Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Muppets Most Wanted

Release date: March 21, 2014
Running time: 112 minutes
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey 
Who to see it with: Someone who absolutely loves the Muppets.


Muppets Most Wanted follows the Muppets after wrapping on their last movie, as they hope to capitalize on their newly renewed fame and embark on a world tour. This trip takes them to Germany, Spain, England, and Russia to perform for their world fans. Unfortunately, they are duped by their tour manager (Gervais) who is not looking out for the Muppets best interest. On top of this, a dangerous frog, who looks very similar to Kermit, has escaped from a Russian prison and is going to to cause the Muppets even more trouble. The film brings back most of your favorite Muppets and includes a new character just introduced in the last movie. The puppeteers animating the Muppets are great and the characters move and emote with an amazing amount of life. Additionally, all the voices sound authentic to the originals and it's easy to get drawn into these performances. 

As you would expect from a movie about a world tour, the Muppets visit a variety of locales and interact with many different individuals. Although this could have been a fun lesson about various world place, it ends up being the same event with a different backdrop without teaching anything about that location. The story itself just feels like an excuse to go to various cities, so why not teach kids about those locations while it's there? Additionally, there are some unnecessary European comments that play to various stereotypes about what some Americans think about European work ethic. It's possibly harmless, but in a kids movie I expect to not have these types of stereotypes to imprint on young minds. Additionally, the film as a whole, and the Muppets dialog particularly, aren't terribly funny. The best thing about the film, however, are the various celebrity cameos. They come on stage for a short time and play a funny character or say a line or two. Overall, maybe I'm being too critical, but Muppets Most Wanted felt like it could have been an interesting world tour movie teaching kids about various locales, but ended up feeling like a rushed sequel to the last film.

Rent it.

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