Movie Review
Muppets Most Wanted
Muppets Most Wanted poster
By Craig Younkin     Published March 23, 2014
US Release: March 21, 2014

Directed by: James Bobin

PG for some mild action
Running Time: 112 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $51,066,000
Muppets Most Wanted is good, clean, family fun and a solid addition to their resurrection.
Craig Younkin is also a reviewer for Movie Room Reviews

You have to hand it to the Muppets; they’ve managed funny, sweet and inspired silliness for a whole eight films now. It’s a feat that even some of our best human comedians have had a hard time trying to achieve. This sequel to their 2011 comeback feature puts them back in the driver’s seat of genre they know well - the caper. The world’s most dangerous frog, Constantine, has broken out of a Russian gulag and along with the help of his number two henchmen (Ricky Gervais) hopes to commit a string of grand museum burglaries and pin them all on the world-touring muppets. While this is going on, Kermit has been mistaken for the real Constantine and thrown into the gulag, in which its tough-as-nails warden (Tina Fey) knows and blocks all means of escape.

Jason Segel and Amy Adams both decided not to come back for this one (apparently Adams likes Oscar nominations more) but writer Nicholas Stoller and director James Bobin have tried to infuse the same enjoyable spirit and for the most part they hit a pretty close bulls-eye, if not a grand slam. The songs, like “We’re Doing a Sequel” and “I’ll Get You What You Want,” never fail to entertain. The jokes are funny (Berlin, Germany is called the capital of comedy), and even old jokes (like an Interpol agent and CIA man arguing over whose badge is bigger) can still be funny with the right comic timing.

It helps that the cast is all game for this, Ty Burrell (from “Modern Family”) the best of the bunch as the Inspector Clouseau-like Interpol agent matched up with Sam the Eagle’s CIA man, or uh…bird. Tina Fey gets some weaker material but shows great enthusiasm in trying to sell it. And Gervais pokes fun at himself and is never better than during the song “I’m Number 1,” where Constantine sings about himself and tells Gervais to “dance, monkey, dance.” The addition of Constantine and his efforts at assimilation into the Muppets leads to some funny bits as well.

But where this sequel goes wrong is that it just doesn’t seem as sure of itself. The plotting runs out of steam early, the funny accents and continued bits where the Muppets spoof popular songs isn’t nearly as funny in repetition, and probably most disappointing is that Stoller and Bobin have yet to find a way to incorporate more time for the most beloved muppets. Each seems to get just a bit of screen time before being hurried off like make-up effect winners at the Oscars. They should get more time, the plot less so.

But it’s hard to not like this movie. Stoller and Bobin get what makes the Muppets so endearing and the human cast, including cameos by P-Diddy, Zack Galifianakis, Christoph Waltz, Salma Hayek, and Lady Gaga, all seem to revere and have a blast playing alongside them. “Muppets Most Wanted” is good, clean, family fun and a solid addition to their resurrection.
Craig's Grade: B
Craig's Overall Grading: 340 graded movies
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