It would be a mistake for Muppets Most Wanted to try for the same thing and it doesn’t. Now that the gang is back together, it’s much more of a classic, wacky Muppet adventure film, with some unmistakable echoes of The Great Muppet Caper, using a similar crime-based story. And on that front, while perhaps not hitting all the beats the last movie did, Muppets Most Wanted is another big success. I’ve already referenced the opening song from the film, “We’re Doing a Sequel,” and it’s absolutely terrific - a meta, oh-so catchy ode to franchises. One of the lyrics notes, “Everybody knows that the sequel's never quite as good,” which is indeed usually the case, yes. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t get satisfying, entertaining sequels, and Muppets Most Wanted is certainly one of those.
The World Tour scenario works very well, bringing the Muppets to different countries where different stars cameo as guest hosts, with this film once more managing to include a taste of the classic Muppet Show scenario into its storyline. Constantine (Muppets performer Matt Vogel, who also does Floyd, Lew and several other characters) is a really funny inclusion, as the Russian-accented fiend attempts to emulate Kermit’s voice, instead sounding like a mixture between Steve Martin & Dan Akroyd’s Wild and Crazy Guys and the Man From Another Place from Twin Peaks. Dominic and Constantine are also a great comedic duo, as the frog loves to lord over his human lackey, as represented by their big song together, “I’m Number One.”
The final Muppet/human team-up in the film is between Kermit and Tina Fey as Nadya, the warden at the Siberian prison Kermit is sent to, after Constantine switches their identities (via a fake mole). There’s a lot to like in this scenario and Fey is clearly having a ball doing a silly accent and showing Nadya’s increasing infatuation with Kermit. However, the prison sequences are one place Muppets Most Wanted falters a bit, with some of the scenes set there lacking energy and feeling a bit drawn out. Still, how can you not enjoy seeing Tina Fey do a song and dance number in a prison, with Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Jemaine Clement and the WWE’s Hornswoggle accompanying her and dancing behind her, as some very exuberant prisoners?
- +Constantine (not to mention the humans) is a great addition.
- +Lots of laughs throughout.
- +Very catchy, clever songs.
- –The prison scenes drag a bit.