Tickets were provided for free as part of the South Florida Parenting Panel. All opinions are my own.
April and I just got back from a special early screening of The Muppets: Most Wanted, and boy are our arms tired. Wakka-wakka! Obligatory Fozzy Bear terrible joke out-of-the-way. The Muppets: Most Wanted is a direct sequel to the 2011 surprise re-boot-quel The Muppets, which launched the loveable puppets back into the public consciousness. Jason Segal who is given much credit for helping that film succeed declined to be part of this film. While his presence is missed this movie as the human heart at the center of the cast of fuzzy Muppets, The Muppets: Most Wanted manages to not suffer too much without him.
The Muppets: Most Wanted picks up where The Muppets ends, literally starting from the final shot of the 2011 film. After all the extras and film crew evacuate the premises, and the body doubles for Jason Segal and Amy Adams are out of frame, Kermit and the gang realize that they need a next movie. This leads into the first of many solid musical numbers that lampoons the Hollywood sequel machine, before Ricky Gervais, as himself, suggests a plot for the upcoming movie.
Gervais, obviously, takes center stage as the antagonist of this movie, Dominic Badguy. Dominic is a thief who cons the Muppets into hiring him as their tour manager, that only will serve as the cover for Badguy to make a series of high-profile robberies. After a case of mistaken identity, Kermit is dragged off to the Gulag, where he is humorously tormented by inmates played by Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Danny Trejo (everything), and a Gulag commander played by Tina Fey.
The movie is not as strong as the one that preceded it, but it is good overall with few missteps. It could have cut a few moments of slowness which possibly would have made a tighter film. It appealed to both the kids and the adults in the audience in a very even-handed manner, and a steady stream of laughs were had through the entire flick. I do hope they continue this new Muppet trend, but I hope that the next film is a stronger entry than this.
If you are a Muppet fan, or are looking for a good family film, spend your hard-earned monies on The Muppets: Most Wanted.