I can’t begin to tell you how stoked I was to see a new Muppets movie when the last one came out. It had been so long since the last time that I saw a movie or show about the muppets that I had almost forgotten about them. It didn’t hurt when it turned out that the movie was fantastic and subsequent viewings have only further cemented that. Sadly, the new muppet movie can’t quite match that magic, but it still mostly fun.
The film literally picks up where the last one ended (with a great big “The End” sign in the sky). The muppets are wondering what’s next in their newly revitalized lives and realize that the only option is a sequel. This, of course, leads to a musical number about how they are making a sequel (which is probably the best in the whole movie). However, they don’t know what the sequel is going to be about.
Insert Ricky Gervais as Dominic Badguy. Dominic convinces the muppets that they should go on a world tour with their show. Everybody is really excited, except for Kermit. Kermit is concerned with delivering a good show and not just about hitting it hot while they are newly popular. Yet, to Kermit’s dismay, all of his long time friends are smitten with Dominic and taking his side on everything. This gets Kermit down to the point of being vulnerable enough to listen to Dominic at the wrong time.
Kermit takes a walk down a dark alley, at the request of Mr. Badguy, and runs into an evil frog named Constantine. Constantine looks just like Kermit except for an ugly mole over the right side of his lip. So, Constantine throughs a mole on Kermit’s lip and into the fire. Kermit is recognized as the evil burglar frog and thrown into a Russian prison. Meanwhile, Constantine and Dominic use the muppet show to cross the globe in search of stealing a great hidden treasure.
There is a lot to like in this new muppet movie. The characters are just as fun as they’ve always been, the one liners are often hilarious, and some of the actors portraying new characters here are inspired. I especially liked Tina Fey as a Russian prison guard with an obsession with Kermit. There are also a huge amount of cameos. This movie might have the most cameos I’ve ever seen in my life. Everybody from Lady Gaga and Usher to Ray Liotta and Tony Bennett show up. Seriously, I believe there might be over 20 cameos in this movie. It’s kind of crazy.
The real problem I had with the film was that the sense of wonder and the great big heart that made the last one so amazing was gone. That does mean that there are not sweet moments here, but I felt like they were the same forced sweet scenes that you find in your average romantic comedy or standard kids movie. Nothing stuck out as genuinely inspired. The premise of the film even felt like something that had been recycled from a million other movies and certain scenes I could see coming from a mile away.
With all that being taken into account, I can’t possibly give the film my full fledged recommendation. However, I’m not going to tell you not to see it either. If you love the muppets then you will probably like this movie. It is really funny at times and filled with the characters you love. If it were my money, I would wait for it to come out on DVD, but you may feel differently.
Review By Nathan Ligon
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