Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Group picture of the Muppets with two men and a woman standing behind them. In the background is a gray globe of the world.
Mostly Unwanted

While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick

In 2011, The Muppets unexpectedly made a fantastic entry back into peoples hearts, reminding them why this lovable gang of misfits were so beloved in the first place and proving that there was a market to see these lovable characters once again. Naturally, expectations were high this time around, which makes it all the more unfortunate how this entry fails to meet them.

The cameos feel less fluid than they did 3 years ago. No cameo in the 2011 film felt wasted, while when Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo and Jermaine Clement appear as prisoners in the Gulag, it takes you out of the film due to how obligatory and forced it feels to see these actors appearing. The worst offender is Ushers cameo, which seems to be there on the basis of one poor joke with little pay-off, which brings me to the biggest problem: it's not funny. The laughs are lacking, not getting any better than what was shown in the trailer.

"You see this badge? It entitles me to a funny accent"

Despite the smart meta-nature of the opening number 'We're Doing A Sequel', the songs lack memorability, with none managing to hit the highs of 2011's 'Man or Muppet'. One meta-joke has the characters addressing how Walter's development in the previous instalment came at the expense of many of the long-serving characters, which may be funny due to how true it was, the same problem occurs here, with many of the long-serving characters getting shafted for Constantine and Ricky Gervais' lame double act.

But despite the misgivings, it's always a pleasure to see Kermit, Fozzie, Animal and the rest of the gang back on the big screen. Newcomers Tina Fey and Ty Burrell do fantastically in their roles, giving off fantastic comedic timing and fantastic double acts with their on-screen counterparts of Kermit The Frog and Sam The Eagle. As for Ricky Gervais, he isn't amazing or terrible, he's just there.

Muppets Most Wanted would've been much better had the jokes been more effective, the cameos felt less forced and the musical numbers not been so forgettable. But despite that, it's fantastic to see these characters back on the big screen, and Ty Burrell and Tina Fey are fantastic, especially when paired up with Kermit and Sam the Eagle.

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