I’m about to praise Muppets Most Wanted, but to show the integrity of the movie itself, you need to know that I didn’t grow up watching The Muppets. Muppet Babies, yes – but the actual Muppets, no. As a kid, I found everything they did outside their animated and Sesame Street forms quite boring. I went into 2011’s The Muppets hoping to love it solely because of my love for Jason Segel, who starred and co-wrote the screenplay alongside director Nicholas Stoller. Between their screenplay, the fun performances by Segel and Amy Adams (Enchanted), and the great music by Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords), I absolutely loved it. Although Segel is no longer involved, with a screenplay once again co-written by Stoller and music once again written by McKenzie, Muppets Most Wanted is just as entertaining and funny as The Muppets.
In Muppets Most Wanted, Kermit is framed as his criminal doppelganger Constantine. While Kermit rots in a Siberian Gulgag (prison), Constantine assumes his identity and takes the Muppets on a world tour. With the help of his “number two,” Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais, Ghost Town), Constantine plots to use the Muppets as a cover while he commits a series of major heists.
I cannot emphasize how funny Muppets Most Wanted is. Constantine and Badguy offer great laughs, but two fantastic stories congruently unfold with just as much comedy. Kermit’s time in the Gulag is hilarious due to a batch of unlikely inmates and a power-hungry warden (Tina Fey, 30 Rock). And hot on the trail of Constantine and Badguy is an unlikely duo of a cocky detectives – one a Muppet from the FBI and the other a stiff Frenchman from Interpol (Ty Burrell, Modern Family). Along the way, tons of huge cameos are presented, many of which are just on-screen for a few seconds.
While there may not be an absolutely trademark song in Muppets Most Wanted – like “Muppet or Man” from Segel’s Muppet movie – McKenzie’s music is just as catchy and fun. The highlights are Constantine’s “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” and the “Interrogation Song.” Even more so than with The Muppets, you’ll hear quite a bit of Flight of the Conchords in these tracks.
If you and/or your kids became fans of Jim Henson’s iconic property via 2011’s The Muppets, then there’s absolutely no reason why you and the family shouldn’t race out to Muppets Most Wanted this weekend.
(Photo credits: Buena Vista)