The world’s most famous frog and his gang of merry muppets return to the big screen with Muppets Most Wanted, a sequel to the Jason Segel starring 2011 hit. This time Kermit and company hit the road without the How I Met Your Mother star, who also wrote the previous film, as they embark on a world tour to showcase their unquestionable talents.
Whilst on their travels, the Muppets find themselves unknowingly embroiled in a multi-country jewel-heist that is headed up by their new tour manager, Domonic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), and Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog – and a Kermit look-a-like. Overlooked, unappreciated and overshadowed by the rest of the gang following Badguy’s appointment, Kermit, who is replaced by the dastardly Constantine without the group noticing, ends up serving time in a high security prison whilst the tour continues without him. He has to hope the rest of them realise before it is too late.
Chock-full of celebrity cameos, as is expected, the film begins with a fabulous opening number entitled “We’re Doing a Sequel” which states, quite rightly, that sequels often do not match up to the original, and unfortunately in this instance, they were singing the truth. The 2011 film was certainly not a classic Muppets tale, but it did manage to at least capture some of the cheeky, yet heartfelt humour that has made the franchise so popular over the years.
James Bobin’s sequel certainly has its moments – the musical numbers are impressive throughout, whilst certain cameos from the likes of Ray Liotta, Christoph Waltz and Stanley Tucci felt fresh and funny. However despite an extremely encouraging start, the film limped along in a rather mundane state. Gervais failed to shine in a leading role, although he was involved in one impressive dance number, whilst the dialogue lacked the harmless, yet quirky nature of previous Muppets adventures. Even the sequences revolving around the historic ‘will they/won’t they?’ Kermit and Miss Piggy relationship, which was a nice touch and a successful nod to the history of the Muppets, felt a little withdrawn and understated.
The Muppets is primarily seen as a family friendly venture – films full of feel goodery and life lessons, mixed together with a harmless, yet fun-filled nature fit for the young and old. Muppets Most Wanted, despite occasional moments of excellence, fails to fully capture the true spirit of the much loved franchise – fizzling to a close without a whimper.