"I should have gone to France ... They just want my legs!" Is it Kermit the Frog ... Or is it his doppelgänger Constantine, a.k.a. "the world's most dangerous frog?" Only they know for sure in a scene from director James Bobin's new film MUPPETS MOST WANTED. Credit: Jay Maidment © 2013 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais ... And a ton of actors and musicians in cameos that, in some cases, if you blink, you might miss it.

WRITER(S):  James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller

DIRECTOR(S): James Bobin


60 SECOND PLOT SYNOPSIS (OR AS CLOSE TO IT AS ONE CAN TRY TO MAKE): Following up on the success of their 2012 feel-good return film, Muppets Most Wanted finds our old friends looking for ideas on what they should do next. Literally.

Enter Dominic Badguy ... Yes, Dominic Bad Guy (Ricky Gervais). A would be-promoter, Dominic convinces the Mulpets to embark on a world tour with some very specific stops along the way. Why specific stops, you ask? The answer is so that Dominic, a.k.a. Number Two, can carry out a plot with his boss, a.k.a. Number One a.k.a. Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel), the "world's most dangerous frog" who is busy planning his escape from a Siberian gulag run by Nadya (Tina Fey) and home to several dangerous prisoners (played by Ray Liotta, Danny Treko and WWE Superstar Hornswoggle among others). 

So ... What happens when you throw in the ol' switcheroo and Constantine takes the place of Kermit (voiced by Steve Whitemire) under the guidse of an international Muppets tour so a pair of master criminals at work can carry out their most evil plan yet? Only the folks at Disney Studios know for sure unless you choose to see the movie, of course.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST?: Die-hard Muppets fans, Ty Burrell fans and people who like family friendly entertainment

WHO WON'T – OR SHOULDN'T – LIKE THIS FILM?: Die-hard Muppets fans (those older than 30), people who don't like corny (even by Muppets standards) jokes, those in need of anything resembling depth, originality or something closer to the spirit of creator Jim Henson's original vision.

BOTTOM LINE – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? It's OK ... But unless you really just enjoy any and everything Muppets, it's kinda disappointing.

WHAT'S GOOD (OR BAD) ABOUT IT?: Muppets Most Wanted opens with a song and dance routine about the Muppets gang ADMITTING THAT MOST SEQUELS ARE NOT AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL AND THAT THEY HAVE NO GOOD IDEAS FOR A SEQUEL. You read that right. That's how Muppets Most Wanted begins. 

Now, there's something either brazenly genius about that ... Or at least it would be if the rest of the movie does its best to let you know the film's creators weren't kidding.
Constantine is an evil frog. He looks just like Kermit, except with a mole he paints green once he's sprung from prison. If it sounds like something a kid in elementary school would write, it feels that way watching the movie, too. Now, while the jokes could be forgiven if there was a good story underlying them, there isn't one to be found here. At all. Whereas 2011's comeback film The Muppets felt like a bit of a fan's love letter with Jason Segal as Gary and the introduction of Walter, the new film is a elementary school-level crime caper devoid of any heart, emotional center or originality. 

That gets to take a backseat to a bunch of celebrity cameos (some much more effective and memorable than others) and ineffective use of some of the best beloved Muppet characters. Human-wise, Tina Fey tries and tries and tries to do her best at Nadya, but it just isn't her best work despite he occasional passable one-liner. Then again, she at least looks like she wants to be in the movie; Ricky Gervais makes faces throughout the movie like he knows like you know he's just there for a check. It's not dry British wit when it looks like he might yawn at any given moment.

Surprisingly, the best interplay in the film comes between Ty Burrell as Jean Pierre Napoleon, a Pink Panther-like INTERPOL inspector and Sam the Eagle (voiced by Eric Jacobson) as a CIA agent forced to team up to solve the case of robberies occuring near the site of the Muppets performances. But save for that, the film kinda just meanders along towards its predictable even by Muppets standards. (Yes, I keep using that phrase as the Muppets are exactly known for drama, but they've been better than this.)

In short, what made The Muppets so great was the combination of heart, humor and great characters that made people remember what was so great about them in the first place. Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted has none of that. Instead, it feels like a seuqel that likes direction, an emotional center, funny material and originality (a bunch of celebrity cameos can't make up for these shortcomings). The foreshadowing from scene to scene is not good, which sadly it how you can sum up many things about Muppets Most Wanted.

SO ... Unless you really love everything the Muppets do, the only reason to really rush out to see Muppets Most Wanted is to show just how much you want to lace Disney's pockets with your cash.



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