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With the success of the 2011 film, it wasn’t long before Disney decided to make a sequel Muppet film. Released in 2014 and directed by the prequel’s director, James Bobin, Muppets Most Wanted failed to be a big hit as the first one was. Were audiences harsh towards the film or is the film genuinely bad? Read on to find out what I think!
And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!
The film opens up right where The Muppets ended. The Muppets, now reunited, wonder what their next step should be. They realize that a sequel has been ordered so they get excited about it via the song, We’re Doing a Sequel.
Unsure of what the sequel should be about, Dominic Badguy (pronounced Bad-gee), played by Ricky Gervais, suggests to Kermit and the gang that they should go on a world tour. Dominic introduces himself to the Muppets as a tour manager and convinces the Muppets to take him on as their world tour manager. Kermit is hesitant though thinking that the Muppets should hone their acts first before going out on a tour. But, the other Muppets convince him to accept Dominic’s offer and soon they’re off on their tour.
Unbeknownst to the Muppets, however, Dominic Badguy is actually…a bad guy! He works for Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog who has just escaped from a Siberian Gulag.
Constantine wants Dominic to meet him in Berlin, hence the first stop of the Muppets’ tour is Berlin, Germany. While in Germany, Kermit has a lot to deal with: the other Muppets want to do whatever they want on the tour rather than listen to Kermit’s leadership suggestions and Miss Piggy and him argue about getting engaged.
Dominic tells Kermit to go for a walk in Eastern Berlin by a canal to clear his thoughts. Kermit takes this advice, but when he’s out on his walk, he meets his doppelgänger, Constantine.
The only difference between them physically is a black mole on Constantine’s face. Before Kermit has time to react, Constantine glues on a black mole on Kermit’s face and escapes. The locals see Kermit, but assume him to be Constantine and he’s soon arrested and taken back to the Siberian Gulag. Constantine now has covered up his black mole and joins the Muppets posing as Kermit.
While Constantine looks like Kermit, there are differences in his personality and his voice (he has a Russian accent). So when the Muppets see “Kermit” again, he explains to them that he just has a cold which is causing his voice to sound funny. This explanation along with “Kermit” now allowing the Muppets to do what they want satisfy the Muppets so they don’t suspect anything. Well, Animal is the only Muppet who recognizes that this is an imposter, but nobody pays him much attention anyway.
So what is Constantine’s plan exactly? Well, he wants to steal the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. But to find out how to do this, he has to steal a painting from a museum in Berlin that’s right next to where the Muppets are performing. He’ll use the Muppets’ tour as a cover-up and then frame the Muppets for it!
As the Muppets perform their Berlin show that night, Constantine and Dominic burgle the museum and the next day, the authorities are called in including Sam the Eagle from CIA and Jean from Interpol, played by Ty Burrell. The duo doesn’t get along at first, but soon learn to work together to solve the crime…and bring more comedic scenes into the film.
Constantine and Dominic discover that the back of the painting has a message saying that they have to find a special key and locket in order to get to the Crown Jewels. The key is hidden in a museum in Madrid, hence that’s the next stop on the Muppets world tour.
Meanwhile Kermit has arrived at the Siberian Gulag where everyone at first mistakes him for Constantine, but soon realize that he isn’t. The prison guard/warden there, Nadya, played by Tina Fey, shows Kermit what life in the Gulag is like via the song, The Big House.
Kermit tries to escape, but to no avail. Nadya then tells Kermit to help the prisoners with their upcoming talent show and Kermit is forced to say yes. It’s also discovered that Nadya knows that this is Kermit and has been a secret fan of Kermit for a long time!
Back in Madrid, Constantine and Dominic break into the museum as the Muppets put on a show. They manage to get the key and are about to head to Dublin to find the locket. Before they leave, however, Sam the Eagle and Jean start to suspect that maybe the Muppets are behind this since these burglaries only happen in places where the Muppets are performing. They interrogate the Muppets via the Interrogation Song, but realize that they’re not criminal masterminds.
Nevertheless, they follow them to Dublin just to keep an eye on them. While in Dublin, Walter is suspicious that something’s not right.
He wonders why “Kermit” seems odd and how the Muppets are able to sell out all their seats at their performances. So one day, Walter follows Dominic and discovers that he has been paying for audiences. He runs back to Fozzie with this news and they both realize that “Kermit” is actually Constantine with his mole covered up. They realize that Animal knows this fact also, but it’s not long before Constantine realizes that they know his secret. He tries to capture them, but the trio escapes before that can happen.
Walter, Fozzie, and Animal decide to head to the Siberian Gulag to rescue Kermit where they assume he is. Constantine, on the other hand, tells the other Muppets that Walter and Fozzie have quit the Muppets. This surprises the other Muppets as they don’t understand why Walter quit the Muppets after they did a whole movie about him joining the Muppets!
Nevertheless, the other Muppets accept this explanation and go on with the Dublin show. While the show is going on, Constantine and Dominic break into the museum there, steal the locket, and leave behind a rubber chicken to frame Fozzie for the crime. Afterwards, Constantine proposes to Miss Piggy on stage who readily accepts and he announces that their wedding will be at the Tower of London.
Sam and Jean discover the rubber chicken at the museum and assume Fozzie is behind it. After hearing about the planned wedding at the Tower of London, they deduce that Fozzie is gonna steal the Crown Jewels, so they make their way to London.
Meanwhile, Animal, Walter, and Fozzie get to Siberia and find Kermit. Kermit is glad to see them, but also upset to hear that nobody realized that Constantine wasn’t him. Walter and Fozzie apologize and help Kermit escape during the prisoner talent show. They then head to London to stop the wedding from happening!
In London, Constantine and Dominic steal the Crown Jewels and Kermit stops the wedding foiling Constantine’s identity. Constantine tries escaping via helicopter, but is stopped by the Muppets. Sam and Jean come along realizing that Dominic and Constantine are the real bad guys and have them arrested. The Muppets are happy to have Kermit back and they continue on with their world tour. Kermit decides to do their next show in Siberia to please Nadya.
And that was Muppets Most Wanted. And it was…odd. It’s definitely not good, but the…oddness is more worth mentioning than the “badness”. I know there have been Muppets heist films before, but this story of having a Kermit look-alike just seems like a very generic, cookie-cutter idea for a sequel.
The Muppets performers are amazing, as usual, and Ty Burrell really made me see a new character! Ricky Gervais was…himself and Tina Fey wasn’t bad, but you could tell she was acting as a character. Most of the cameos were good with some of my favorites including Toby Jones, Frank Langella, Stanley Tucci, and Josh Groban.
The songs were probably even worse than the first film with the only song standing out to me being the Interrogation Song. And it just seemed pointless that the character of Walter didn’t really do all that much in this film. Yes, I know they wanted to focus on Kermit and Constantine instead, but it just seems weird that the whole prequel was about Walter and now, just nothing!
Summing up, this was worse than The Muppets, hence audiences were right in their response to the film. But, the oddness of the film overshadows the badness. If you want to watch a Muppets film, I recommend watching some other one!
So, the final score for this film is 18/35 = 51.43% (F) !
The next review will be posted on April 17, 2018.