Film Review – Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most wanted (PG)

Directed by: James Bobin

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

Re-capturing the magic that made a film a breakout hit can be tricky. It is often attempted, yet rarely achieved. As if they knew to expect a chorus of groans from audiences who had just enjoyed the deliciously delightful character comeback The Muppets (2011), the makers of Muppets Most Wanted warn us  in the opening song that this follow-up is not at the same level of quality. This clever piece of scripting – or lyric writing – that points to inadequacies, also continues what we know and love about the funny bunch of wise cracking fur-balls: the self referential, relentless audience winking.

Not long after their big comeback, the Muppets are approached by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) who convinces them to hire him as their manager and embark on a world-wide tour. But his plan is to steal expensive jewels from  every city they stop in along the tour. His way of achieving this is sending sensible Kermit to a Russian prison run by Nadya (Tina Fey) and replacing him with shady lookalike Constantine.

This follow-up is emotionally barron without the heartfelt input of Jason Segal. Moving this story from a relationship based adventure to a follow-the-clues crime caper means less time for warm and fuzzies about an orphan muppet trying to find his place in the world. Never mind, because there are still so many rapid fire jokes and pop culture references that most may not even notice. There is rarely a moment that passes that won’t have you erupting in a hearty laugh, and the array of cameos are still surprising and entertaining.

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