Monday, August 25, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted - Review

Starting off at the ending of the 2011 film, while also annihilating the fourth wall, the regrouped Muppets decide through a song that they should go on a world tour. Wined and dined by their new business manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), they kick it off in Berlin, where Kermit is swapped out by an evil, clone-like frog named Constantine. Will the trope figure out the deception before they are all framed for some museum thefts, or will they remain under his "give you everything" spell and keep Kermit locked up in a gulag? Even though nearly all of the crew of the reboot return for this romp, the biggest MIA of course being star/co-writer Jason Segal, MUPPETS MOST WANTED is a slight step down in childish euphoria. Despite this tiny setback, the sequel is a total joy, briskly keeping the action moving forward and delivering an ample supply of warm jokes and absurdist winks. There's a huge wave of clever cameos throughout it, so much so that many can easily be missed and/or obscured away from the camera's focus. Tina Fey and Ty Burrell are always humorous as a Broadway-loving prison guard and a Clouseau doppelgänger respectively; Gervais, unfortunately, looks way too solemn once Constantine is at his side and mocks him endlessly for being a flunky. As for Bret McKenzie's songs, they are still catchy but they often lack a definite presence, quickly dissipating from memory when the tunes hit their final notes, so don't expect to pick up the soundtrack this time around. The sole exception from the pack is the opening number "We're Doing a Sequel", which takes a bite out of Disney and the franchise's own formula. Perfect to draw in adults and children together, in a marketplace filled with forgettable CGI worlds and 3D cash-grabs, MUPPETS MOST WANTED is a giddy wonder.


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