Muppets Most Wanted starring Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell
After the Muppets were reintroduced to young generations in 2011’s The Muppets, they faced the challenge of following it up with something just as entertaining, heartwarming and funny.
The challenge is met with in the film as the Muppets are about to set out on a comeback world tour to capitalize on their resurgence with new tour manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) – pronounced “bædgee”, it’s french.
Badguy insists they start their tour in Berlin and, as we quickly discover, he has ulterior motives that involve an uncanny lookalike to our beloved Kermit: Constantine.
Constantine, the world’s number one criminal, has just escaped from prison in Siberia, Russia and is out to commit a series of art heists that will lead to the theft of the crowd jewels in London.
Obviously, Kermit is captured and imprisoned in Constantine’s place under the watchful eye of Nadya (Tina Fey).
The plot is classic and basic but still holds weight in the Muppets universe, where the idea of a bad guy who looks just like Kermit is hilarious, especially considering Kermit is nicer than Bert and Ernie.
Muppets Most Wanted isn’t as cutesy as the last one and while the focus is on expanding their comeback from the last film, the central plot is on Constantine and his attempt at fooling the gang into believing he’s Kermit while committing his crimes.
For longtime Muppets fans, the plot might serve as a bigger distraction from the muppets than intended, leading to them to being demoted to co-stars or even supporting roles in their own franchise film. As much airtime as Kermit and Miss Piggy received, the three human stars (Fey, Gervais and Ty Burrell) received as much and contributed heavily to the story. (And while they were really fun, I always wish Beaker and the Swedish Chef were featured a little bit more.)
There were opportunities that weren’t fully realized. In one scene with Celine Dion, Miss Piggy could have displayed some of her signature ego at the hands of Celine, who got out unscathed. Naturally, it didn’t last as in recent movie-promo pieces, Piggy claims to outsing Dion.
Muppets Most Wanted is an enjoyable, silly film that expands on the last one without sacrificing too much of the charms that make these films instant classics. The running gags hold and the jokes are great.
The long list of cameos ranging from Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Lady Gaga, Josh Groban, Chloë Grace Moretz and Usher as the usher are an indication of just how beloved and timeless these movies are.