The Muppets

Review: Muppets Most Wanted

Mar 27 // Nick Valdez
[embed]217518:41369:0[/embed] Muppets Most WantedDirector: James BobinRated: PGRelease Date: March 21, 2014 Muppets Most Wanted takes place immediately after the first one (in a bit of meta humor) as the Muppet gang find themselves in a sequel without a plan. After a bit of singing, the group decides to just put on some shows to get their groove back. However, Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) convinces the group to go on a World Tour against Kermit's wishes in order to steal the Crown Jewels in London. Along the way, Kermit is replaced by "Evilen Froggen" Constantine and thrown in a Russian Gulag. Then it's a race against the clock as Kermit needs to break out of the Gulag before Constantine and Dominic are allowed to rob the world blind.  As mentioned earlier, the sequel is a nostalgic return to the earlier line of Muppet movies. You have a classic tale of two Kermits, a wedding scene, and lots and lots of sight gags. The immediate problem with all of this, however, is it becomes incredibly dated. As much as the gang knowingly jokes about their fade into obscurity in the sequel, the screenplay is reverting to the same comedic wiles that put them in that situation in the first place. It's sort of an attempt to have the cake and eat it too. There's an open cry for relevance while refusing to adapt and move forward.  With all of that said, Muppets Most Wanted is still a fun time. As corny as a lot of the jokes are, they're the right kind of corny. Each line, each joke, is delivered with that same Muppets charm. As with the first film, Most Wanted is at its best when it indulges in meta humor. It's a form of self degradation that comes from a loving place. Most importantly, these "we're sort of old and terrible" jokes find the right balance between constructive criticism and nods to their past. Unfortunately, unlike the first Muppets (or sixth Muppets movie, as the film reminds you), a lot of these jokes aren't very palpable to children. While the first film somehow found an audience with both children and adults, a lot of the jokes are skewed to an older audience. For example, one of the best gags is a callback to one of the forgotten Muppet gang who was replaced by Walter. The older audience will laugh, but the kids will be left scratching their heads.  But as to make up for the lack of consistent meta humor that kept the original afloat, the simplistic nature of the story helps elevate some of the film's weaker moments. Ricky Gervais doesn't really work as a central part of the film as there seems to be a lack of full involvement (he seems distant rather than completely invest in the Muppet illusion), but thankfully he's never in a scene alone. His involvement is also pushed to its ridiculous extreme and eventually justifies his role late in the film. Tina Fey is pretty great as the warden of the Gulag, and adds some personality to the pitiable character. But the true human actor standout is Ty Burrell. Completely throwing himself into the cartoonish Interpol agent Jean, his interactions with Sam the Eagle (a character who was once notably a parody of American nationalism) are some of the best in the movie. They even get one of the best songs too.  Speaking of songs, Muppets Most Wanted hits its out of the park once again. With a few of the songs reaching "Man or Muppet" level of quality (namely "Interrogation Song"), each musical number is toe tappingly great. There's not a slug in the bunch. Unfortunately, the songs can't be the entire movie. While Muppets Most Wanted has charm, it's never quite the amount of charm needed to sustain the entire film. And although the sequel wants to make a grand return to the Caper days, it really is resting on its laurels rather than remind us why we love the Muppets gang in the first place.  Now if Muppets Most Wanted wants to go anywhere from here, there's no platform to stand on. By fighting against obscurity, the gang sort of ends up with a middle of the road film that's only truly great in brief spurts, making their sad, inevitable fate all the more reasonable. There is definite fun to be had as Most Wanted is a solid film, but something's missing from all of this that I can't quite put my finger on. The original title of Muppets Most Wanted was The Muppets...Again! A title reflective of the meandering follies for the majority of the run time. Rather than become a sequel that's indeed "most wanted," we're left with a film that's simply the Muppet gang doing things again. 
Muppets 2 Review photo
The Muppets are back again, for better or worse
2011's The Muppets was a breath of fresh air since it was a reboot which never really felt like one. There wasn't a grand gesture to reinvent the characters, a notable lack of cynicism, and it was most importantly, fun. It wa...

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Muppets Most Wanted spoofs action movie posters


Mar 07
// Liz Rugg
The Muppets Most Wanted promotional campaign has been as delightful as expected from the franchise, though with these new parody posters, The Muppets have upped their game yet again. Each poster parody's a famous action movie...
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First song for 'Muppets Most Wanted' is crazy adorable


SO CUTE
Feb 28
// Isabelle Magliari
Every time Kermit the frog dances with a gold hat and cane, my heart grows three sizes. After watching the music video for the first song from Muppets Most Wanted entitled "Sequel Song," my heart nearly burst out of my ...

Muppets SB Spot photo
Muppets SB Spot

Super Bowl TV spot for Muppets Most Wanted


Feb 03
// Nick Valdez
Muppets Most Wanted has so much to live up to as the first film helped revitalize The Muppets and the way we see them. Now that it's missing Jason Segel, does it have a chance? By the looks of this spot ran during the S...
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Pixar short Party Central playing before Muppets


More Pixar = Never a bad thing
Jan 07
// Matthew Razak
We've got a long wait for new Pixar movies since they've delayed The Good Dinosaur to 2015 (thankfully Disney is picking up the slack), but that doesn't mean we'll be completely devoid of the ol' Pixar magic in 2014. In the g...

Nick's Flixmas: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Dec 09 // Nick Valdez
First of all, there are two big differences from other Christmas Carol adaptations. One, it's a slight musical. And two, if nothing else (and by that I mean if the singing doesn't grab you), most of the central characters are filled in by Muppets. Which means you get odd situations where Miss Piggy and Kermit have children, Fozzie is a green elderly man, and even the Christmas Ghosts are puppets. Weird looking puppets, but puppets. At the end of it all is Michael Caine (who I will now forever refer to as "My Cocaine" thanks to this video) who provides a serviceable Ebezenzer Scrooge.  I hate to be so sour toward a Muppet film, but there's just not much different about it from other Carols. The songs are great, sure, but they're not exactly memorable other than maybe Scrooge's finale. Beat by beat it's the same, but it's still so darn charming. Tiny Tim is a tiny version of Kermit? DAWWWW. What pains me the most about this whole thing is the whole "Gonzo is Charles Dickens" thing is never played to its full potential. Rather than have Gonzo manipulate the story according to a set design, he simply narrates it. It's a completely wasted omniscience. But then again, it's The Muppets. They're just usually so much better with parody.  Still, every year I watch it because I can't think of a Christmas without it. It's just not a holiday in my heart without The Muppets in it. I hope you all are the same way.  And that does it for A Christmas Carol folks. Sure there's that one starring Jim Carrey, but I honestly don't want to see that one again. I just did not like it. but what am I going to see tomorrow? Still not sure yet. If you guys haven't figured it out, I'm slowly working my way toward bigger and more well known Christmas films.  We're working our way through the mass here. So tomorrow? Hmm. I'll watch The Polar Express. 
NF: Muppet Carol photo
"Hoighty Toighty Mr. Godlike Smartypants"
The Muppets have had a few Christmas specials over the years: It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, A Muppet Family Christmas, and even the awful Artpop commercial, Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular. But the...

Muppets Most Wanted photo
Muppets Most Wanted

Second trailer for Muppets Most Wanted is still adorable


"My name first, then spacebar spacebar spacebar, and your name."
Nov 20
// Nick Valdez
This second trailer for Muppets Most Wanted shows off a lot more than the teaser released a few months back. We get a story (an "Evilen Froggen" named Constantine frames Kermit and takes his place), more celebrity cameos (Da...
Muppets Most Wanted photo
Muppets Most Wanted

First poster for Muppets Most Wanted is too adorable


Definitely MY most wanted poster.
Oct 29
// Nick Valdez
Muppets Most Wanted (formerly The Muppets...Again!) is one of the few sequels I'm happy they're making. The first Muppets was a hilarious trip down memory lane, and Muppets Most Wanted looks to continue that judging by that f...
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Trailer for 2014 sequel Muppets Most Wanted


Aug 06
// Jessi Grant
The new trailer for Muppets Most Wanted claims that "the sequel always strives to be better, bolder, and bigger." The follow-up to 2011's The Muppets takes Kermit, Animal, Miss Piggy and the rest of the crew overseas on a gr...
Disney  photo
Disney

Disney made big changes to its 2014-17 release slate


Two untitled Marvel movies and a sequel to Planes. F**king Planes.
Jun 17
// Nick Valdez
When Disney first released the dates of its upcoming films earlier this year, it had only included what had been announced up until that point. Now that a few months have passed (and 1952 has changed its name to Tomorrowland ...
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The Muppets...Again! will have Miss Piggy's wedding again


Somebody's getting married today...again!
Feb 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Some new news has surfaced about a scene in The Muppets...Again! During an episode of BBC's The Film Programme, production designer Eve Stewart -- fresh from her BAFTA Film Award win for Les Miserables -- revealed what she's ...
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Muppets sequel gets official title, plot details and pics


It should have been called The Muppeting
Jan 30
// Thor Latham
It looks like The Muppets' next globe trotting adventure finally has an official title. Brace yourselves. It's The Muppets...Again! Yeah, I didn't make that up, though I gladly would have if Disney paid me instead of who...

Disney unveils its 2014-15 film release slate

Jan 16 // Nick Valdez
The Muppets 2 - 3/21/14 Captain America: The Winter Soldier - 4/4/2014 Maleficent - 7/2/2014 Guardians of the Galaxy - 8/14/2014 1952 - 12/19/2014 Pirates of the Caribbean 5 - 7/10/2015  
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Includes Muppets 2, 1952, and more...but no Little Mermaid 3D
Just the other day, Disney announced its planned film releases for 2014 and 2015. Notably, there are a few big changes. Maleficent, the Angelina Jolie (and daughter) starring prequel to Sleeping Beauty, is moved from its orig...

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Tina Fey looking at joining The Muppets for sequel


Wakka Wakka!
Jan 09
// Thor Latham
In what could possibly be the best idea ever, professional funny-woman Tina Fey is in talks to join the cast of Disney's upcoming Muppets sequel, co-starring with Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell. Famous for her stint on Saturday...
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Ricky Gervais in talks to star in next Muppets film


Dec 17
// Matthew Razak
News is coming in that Ricky Gervais is in talks to star as one of the leads in the upcoming new Muppets film. The movie is set to take place in Europe and since he is British, which for those of you without knowledge of tha...
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Ty Burrell replaces Christoph Waltz in The Muppets 2


Dec 07
// Hubert Vigilla
For a while Cristoph Waltz was in talks to star in The Muppets 2, a Europe-set sequel that starts shooting early next year. Unfortunately it looks like Waltz had to decline because of his schedule. I assume this has something...
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The Muppets sequel begins shooting in January in London


Life's a happy song when Brett McKenzie is writing it
Nov 05
// Thor Latham
Last years The Muppets seemed to be a surprise success for Disney, though I'm not sure why they didn't expect it, because anyone who's seen the movie can tell you it's fantastic. Anywho, the studio got the ball rolling o...
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Christoph Waltz may star in Muppets sequel set in Europe


Nov 02
// Hubert Vigilla
The Muppets was a good nostalgia trip that left lots of people longing for a follow-up. There's finally some casting news on The Muppets 2. Christoph Waltz is currently in talks for a starring role in the film. If he takes th...
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Muppets 2 happening, but Jason Segel's not in it


Mar 05
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
[Update: According to FirstShowing.net, Segel will not be starring in the film either. He may help in some small capacity (hopefully a cameo of some kind), but The Muppets 2 will not be Segel's film. And now I'm sad.] In...
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The Muppets respond to Fox News hate


Jan 31
// Matthew Razak
A little while after The Muppets came out Fox News Business Channel decided that the film was actually a piece of liberal propaganda created to make children hate capitalism and the oil industry. No, I'm not joking. This rea...

Three new clips from The Muppets

Nov 03 // Liz Rugg
Clip 1: "Surprise Tickets" [embed]205485:37351[/embed] Clip 2: "Idea" [embed]205485:37352[/embed] Clip 3: "Showdown" [embed]205485:37353[/embed]
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Disney has released three new clips from the upcoming Muppets movie. I'm telling you now, they're good. Like, surprisingly good. I really enjoyed the pacing of the clips and I already like the character of Walter. You can check out the clips for yourself below! The Muppets are coming to theaters this Thanksgiving. [Via Collider]


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