“Muppets Most Wanted” Lacks To Deliver
By LaDale Anderson
Mar 28, 2014 - 6:44:54 AM

HOLLYWOOD—Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Yes, the kooky bunch of puppets that dominated the television waves for years, but has now moved to the big screen in hopes of keeping that magic going. Their latest foray “Muppets Most Wanted” is a sequel to the 2011 film “The Muppets.” This time around the gang finds themselves involved in an international caper scheme. It’s a different direction for the series that borders a slightly darker tone.


The movie is not all Muppet driven, as Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell lend their comic chops to deliver laughs to the audience. Gervais portrays dubious talent manager Dominic Badguy, who delivers suggestions to the Muppet crew on what their next task should be. The biggest twist in the picture is the revelation that Kermit the Frog has a double. His name is Constantine, who is notorious as being the world’s biggest criminal.

Ricky Gervais and the Muppets in "Muppets Most Wanted."


On their tour throughout Europe, the gang decides to play at a top-notch venue, but the constant demands from Miss Piggy and the other Muppets causes the calm headed Kermit to venture off and find himself a target of Constantine and locked behind bars. Constantine’s ability to mesh with the rest of the crew is unnoticed by all, except for that one kooky Animal, who smells an imposter from miles away.


The biggest problem with this installment is it’s not as funny as previous Muppets films. It seems a bit jumbled together. The idea of a double is an interesting narrative to say the least, but the writers fail to drive the narrative in a direction that stays interesting for the viewer. Gervais is a treat as the bad guy, while Fey’s prison guard role just comes across as a bit unnecessary. I think the limit of actual human characters immersed in the Muppet action takes away from the live version being more compelling not just for the children, but for the adults themselves.


While plenty of big-time names appear in the feature including Lady Gaga, Christoph Waltz, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Ray Liotta, James McAvoy and Stanley Tucci to name a few, their roles are such bit pieces, the audience barely remembers them being in the movie.  With the success of 2011’s “The Muppets,” those entering this sequel expecting it to be a step above its predecessor may be slightly disappointed.


“Muppets Most Wanted” delivers some laughs, but nothing on the scale that audiences have come to expect from America’s favorite puppets.

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