Review: Muppets Most Wanted


Director:James Bobin

Cast:Kermit, Miss. Piggy, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell

Running Time:112.00


Even Muppets Most Wanted acknowledges early on that a sequel is often inherently less than its predecessor. Luckily, it's not a big step down. This new Muppet movie can't match the original's effervescence, so the writers give it more plot than it needs.

Still, that's just fine because there are just as many glorious musical numbers and corny jokes this time around. The story goes like this: Constantine, a criminal who happens to look just like Kermit, breaks out of prison and rendezvous with Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), who's leading the Muppets on a European tour. All the stops just happen to be right across the street from museums filled with valuable work for Constantine and Dominic to steal.

Meanwhile, Kermit has been mistaken for Constantine and thrown into a Siberian gulag. And who better to play the sadistic warden than, uh, Tina Fey? Of course this is stunt casting, but Tina Fey can pull off anything (well, the accent is questionable). Her number about the prison's accommodations was a highlight for me. Her love of musicals"”and Kermit"”finds our beloved frog forced to direct the annual prison musical. 

This gives the film a great showcase for the parallel revues: the out-of-control tour and the warts-and-all show at the prison. Both are train wrecks, but in different ways. I mean, you've got Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo singing "God, I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line. How many other movies would ever give you that? 

Muppets Most Wanted could have stood to lose about 20 minutes. I didn't need another scene of Dominic and Constantine tunneling underneath the theater. I needed another catchy number like "Welcome to the Big House." And I wanted more scenes with Sam the Eagle as a CIA agent trying to upstage Ty Burrell as an INTERPOL officer. Their American-vs.-French bickering cracked me up.

The movie by and large did, too. Like the first one, there's at least one gallingly unfunny sight gag and one song selection that proves someone involved has terrible taste in music. But this is a sturdy sequel. It may not be easy being green, but it's easy to enjoy Muppets Most Wanted.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

Leave a Reply