finally, Kermit trying to survive in a Russian Gulag by directing the Gulag’s annual Prisoner Broadway revue.
As seen in the Lady Gaga special, the Muppets can not succeed on their name alone. They will only succeed thanks to good writing and the creative team of James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller and Bret McKenzie. The very beginning of the movie is an acknowledgment that this is a sequel to Disney’s The Muppets (and it’s also the seventh sequel of the Muppet Movie). In the opening number proclaim that people want a sequel even if it’s not as good as the original.
Bobin can also manage the three plots at an entertaining pace. Bret McKenzie is showing that he is worthy to join Paul Williams as the elite Muppet songwriter. Wierdly, Muppets Most Wanted is Disney’s only entrant in the Best Music category of the Oscar and as good as the songs are, Disney may not have a nomination this year due to the comedic nature of each song. The best song is “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” as sung by Constantine to Miss Piggy.
Another hallmark of the Muppet movies is the countless celebrity cameos. And there are countless celebrity cameos to the point that I did not know everyone who appeared in this movie. For example, who was the ballet dancer? As many as there were, the cameos did not go unwasted. Only the Muppets can make the Usher as an usher joke. That one joke could have gone horribly wrong.
James Bobin is two for two with his leadership over the Muppet franchise. The world will be excited to see if he can make it three out of three.