MUPPETS MOST WANTED | THE REVIEW

Kernel Andrew hits up the green carpet for the family day of MUPPETS MOST WANTED – of course his family were all friends in their 30s, and while adults by age they are all definitely children at heart. Get prepped for cameos galore, hilarity abundant and all your favourite characters back again for many a musical number. And that is just in Andrew’s review. MUPPETS MOST WANTED releases tomorrow April 10th 2014 in Australia, it runs for 113mins and is G rated. 

 

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MUPPETS MOST WANTED | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | THE MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY ANDREW BRUSENTSEV

I want to say this at the outset, I was a shocked as anyone when in 2011 the Muppets were relaunched. Not only did this Segel inspired relaunch recapture the public’s imagination and satisfy the critics, but also, for me, ended up being one of the greatest moments in Muppets history. All praise to Segel, the man got the essence of the Muppets. He really ran with it showing his own sincere fan boy love and adoration. It was a work of true creativity and brilliance.

The Muppets Most Wanted (written by Nicholas Stoller and James Bobin and directed by Bobin) basically starts off where the last one ended. With due deference to the first movie it begins with a very tongue in cheek song and dance number “We’re Doing A Sequel”. It’s funny and basically beats the audience and critics to the punch by putting it out there that sequels are rarely as good as the original. Then again as it is noted in the song this is the seventh sequel of this particular franchise. Some of those I have to say have been…… umm ……pretty awful.

 

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MUPPETS MOST WANTED | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | FROZEN ANIMAL

 

Post song and flushed with the success of their comeback performance the gang are approached by a very slimy show biz promoter called Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais is born for these kinds of roles no?). Badguy (obvious pun intended) with his charm and the Muppets usual naivety railroads them into embarking on a world tour with him as manager. The only one that seems to have any reservations is Kermit himself, but no one is listening

Meanwhile on the other side of the world in a Siberian Gulag we are introduced to a jailed criminal mid escape. He surprisingly looks a lot like Kermit, his name Constantine – Worlds Most Dangerous Frog. We quickly learn that Dominic Badguy and Constantine are in cahoots (there is a brilliant song all about Constantine being No. 1 and Dominic being a No. 2 later on in the piece). Their plan to replace Kermit, and under the guise of the tour, pull off the biggest heist in history…the stealing of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. To do this the plan is to break into a series of museums conveniently located in every city and in close vicinity to where the Muppets are performing. But first Kermit has to go. After a successful breakout from the Gulag by Constantine, this plan is put into motion. Kermit is mistaken for Constantine whilst strolling down a foggy street (sent their by Badguy) and is bundled by the police into the back of a van. In true Muppets style this is driven straight to the Gulag.

 

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MUPPETS MOST WANTED | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | THE ENTIRE CREW

 

The two identical frogs switch roles. Constantine becomes Kermit and Kermit finds himself a prisoner in Siberia. What’s worse is the Muppet gang don’t even know he is missing (except for Animal who bites Constantine as soon as he sees him). There is some priceless moments; a slavic sounding Constantine trying to sound like Kermit (he also needs to wear a “green” concealer for you see he has mole on his face. Kermit is given this same mole prior to his abduction). A great moment is when Constantine gets stage fright whilst kicking off the Muppet Show in trademark Kermit (should I say slavic Constantine style). How can the Muppets not know he mangles everyone’s names and even Kermit’s trademark phrases? The final straw is that this new Constantine Kermit seems to be a more attentive partner to Miss Piggy, and heaven forbid, due to this attention they may even finally get marrried!

As with most Muppet outings the smorgasbord of cameos and walk ons is nearly endless. Besides Gervais we have Ty Burrell (Modern Family) as a bumbling Interpol Agent teamed up with Sam the American Eagle as the CIA agent both on the hunt for Constantine. Tina Fey as the head of the Gulag (her performance is impeccable and brilliant. Part Boris and part Natasha…worth the price of admission alone). Inside the gulag we find Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo very much playing against the “tough guy” sterotype as all singing all dancing gulag tough guys. Here we also find Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords fame) who, as usual, is hilarious as another gulag gang member. Others who either join the gang in their performances or are given walk ons: Salma Hayek (joins Gonzo for the Indoor Running of the Bulls). Usher as a wedding usher (boom boom) and Celine Dion who sings a duet with Miss Piggy. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, I don’t want to spoil all surprise faces you will witness in the couple of hours you spend between side splitting sight gags and comedy sequences.

 

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MUPPETS MOST WANTED | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | RICKY GERVAIS, MISS PIGGY AND KERMIT

 

As for my critical assessment it didn’t quite live up to the wow and smart humour of Segel’s effort but compared to the other seven Muppet outings referenced it ranks very highly above most. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It had all the right ingredients that you go to this kind of movie for. My only real criticism of this effort is that The Muppets took a bit of a back seat to the whirlwind of cameos on display.

Still if you are a kid or a big kid at heart there is plenty here that is perfect.

 

4 Pops

 

 

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