After all the many previews over the months (years?) leading up to the theatrical release of Muppets Most Wanted, it’d be pretty hard to write a review that contains many, if any, spoilers. All the previews pretty much show what the movie is all about. I couldn’t wait to see it anyway. So we caught a Sunday matinee – The Fam plus Meg’s boyfriend, Grant. Personally, the movie was what I expected. No more, no less. A little longer than necessary with a superfluous musical number thrown in here and there, Muppets Most Wanted was exactly as promised – a sequel maybe not as good as the first. IF the “first” we’re talking about is the original movie debut of the Muppets way back in the 70’s and not the gang’s 2011 picture.
The original (epic, fantastic, classic), 1979 The Muppet Movie, created the perfect mix of humor, sentimentality, music, and the very best in cameo appearances – all in precise balance between Muppet and human characters. At 95 minutes, The Muppet Movie told a very basic story about how the actual movie itself came into existence. By contrast, Muppets Most Wanted, which also tells an excellent story and makes even better use (to me) of cameo appearances, is a little less precise in accomplishing the same goal – using humor, sentimentality, and music less effectively during its 112 minute runtime. The balance between Muppet and human characters is as perfect as can be, though.
The plot involving the double characters of Kermit and Constantine works very well – Constantine’s selfishness and ego are in perfect opposition to Kermit’s generosity and humility. The heart of each character from Piggy to Scooter, Walter, and Gonzo (and the rest) remains true to previous movies and TV shows. They act the way we expect them to in the manner we’ve grown to love over the years. Surprisingly, many of the original, early Muppets are nearly left out completely, which I found disappointing. Perhaps this was necessary in order to beef up the cameos – in that case, it was worth it.
To sum it all up – I thought Muppets Most Wanted was entertaining and true to the heart and soul of previous Muppet movies. I liked it a little more than The Muppets (2011) and a lot less than The Muppet Movie (1979). There are some clever, wonderfully unforgettable scenes in this newest installment in the Muppet movie lineup. I can’t help but feel that if the director had tightened it up by dropping a couple of unnecessary scenes and musical numbers, it would have been perfection. No, it’s not doing well at the box office, but I don’t care. I’m a Muppet fan like I’m a Disney fan and that means I’m loyal no matter what.
Did you see Muppets Most Wanted this weekend? What did you think?