Movie Review: Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted Review
GONZO, MISS PIGGY, KERMIT THE FROG, FLOYD, WALTER and SCOOTER in 'Muppets Most Wanted' (Photo by: Jay Maidment. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
 
“It’s not easy being mean, hehehe,” says – and laughs – Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel), the world’s most dangerous frog who just escaped from the Russian Gulag and who also happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog except for a big black mole on his right cheek in the sequel to 2011’s The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted.
 
Picking up right where the last film ended, Kermit (voiced by Steve Whitmire), Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal (all voiced by Eric Jacobson) and the rest of the gang decide to do a sequel. While trying to decide what it should be about, they’re approached by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) who’s determined to become their agent and take them on a grand world tour. With the rest of the gang excited to go on tour, Kermit reluctantly agrees although he doesn’t feel right about Dominic.
 
It turns out, however, that it’s all part of an elaborate cover to pull off the greatest crime in history. Dominic is actually Constantine’s number two man and together they kidnap Kermit so that Constantine, with a little green make-up to cover up his mole, can take his place leading the Muppets. Meanwhile, Kermit ends up mistaken for Constantine by the Russian police due to a fake black mole being glued onto his face and he’s thrown into the Gulag and harassed by its Captain of the guards, Nadya (Tina Fey).
 
After a few days go by and no one shows up to help free him, Kermit realizes Constantine’s plan is working. Everyone has been fooled – except for Animal who keeps saying to everyone “Bad Frog” but no one understands – and he’s going to have to break out of prison by himself and go on the run to get back to his friends.
 
Cute, clever, and very funny, Muppets Most Wanted is a sequel that does something most sequels don’t…it surpasses its predecessor. How? By the Muppets getting more screen time, having more humor, better songs, and great celebrity cameos. It’s more in the spirit of the original The Muppet Movie, with the best parts of The Great Muppet Caper tossed in.


The voice talent (Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, David Goelt, Bill Barretta, and Matt Vogel) are all outstanding in bringing to life so many beloved Muppets characters including Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, The Swedish Chef, and, of course, Animal. Ricky Gervais plays off all of the Muppets wonderfully as their fake, double-crossing snake in the grass manager who yearns to eventually not be Constantine’s number two but eventually the Number 1 criminal in the world.
 
The songs and production numbers are true spectacles this time around and are sure to have audiences humming as they leave the theater (stand-out numbers include “We’re Doing a Sequel,” “I’m Number One,” and “Together Again”). The script and dialogue are much stronger, with a better story and most of the jokes, humor, and one-liners hitting their mark.
 
Perhaps the best Muppets film since The Muppets Christmas Carol, Muppets Most Wanted is the perfect family movie for kids of all ages.
 
GRADE: B
 
Muppets Most Wanted opens in theaters on March 21, 2014 and is rated PG for some mild action.
 

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