As most moviegoers know, sequels are rarely as good as the original. The Muppets: Most Wanted can hardly be called a sequel as the Muppets have been around since the mid-50s and this is technically the eighth movie for them. However, in relation to their first big film, The Muppet Movie, which hit theaters in 2011, Most Wanted is considered a sequel, picking up seconds after the previous storyline ends.
The plot, though nothing special, is amusing. The Muppets’ main man, Kermit the Frog has an evil doppelganger, the most wanted criminal in the world. Kermit is mistaken for the villain and spends most of the movie singing songs in a Russian Gulag with none other than the brilliantly hilarious Tina Fey. Meanwhile, Kermit’s evil twin takes charge of the Muppet Show with the help of Ricky Gervais’s character Dominic Badguy, and uses the show’s European tour to cover several incredible heists.
Although lacking the emotional intensity of the previous movie, Most Wanted delivers the same crazed ridiculousness Muppet fans love. Probability and possibility have never had a place in the Muppet world, and this latest installment of adventures certainly does not tempt reality. The plot acts merely as a vehicle for the puns, which are too numerous to catch in one viewing, and as a platform for unexplainable situations. Although there could have been a possibility of sinister undertones to the storyline, the Muppets keep it light and fun. Instead of suspenseful duress, the audience experience is more one of touring the world with old friends.
Still starring all (and I mean ALL) of your most favorite Muppets, Most Wanted sets the bar low from the start, making fun of itself with the opening song “We’re Doing a Sequel.” Oscar winner Bret Mackenzie, of New Zealand’s funny folk duo Flight of the Conchords, takes the lyrical reigns again. Having kept audiences laughing with his witty turn of phrase in the previous Muppet movie, he does not disappoint this time around. Songs like “I’ll Get You What You Want,” “Interrogation Song” and “I’m Number One” offer punny lyrics that will keep you chuckling.
Per the Muppet norm, there are several celebrity cameos. Lady Gaga performs for a split second in the opening number, while Tom Hiddleston and Josh Groban sing a few bars in one or two of the Gulag scenes. Fans of Flight of the Conchords should keep an eye out for Jemaine Clement, Mackenzie’s long time friend and co-star of the show. Ty Burrell has a minor role, but a hilarious presence as an Interpol detective intent on bringing the Muppets to justice.
For fans young and old of the Muppets, this is a must see. It stays true to the Muppet hilarity of old, while bringing the beloved characters into a slightly more mature and modern style. For an evening of laughs, random hilarity and feel-good fun, The Muppets: Most Wanted is the movie to see.