Muppets Most Wanted
A fun enough adventure that lacks the magical quality of its nostalgia-driven predecessor
The opening song in Muppets Most Wanted openly acknowledges the fact that most sequels exist in the shadow of their original. They are words that prove prophetic.
James Bobin’s follow-up is mostly inferior to the 2011 comeback movie despite existing on a much bigger scale and dropping in even more cameos (just as the rules of a sequel also dictate). That’s not to say it isn’t fun, merely that the feel-good factor is much more hit-and-miss this time.
Having been successfully reunited at the end of the first film, The Muppets are signed up for a world tour by shady promoter Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), unaware that a criminal mastermind and Kermit look-alike is planning to use them (and trade places with Kermit) to commit an elaborate jewellery heist. Hence, Kermit soon finds himself imprisoned in a Russian gulag, while his doppelganger causes havoc across Europe.
The majority of the fun in this latest Muppet adventure stems from seeing just how Bobin employs the film’s many cameos, with appearances from Ray Liotta, Tom Hiddleston, Stanley Tucci and the singer Usher among the most amusing. But the likes of Tina Fey and Ty Burrell (of TV’s Modern Family fame) also impress in bigger roles, while Muppet favourites Fozzy and Animal generate their fair share of laughs. The songs, too, are fun and there are plenty of them.
If anything, it’s the story itself that lets things down as it isn’t really strong enough to sustain the film’s near two-hour running time, while both Gervais’ main villain and the evil Kermit strike something of a false note. They’re also afforded too much of the film’s attention, when time spent with the hilarious Fozzy, Walter and Animal would have been much more entertaining.
Muppets Most Wanted is a solid effort but lacks the magical quality of its nostalgia-driven predecessor.
General release from Fri 28 Mar.