It’s time to get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational … This is what we call Muppets Most Wanted.
Full disclosure, I’ve loved the Muppets since I was a child. When The Muppet Movie came out starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams in 2011, I was so geeked out that it was hard to handle. The movie opened on Thanksgiving and I went with both of my parents, practically dragging my dad in tow—he thought he’d get out of it … ‘heh the joke was on him.
This time around, I was lucky enough to have a colleague say on opening day, “Want to go see The Muppets tonight?” My answer was, “Heck yes!” I was going to go by myself but having company is 12 times more fun.
The movie started as a continuance of the previous Muppet movie, with an old school Muppets-style toe-tapping song and dance number complete with gold costumes and a kick line. It was clear that we were in for a treat. Soon after the first musical number where it is announced that “they’re doing a sequel” (no, duh), we were introduced to an evil version of the Kermit fans know and love, a frog, named Constantine, with an unfortunate mole, who had been imprisoned in Siberia for the crimes he had committed.
Constantine, with a little green makeup and aided by Dominic Badguy, played by Ricky Gervais, plan an elaborate switcheroo placing Constantine in Kermit’s traditional role as the head of The Muppets without most of the Muppets noticing— shout out to Animal for “Bad Frog!!” At the same time, Kermit, the recipient of an unfortunate fake mole unwillingly glued to his face, is soon apprehended and sent back to Siberia where he meets a hysterical Russian-accented Nadya, played by Tina Fey, and hilarity ensues.
Apart from the standard Muppet shenanigans, a significant bright point was the music, written by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame. McKenzie’s loopy, silly lyrics have hit their stride in the Muppet franchise, complimenting Muppet style and persona perfectly. Hopefully he’ll snag additional movie awards for best song, perhaps for Celine Dion and Miss Piggy’s rendition of “Something so Right,” but it’ll be difficult to top his Oscar winning “Man or Muppet” from the 2011 flick.
Without giving away too much, this movie delivers things Muppet fans yearn to see—cameos galore (complete with the voice of Josh Groban elicited from a solitary confinement chamber in Siberia), a love song between Kermit (err … Constantine) and Miss Piggy, a song and dance number from a classic Broadway musical, a wedding, inside the running of the bulls, Muppet ladder, and more.
The ultimate question remains … Was it my favorite Muppet movie to date? To be fair, not by a long shot. Did it elicit giggles and smiles galore? Oh, of course! I’m happy to see the franchise back up and running and look forward to adding Muppets Most Wanted to my Muppet movie collection.
On the Holly scale, this one deserves a giggle and a snort. As for the opinion of one Miss Heather Fitzsimmons, you’ll have to ask her.