Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Continuing directly from the previous movie, The Muppets take a few moments to decide their next move. A world tour, that’s the suggestion from Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), and it’s one that the gang seems to want to go with. Kermit The Frog, however, is hesitant. He doesn’t think that they’re quite ready for such a large next step, but he is outvoted when Badguy pitches a positive spin to everyone. But the world tour is all just a cover for two master criminals who are planning a daring series of robberies. And one of those master criminals looks almost identical to Kermit, with the exception of a mole on his face and a very different accent. If he managed to switch places with the famous frog then he would have everything in place for his greatest achievement. But the rest of The Muppets would know if there was a fake Kermit in their midst. Wouldn’t they?
From the first musical number – “We’re Doing A Sequel” – to the big finale, this is another clever and funny muppet movie, chock full of the usual star cameos (listing them all here would spoil some of the fun, despite the fact that a lot of the faces are shown in the trailer), positive messages and toe-tapping songs. In fact, although it’s not quite as funny as the first movie, the songs are clever and witty enough to put this on a par with its predecessor.
Director James Bobin, who also directed the first movie and co-wrote this with Nicholas Stoller, keeps everything moving nicely as the plot links one crime set-piece to another, and to another, and so on. The simple “evil double” plot is used to great effect here, with the world tour also allowing for some classic antics and guest star moments. All of the returning characters are exactly as they should be, and all of the humans go along with the jokes and interact brilliantly with their puppeteered co-stars.
If you don’t like Ricky Gervais then you’re unlikely to like his performance here. He’s not exactly a chameleonic performer, but his persona works just fine for Badguy. Tina Fey is as funny as she always is, putting on a fake Russian accent for her character of Nadya, the head of the gulag that Kermit ends up incarcerated in. And Ty Burrell is good fun as an exaggerated Frenchman, an Interpol agent who works alongside Sam Eagle to follow the trail of crime and crack the big case.
If you like The Muppets then you’ll like this movie. And if you don’t like The Muppets then I don’t know how to help you.
DIRECTOR: JAMES BOBIN
WRITER: JAMES BOBIN, NICHOLAS STOLLER
STARS: KERMIT THE FROG, MISS PIGGY, FOZZIE BEAR, THE GREAT GONZO, WALTER, RICKY GERVAIS, TINA FEY, TY BURRELL, JEMAINE CLEMENT
RUNTIME: 107 MINS APPROX