'Muppets Most Wanted': Mayhem, Puns and Mania for all
If you cannot have fun at Muppets’ movie, you are dead inside, which is okay because the cure is to watch the Muppets. Muppets Most Wanted starts by irreverently poking fun at themselves, the audience and the Hollywood movie system. It then turns into a good Muppet caper of mistaken identity and forbidden love.
Christophe Beck provides the scoring for the film, and Bret McKenzie is back to do original songs and lyrics. McKenzie’s vocal prints are all over the Constantine’s Disco-pastiche number, and it is hard to miss McKenzie’s signature Flight of the Conchords’ style throughout the rest of the musical numbers.
With great comedy numbers, this movie delivers everything that you would expect from a Muppet movie. Heavy on the mayhem, non sequiturs, non-linear plot development, acknowledged plot devices, Muppets Most Wanted probably has the most puns of any movie that is not a “B” film.
Tina Fey turns in a brilliant performance as Nadya, the gulag guard; with what is going on in Crimea, Muppets Most Wanted might be more relevant than Waldorf and Statler could have ever thought possible. Ricky Gervais does great as Badguy.
America also gets the ridiculous treatment as Sam the Eagle plays a CIA agent opposite Ty Burrell’s Interpol inspector of French origin. If you don’t pay attention, you might misconstrue the jokes and which country is being lampooned.
That doesn’t mean that there are not flaws in the film. There are a couple of places where it drags just a bit, and then they hit the gag reel and are off and running again – the gags, the Muppets, the bulls, Salma Hayek…
It is going to take you a huge amount of pop culture knowledge and multiple viewings to catch all of the cameos in the Muppets Most Wanted. A WWE superstar, a legendary singer, a pop superstar…the list is long and awesome. Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta and Jemaine Clements have larger roles in the gulag. Even some Muppets for Muppet Treasure Island have relatively prominent roles.
The sequel is never better than the original, but with all of the shenanigans, Muppets Most Wanted is worth a couple of views and a bowlful of belly laughs in the theater.
See Romney's Review of Muppets Most Wanted