2014 / Director. James Bobin.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED begins at the very moment that the previous film ended. Following the climax of the first movie's finale the Muppets find themselves out of work again. Now that their reunion movie is over they're stranded and left to contemplate what's next for them. Enter a crooked entertainment agent (Ricky Gervais) who offers them a world tour and suddenly the movie has a plot. MUPPETS MOST WANTED covers all bases from the get go with a wonderful intro musical sequence that tells the viewer that sequels are never as good as the originals. As it turns out their agent is actually a cat burglar who has busted an infamous Russian crime lord out of a Siberian prison and uses the Muppet's world tour to conceal his scheme of robbing museums. The Russian crime lord is a Kermit look-alike and poor Kermie finds himself locked up in Siberia in his place. And thus is the lame and generically stupid plot of MUPPETS MOST WANTED. If it were any other movie it wouldn't be worth my time but we're talking about THE MUPPETS and these endearing characters that we've grown up with keep the movie feeling alive and vibrant. Where the last movie brought something new and modern to the Muppets, this sequel takes them back to safer and more familiar territory of their 80s era of films. The script is lousy and the Russian accents from some very notable performers are atrocious to the point of caricature... but what keeps it fun and frivolous is the fantastic musical numbers. Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) returns as the musical director and penned most of these wonderful songs. They're self referential and lyrically hilarious and there's so many of them that MUPPETS MOST WANTED is never boring. The film is also packed with a heap of celebrity cameos, some fleeting and others prominent. Seeing Jemaine Clement, Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo lead a chorus line of Siberian prisoners is brilliant. As the movie promised from the outset, it is not as good as the last one... but MUPPETS MOST WANTED defies its own bland formula with lively characters, great songs and juvenile jokes. It definitely won me over more than I had expected it to.