We bought the Muppets Most Wanted (Unnecessarily Extended Edition) Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack last week, and were so excited to watch it as a family! Want to know what we thought?
Opening with a view of Disney’s El Capitan theater, I was kind of touched from the start. This movie picks up where the last movie left off: the Muppets are back together again and have gotten their theater back. It’s time, as Kermit and friends sing, to do a sequel – despite that “everybody knows the sequel is never quite as good.”
As the Muppets are about to embark on a world tour, we see Kermit’s doppelgänger, Constantine, breaking out of a maximum security prison in Russia. Stateside, we meet Dominic Badguy (portrayed by Ricky Gervais and pronounced badgy – “it’s French”). Badguy sets himself up as the tour manager for our favorite group… but he has ties to Constantine. Is there a conflict of interest that will get the Muppets into big trouble? Well, I mean, I’m pretty sure you know the general plot… right?
If you were a fan of The Muppets, there are many attributes you’ll love about Most Wanted – big musical numbers (however odd – I’m looking at you, “Dance, Monkey, Dance” segment), breaking of the fourth wall, commentary on the franchise and the movie industry in general embedded in the dialogue, etc.
Ty Burrell as Interpol officer Jean Pierre Napoleon teams up with CIA agent Sam Eagle in funny, perfectly muppets moments that might have made the show for me. I’m admittedly a big Sam Eagle fan, but that’s irrelevant. It’s hilarious stuff. Tina Fey plays high-ranking prison guard Nadya and sings a number with the criminals (“The Big House”) that had our toes tapping. She not surprisingly took on the role with apparent ease and brought plenty of comic relief. Our new friend Walter is an integral part of the movie, as nearly the only one catching onto Constantine’s antics in time to make a difference.
We actually didn’t see this in theaters because of mixed reviews (and more because, you know, life with three little ones…), but I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to buy it when it came out. As a second generation Muppets fan (i.e., my parents were huge fans of the first wave of Muppets movies) I think this continues on the tradition of The Muppets 2011 release in reaching new generations while staying true to the franchise’s humor, characters and antics.
Even if, as a sequel, it isn’t “quite as good”.
Some Other Notes…
In keeping with Muppets tradition, there are cameos from beginning to end. Just a few noteworthy appearances include Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, Sean Combs, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Stanely Tucci and Usher (as an usher, no less).
While Jason Segel is not affiliated with the movie (and was outstanding in all aspects of his role in the previous film), the writing team and music director are the same. To me, anyway, this didn’t feel “less than” – it just felt more like a typical muppet movie and less like the great story of The Muppets.
The Blu-Ray/combo pack has 3 versions of the film: Original, Unnecessarily Extended Edition (12-minute longer run time with a few extra jokes throughout) and the Statler & Waldorf Cut. It’s visually well done and the music throughout is exactly as I would have expected.
“The Statler and Waldorf Cut” is kind of brilliant. I suggest you watch this one first, even if you haven’t seen the movie.
The Longer Longest Blooper Real in Muppets History is pretty good. Not all that funny, actually, but it was fun to see some of the human actors interacting differently with the muppets than in the film.
In Rizzo’s Biggest Fan, we hear from a rat (that sort of reminds us of Rizzo, despite stating he has “no personal connection with [him] whatsoever”) asking why the “startlingly attractive”, “very important” character did not make the film -despite being involved since 1979.
“I’ll Get You What You Want” – a music video performance by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame (as well as, oh, Lord of the Rings appearances and an Academy Award for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets)
Have you seen it? Who is your favorite Muppet? Join the conversation in the comments below!