The Muppets are together again (again) in their latest cinematic outing: THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED.
While I’ve never laid eyes on an episode of The Muppets TV show, I grew up repeatedly watching their old movies, and laughing my butt off at the pre-flick shorts often featured on VHS rentals (the runaway spaghetti got me every time).
Starting right where the last movie left off, THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED doesn’t beat around the bush, with the first musical number We’re Doing a Sequel telling it like it is:
We’re doing a sequel,
That’s what we do in Hollywood.
And everybody knows,
The sequel’s never quite as good!
This time The Muppets are coerced into a world tour by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) in a ploy to cover up a series of international heists. Meanwhile, Constantine, the world’s most evil frog, passes himself off as Kermit, with poor Kermy sent to a Siberian gulag in this place.
Directed and co-written by James Bobin – famous for his work on FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS – the flick’s humour is often slightly more subtle compared to Muppets 1. As such, there are less “insert belly laugh here” moments. It’s ultimately clever comedy, however, and there’s still enough obvious jokes for the kiddies.
The songs, written by FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS’ Brett McKenzie, are a real highlight. Sadly the audio levels in the screening I attended made the lyrics a little hard to hear over the loud instrumentals…whether this was a cinema-specific issue, or if it will be similar on all prints, is yet to be seen.
Add to the mix the appearance of CONCHORDS star Jemaine Clement and, for a fan such as myself, it feels like a welcome ‘Conkers’ reunion (all we needed was Murray).
The live-action cast is great; Tina Fey is adorable as the tough but tender gulag manager, Ty Burrell is incredibly cute as the lazy Interpol officer assigned to the heist case, and Ricky Gervais is his usually cringe-worthy self, complete with his own song and dance number.
As expected with The Muppets, cameos are abundant. Lady Gaga, Ray Liotta, Usher, Celine Dion, Tom Hiddleston, Harvey Keitel, and Christpoh Waltz to name just a few.
Released in downunder just in time for the school holidays, THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED will be up against some tough competition at the box office (namely THE LEGO MOVIE).
While it’s not quite in the same league as it’s plastic competitors, it’s certainly a cute, toe-tapping good time for the whole family.
I rate it 6 stars.