The latest from the Muppet/Disney franchise, Muppets Most Wanted, opens nationally today…and already the critics are not happy. Except this critic. As a Muppet devotee for as long as I could watch TV, let me tell you, this movie is HILARIOUS and fun for the whole family, just ask my 6 yr old who has seen it with me.
Muppets Most Wanted begins where “The Muppets” of 2011 ends, right on Hollywood Blvd, which quickly ties the two together and follows with “We’re Doing A Sequel” sung by The Muppets and penned by Oscar winning songwriter of the first film, Bret McKenzie. The song is in classic Muppet form and poked fun of the fact that sequels aren’t as good, and that this is more like the 8th sequel to the original. As the Muppets try to figure out what to do next, we meet Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais- who sings and dances!), who suggests, and then manages, a Muppets world tour. But things aren’t as they seem. Soon, Kermit is hauled off to jail in a case of mistaken identity, and Constantine “World’s Most Dangerous Frog and #1 Criminal” takes his place as the Muppets leader. The world tour leads the gang to locales in Germany, Ireland, and London where, unknown to them, are the exact locations of major heists being pulled off by Donimic and Constantine, and instantly makes them suspects to Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) and FBI Agent Sam the Eagle. What transpires is a mix of classical movie nods to films like The Pink Panther, Russian 80’s bad guys, and movie musical galore.
Let me just say this, if you watch the Muppets and think about some political angle, you need someone to smack you to get you back to your senses. THIS IS A FILM ABOUT SINGING PUPPETS. Repeat… SINGING PUPPETS. James Bobin stated that he wanted to make a fun “classic cold war musical comedy” which is pretty much what you see, just add classic Muppet humor and brilliant song writer by Bret McKenzie and there you have it.
The pairing of Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle as Interpol and FBI Agents could not have been better. These two took the Pink Panther inspiration and created their own. However, in this case it’s the Muppet that’s the straight man, and it works. I’d honestly love to see more of this pairing.
However, my favorite pairing came from the Russian Gulag: Nadya, the Gulag Guard and her team of criminals: Kermit, Jamaine Clement, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo… and a surprise that I won’t ruin. While I wish Tina’s talents had been more used, what she did was hilarious and the gulag prisoners each had a shining moment.
Are there jokes the kids won’t get? Sure… but there are plenty they will. I hate how reviewers discount what our kids understand. My daughter thought it was one of the funniest movies she’s ever seen, and she’s tough to satisfy. The Muppets Most Wanted is a fun, musical romp that the whole family, and I urge everyone to go see it and remind the critics what family fun is supposed to be.
Muppets Most Wanted is open in theaters everywhere and is rated PG.