Monday, March 31, 2014

REVIEW: Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted

Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell,
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy


March 21, 2014

James Bobin


1 hour 52 minutes



Who knew that in this day and age a sequel could not only be as funny as its predecessor, but also as clever and as self aware at the same time?  That is what has happened here in the case of "Muppets Most Wanted."  Literally the opening musical number of the film acknowledges that sequels are usually made when studios want money, and how most of the time they're not as good as the original.  From there on is a series of hard-hitting jokes, entertaining as heck (gotta keep it PG for the kids out there) characters, and hilariously unexpected cameos that'll have you rolling depending on how well you know your celebrities and your iconic Muppet characters.  "Muppets Most Wanted" is one of the rare sequels that defies all expectations and creates a smart, self aware, and downright hilarious movie that is equally as good, if not better, than its predecessor.

Thanks to the events in the previous Muppet movie, The Muppets are back on top and better than ever.  Now it looks like for this ragtag team to do the next logical thing, and that is to go on a world tour.  Being managed by Dominic Badguy, (not pronounced the way you think) The Muppets embark on a worldwide tour to present their show to the people of planet Earth.  As this is going on, our beloved Kermit the Frog is switched with his identical double Constantine, who is know as the world's deadliest frog.  With Kermit in a Russian jail under false accusations and Constantine filling in for Kermit, it's only a matter of time before someone realizes that Kermit is not Kermit, right?

What makes me love movies like the "Muppet" movies is the fact that they are so self aware.  Screenwriters James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller, who also wrote the previous Muppet movie, have made a film that acknowledges exactly what this is: a sequel that's been made because the studio thinks it will make money.  The film even goes on to acknowledge the stupidity in itself by referencing not just the previous Muppet films, but even the older classics from the 70s and 80s, a bold move on Stoller and Bobin's part.  Songwriter Bret McKenzie once again brings his A-game with some entertaining and genuinely good songs as "We're Doing A Sequel," "The Big House," and "Interrogation Song."  Every song in this film had me tapping my feet and keeping the biggest smile on my face constantly.  Heck, that was actually me during the entire duration of the film.  When a movie is able to pull that off, you know you're seeing something special taking place before your eyes.

The acting in the film surprisingly is great and really adds something to the movie as a whole.  Ricky Gervais is extremely entertaining as Dominic, managing to spew out some really funny jokes.  Tina Fey seemed like she was going to be awful in the film, but in fact, she's extremely funny.  From the moment she's introduced, she constantly entertains and grabs many laughs out of you.  As for Ty Burrell, I seriously think they should reboot the "Pink Panther" franchise with this guy as Inspector Clouseau, because his French accent is dead on.  In fact, Burrell's performance might have been my favorite of the leading three, mainly because of how hilarious and well-versed he was in the movie.  Adding to the cast is a whole slew of celebrity cameos, which are all extremely funny and entertaining, despite some of them being extremely predictable.  The entire cast here knew what they were dealing with when it came to making a "Muppet" movie, and for that alone, they should be applauded.

In my opinion, The Muppets are the perfect set of movies to watch as a family.  They have the slapstick humor and the colorful characters for the kids, and they have the intelligently written jokes, shockingly hilarious cameos, and surprisingly clever storyline to entertain the adults.  Speaking as someone who isn't the biggest fan of sequels being made to really great films, I must say that the people behind "Muppets Most Wanted" knew exactly what to do in order to make an entertaining, self-aware sequel that will surely make people laugh a lot.  Because of that, I personally feel that this is a superior film to the 2011 "Muppet" movie.  The opinion might be controversial, but see the film for yourself before you judge.  "Muppets Most Wanted" is smart, hilarious, completely self aware, and the best family movie of the year thus far.



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