Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Oh, those Muppets. So hip, so meta, so cool.

It has finally happened! The Muppets are back and more popular than ever! The only difference now is that they don’t quite know what to do with all their popularity, that is, until booking-agent Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) walks into their lives and gives them an offer they can’t refuse: Come along with him, go on a world tour, sell every place out and sooner than later, they’ll be rich, famous and cool all over again. But, the only problem here is that none of the other Muppets know about what Dominic is really up to, which concerns breaking into art galleries all over the world, finding buried-treasure and becoming even more rich than ever before. Also, there is another part of the plan that consists of Kermit getting mistaken for a villainous thief known as “Constantine”, because they look exactly the same, although the latter does have a mole on his face. Either way, the switch-up happens and when Kermit is thrown into a Russian prison, the rest of the Muppets are left with nothing else to do but to just get on with the show and hope for the best, even if they do notice that something rather strange is going on with the “new” Kermit.

To clear things up right away, I absolutely loved and adored the hell out of the latest Muppets movie that came out some odd years back. Not only was it a return-to-form for those lovely puppets I grew up watching and knowing throughout all of my childhood, but it reminded me just how hilarious they actually were, despite me growing up a little bit. Their jokes were a lot more self-knowing, smart, witty, and even, dare I say it, meta. It showed me that the Muppets weren’t only here to stay, but that they could easily continue to have me smiling, laughing and having a great time with them, even as I got older.

For once, Ricky Gervais doesn't know what to say.
For once, Ricky Gervais is left speechless.

Heck, I even watched that holiday special they had with Lady Gaga and RuPaul a couple of months ago!

Anyway, that’s why when I was going into this, I expected to have the same bit of fun I had with the last movie, while still remaining a bit skeptical. Why? Well, because with the first movie, it seemed like there was a lot more at-stake. We hadn’t seen the Muppets pop-up in much for a very long time, nor did we get a movie of theirs for a whole ten or eleven years. So basically, the first movie was created as a tool as to see if these puppets were still popular, or, better yet, could even make some money for those powers-that-be. Thankfully, the movie did both! But that’s why I remained a little weary of what this movie was going to do and if it wasn’t going to stick to its guns like the latest movie did. I felt like they were probably going to try all that they could to strangle a laugh out of us and probably end-up straining themselves in the process.

But somehow, this wasn’t the case here, although some of my fears did come true here, if only a wee bit.

What I think works so well here, as it does with practically anything involving the Muppets, is the humor. It’s the type of humor that works for any and all ages. There’s the older, more-knowing jokes suitable for the more mature crowd; as well as there’s plenty of those slapstick jokes where characters are falling down, blowing stuff up and hitting each other over the heads with whatever they can find, for the younger crowd. It all works very well and barely ever lets up, even if most of those “thoughtful” jokes do, and will, go over most of those younger kids’ heads. Not saying so in a condescending way, just saying that it’s something that you have to expect with a Muppets movie. Or anything involving the Muppets whatsoever.

The next best aspect of this movie is definitely the music which seems like it only gets better the more and more you think about certain lines of lyrics. Sure, there’s nothing along the lines of “Man or Muppet” to be found here, but for what it’s worse, most of the tunes heard here are funny, well-written and better than most of the other crap you hear on the radio nowadays. I mean, seriously, who in the hell is “the Glitch Mob”!??!?

And I guess you could consider the cast to be the next best aspect of this movie, mainly Ty Burrell as a French Interpol inspector that works with Sam the Eagle on this whole big mystery of a plot and is always competing with him as who is the better Secret Service agent. Also, they battle it out on whose badge is bigger, which is a running-gag that never seems to get old. Burrell is probably the only who is more lively and energetic than some of the Muppets here, if only because he has the goofiest, showiest role of them all. Whereas Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey, despite the latter sporting a heavy-Russian accent, don’t really get to do much other than try their very few hands at being funny and holding believable reaction-shots with a bunch of puppets. That’s not taking anything away from Burrell at all, because he truly was hilarious to watch in a campy, over-the-top way. You know, the way you should be when you’re in the same frame as Ms. Piggy, or the Swedish Chef, or especially Kermit himself.

Okay, sure. I guess if the sight of Hornswaggle is a "Spoiler", than whatever.
Okay, sure. I guess if the sight of Hornswoggle is a “Spoiler”, than whatever.

The cameos themselves are all fine and dandy, if totally and completely random. However, that’s exactly what these movies live-off of. Some of the people who show up I’m scared to even give away or spoil, but just know, a few of them will absolute stun you and make you wonder just where the idea of putting this particular person the movie came from. Not all of them are great, but more often than not, they’re pretty strange, but in a good way that the Muppets are always known for featuring.

At the end of the day with this movie, I find myself being totally ecstatic about it, and then, other parts of me find it hard to remember it as perfectly as I did with the first movie. I guess that’s my fault for stacking 30 years of Muppets movies up against one another, but then again, I don’t think it is. As a fan, I think it’s alright to shine a light on the past, and see exactly where the franchise is going. For now, I’m content with the Muppets being around and making us laugh, but still, I hold a little hesitance in my heart, as I know that there could quite possibly be another Muppets from Space, just around the corner. Let’s just hope that’s just another case of me talking out of my backside, and not the harsh, brutal truth.

Consensus: As usual, Muppets Most Wanted assures that our favorite, lovable puppets are still funny and able to make us have a great time, although it is clear that some of the magic is fading away. If only some of it is.

8 / 10 = Matinee!!

That "Walter" guy is still around? Meh!
That “Walter” guy is still around? Meh!

Photo’s Credit to:


  1. Even a not-quite-as-good-as-The-Muppets movie is still better than most other movies. We were really spoiled with the 2011 film, because it was both a ripping nostalgia trip and a damn great film all in one, whereas now the nostalgia has worn off, and the characters and franchise must stand on its own.

    I’m just thankful they haven’t tried to reinvent the Muppets completely. Give me the core group of Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Piggy and Scooter any day.

  2. I agree with you about it being hard to remember, I saw this last week and can barely recall any of it. It was ok, but not even close to warmth and heart of The Muppets (2011).

  3. Great review, man. I’m a bit sceptical about this one – still undecided if I’m going to see it, and the congo line of unnecessary cameos doesn’t improve my confident – but a positive review like yours makes me more inclined to check it out.

    Given I haven’t seen the 2011 film yet, would you recommend I hunt that down before seeing this one?

  4. Nice review 🙂 Never been a huge fan of the muppets but I did enjoy the 2011 film. Think it’s worth going the pictures for this or waiting for the dvd?

  5. Good call on the music – love Bret McKenzie! And speaking of cameos, I quite enjoy his brief appearances with the elves in Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit movies

  6. Haven’t seen this one yet, but going to take my son Ethan (10) soon. We enjoyed the first one very much, but found your comments interesting as I’ve been wondering if the this installment would measure up. I suspected a drop-off, but seems it’s a worthy effort by your account. Also, want to thank you for reading our blog, MRSRAG, and commenting from time to time. As you know any feedback is welcomed. Keep up the good work!

  7. Gave it the same score. Good review as always Dan. Somehow I’ve managed to miss “The Muppets,” so I definitely have to see that now. The bear in “Muppets in Space” had me cracking up so I’m not as hard on it as some others who really seem to dislike it. 😦

  8. Just saw this one today and was pretty impressed. I thought it would be tough to live up to the last one, and I think it’s fair to say that this one isn’t quite as good, but I’m glad it stuck with the same kind of self-deprecating, self-referencing humour that really works. Very funny, especially early on. It’s great to see the Muppets back on our screens in such fine form. Excellent review!

  9. I would agree that this Muppet movie is probably on par with the previous one. The songs sound richer and fuller like classic Muppet tunes, but I definitely felt there was a degree of enthusiasm and earnestness missing from the lyrics. Sadly none of the songs are nearly as catchy as Life’s a Happy Song or Man or Muppet. There are some great running gags in the film, especially the one with Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle. I’m a huge Sam fan, so I was thrilled to see him get a ton of screen time. Although toward the end I thought some of the running jokes got tired and Bobin didn’t quite know when to end the movie. I tried not to spoil any of the cameos in my review either, because I also think that’s part of the fun in watching Muppet movies.

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