The Muppets have been around a long time – about 40 years since the first pilot show and nearly 60 years since Jim Henson first created the marionette and puppet hybrid. After a bit of a hiatus, Jason Segel brought them back in 2011’s THE MUPPETS (click the link to read our review). The sequel, although there have been several other Muppet movies beforehand which the film humorously points out, MUPPETS MOST WANTED, is another fine addition to the absurdist comedy puppetry world that will surely bring a smile to your face.
Still high on their recent Muppet show revival, the group is approached by a shady agent named Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) who offers to help them take their show on a world tour. However, Badguy isn’t just a last name, it’s a life style as the number two villain in the world and is working for the number one villain, Constantine, a martial arts skilled Kermit the Frog look-a-like with a well-placed mole and a silly bad accent. Constantine frames Kermit for his bad deeds and takes his place as the leader of the muppets. The world tour is a convenient cover to steal world-wide valuable artifacts stored in museums near the shows venues. Hot on the villains trail is Jean Pierre Napoleon (Modern Family’s Ty Burrell) and Sam the Eagle. Will Fozzie, Walter, Animal, Gonzo and the rest of the gang figure out they are being led by an impostor before it’s too late? Will Kermit escape his wacky prison situation led by guard Nadia (Tina Fey)?
Director James Bobin returns at the helm for MUPPETS MOST WANTED but this time adding a writing credit along side Nicholas Stollar. Outside of the recent Muppet films, Bobin directed several episodes of Flight of the Conchords, which traces the connection with the shows stars, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, to the film’s cast and crew. McKenzie returns as the the film’s song writer (he won an Oscar for writing the Original Song, “Man or Muppet” in THE MUPPETS) while Clement has a supporting role as the Prison King. McKenzie is once again in top form, writing several catchy musical numbers for the film. My personal favorite is “I’ll Get You What You Want” sung by Constantine posing as Kermit singing to Miss Piggy.
The full muppet body shot was little more prevalent than usual, which was a bit unsettling, while the flow of the film felt a tad stilted, perhaps due to the lengthy 107-minute runtime for a family film. However, with loads of famous cameos, many of which are throw away blink and you’ll miss spots (James McAvoy), the jokes never stop in MUPPETS MOST WANTED. Of course, not all of them work, but the film still brings the charm and classic gags that one might expect from a Muppet movie.
I had heard quite a few negative comments before finally watching MUPPETS MOST WANTED. To my surprise, the film was packed with laughs through a funny little story line. It helps when your five-year-old nephew is hanging on every word of the show, tracking all the ups and downs as he giggles and stresses in hope that Kermit makes it out OK. Ultimately, he’s the one that counts and MUPPETS MOST WANTED contains just enough humor, wit and joy for adults and kids alike to enjoy.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p 1.78:1) A great looking picture that really pops with all the colorful muppet characters.
Audio: (DTS-HD HR 7.1) A great sound, especially for the musical numbers.
The Unnecessarily Extended Cut (1:59:13): About 12 minutes of added footage. I think it best to be kept shorter.
The Statler & Waldorf Cut (1:42): You can probably guess how this will go but more Statler and Waldorf is always a plus.
The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History (9:45): Well, at least it’s longer than the one for the last film. (Plus, we added these extra words to fill even more time.) This is cute. Ricky Gervais seems genuinely tickled by everything about the muppets and can’t stop laughing in every scene. Usually this comes off annoying but Gervais is so sincere in his love and appreciation of the humor that it’s actually quite sweet.
Rizzo’s biggest fan (2:47): Rizzo gets a little love for not having much of a part in the film. Too bad it’s from himself.
“I’ll Get You What You Want” Music Video Performed by Bret McKenzie (3:18): Bret McKenzie brought his ‘Flight of the Conchords’ flavor on this song and proves it more by giving this special music video.