“Muppets: Most Wanted” Review

Following up Jason Segel’s resurrection of The Muppets, Muppets: Most Wanted picks up literally right where the prequel ended. The muppets, persuaded by Dominic Badguy (pronounced Badgé, and portrayed by Ricky Gervais), decide to go on a European world tour. While in Europe, Kermit is kidnapped and replaced by Constantine, the world’s most dangerous criminal – a Kermit the Frog look-a-like. Tina Fey joins the cast as a Siberian prison guard, and Ty Burrell plays a comically stereotypical European detective.

You know how The Muppets (2011) spent an entire movie developing Walter as a new muppet? Well all of that effort goes to waste as Walter is barely used in this film. This isn’t necessarily bad though, as it gives other Muppets a chance to shine. However, replacing Walter is Constantine as the main antagonist. Unfortunately, despite a nice song and some humorous one-liners, Constantine is pretty uncharismatic, and rather than coming across as a devious supervillain, he just seemed annoying.

The soundtrack was primarily written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, who wrote the songs for the previous film as well. However, the songs are all just okayish. They all seemed to be in the vein of Flight of the Conchords, but while this worked in the first film, the songs just seemed rather plain in Muppets: Most Wanted.

Some of the cameos in the film worked, some didn’t. In the prison scenes, the trio of Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta, and Jemaine Clement provided some of the biggest laughs of the film (I didn’t realize how much I wanted to see Ray Liotta do musical theatre). However, there are times where the cameos just seem obnoxious. This is typically when they have an actor play a walk-on that has nothing to do with their stage persona. Why is Cholë Grace Moretz playing a newspaper girl? Why is James McAvoy playing a UPS guy? 

Muppets: Most Wanted has a lot of great jokes. It also has a lot of forced humor. There’s some self-awareness in it’s writing, but the self-awareness isn’t enough to make up for a lack of effort. Occasionally it’s a joy to watch, and occasionally it’s a chore to get through. 5/10.

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