I grew up with The Muppets. I have very fond memories of being a child and watching their films and visiting Disney and seeing their show and basically all things ‘Muppet’ get me flushed with excitement. When Jason Segel rebooted the franchise back in 2011, I was nervous but ultimately rewarded with a film that felt like a fresh and modern take on the classic Muppet direction, and while the film had its lulls, it served as a benchmark for better things to come.
That better thing was ‘Muppets Most Wanted’.
Picking up where 2011’s film left off, ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ finds our felt covered friends in need of some direction. Where are they going to go from here? That’s where Dominic Badguy comes in. He misleads The Muppets, turns them against Kermit and then stages a switcheroo, replacing Kermit with the infamous Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog. With #1 and #2 in place (ranking of their infamy), the plan is set in motion. Use a Muppet world tour as the perfect rouge find the clues leading to the Crown Jewels in London. Constantine poses as Kermit (a horrible impression and yet that is half the fun), which includes wooing Miss Piggy and destroying the whole show, as Dominic pulls the strings in order to make the heist, but with break-ins coinciding with the Muppet tour, it isn’t long before the FBI/CIA team up to track them down. In the meantime, Kermit finds himself in a Russian prison mistaken for Constantine and at the mercy of a crazed warden named Nadya who just so happens to be secretly in love with him and forces him to help with putting on a musical starring the prisoners (which include the likes of Ray Liotta, Tom Hiddleston, Danny Trejo and Josh Groban).
I know this sounds like a lot to process, but it all works so brilliantly.
The writing here is remarkably good. The zingers all work, the gags (physical and verbal) all land and the pop culture references and cameos are inspired and hilarious to boot. The multiple storylines remain fresh and exciting and never feel jumbled, forced and lost in the shuffle. We get a complete story each time. The entire prison segment works on its own, the entire heist plotline works on its own, the verbal spatter between Napoleon and Sam Eagle works on its own (and honestly, can we hand Ty Burrell and Eric Jacobson the award for Best Onscreen Team!), the love triangle between Kermit, Constantine and Miss Piggy (sort of) works on its own and yet they all fit together like a glove.
And everyone here gives this their all. These cameos are so much more than mere actors phoning it in for a paycheck. Ray Liotta WORKS it in that cabaret lineup. Celine Dion pokes fun at her own persona in a mere song. And don’t even get me started on the likes of Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, who just ooze so much comedic energy here.
And the songs are all spectacular, especially the Interrogation Song (that whole scene is just brilliance thanks to the aforementioned ‘team’) and that opening ‘We’re Doing a Sequel’ sets the tone perfectly for this whole experience.
There isn’t a lull to be had here, for every scene is perfectly spliced to keep us hooked, frame for frame. I haven’t had this much family fun at the movies in a long time.
I give this a lavish A. I want to express my supreme love and adoration for this film. It was everything I had hoped it would be and SO.MUCH.MORE! If you love The Muppets, you'll love this. In all honesty, this could very well be the best Muppet movie out there.