If you want to know something about the Muppets and their humor that has entertained us now for decades, merely look at the first musical number in Muppets Most Wanted. We’re Doing a Sequel just puts it right out there… and also sets up our story to follow up The Muppets.
The Muppets' wit is as sharp as ever, just check out these Muppets Most Wanted quotes.
The first film’s director James Bobin is back helming and has joined screenwriter Nick Stoller (who co-wrote the first film with Jason Segel) in penning the story. The Bobin-Stoller tandem has crafted a tale that takes our favorite felt friends and not only sends them on a European tour (out of the comfy confines of LA), but manages to intertwine a marvelous caper movie into their family friendly movie musical.
After we catch our breath from the opening number and the gang is wondering what to do next (and realizing that the cameras are still rolling!), Ricky Gervais' Dominic Badguy swoops in and wants to manage them and take them on a European tour. When he hands his business card to Kermit, that Muppets sense of humor shines right through -- his last name is Badguy. Please!
Kermit is not so sure. But, everyone else is so excited at the prospect, he goes along with them and we're off.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Constantine. He is an inch-for-inch doppelganger of Kermit and is locked up in Russia’s most secure gulag, run by a sensationally cast Tina Fey.
The criminal mastermind is working with Badguy (surprise!), and has plans to bust out of prison, have Kermit kidnapped and framed for his crimes, and then use the Muppets European tour for something so brilliantly sinister (and silly) that it has to be seen to be believed… and truly appreciated.
Meanwhile, Sam the Eagle and a French Interpol agent (a terrific Ty Burrell) are hot on Constantine's trail.
The songs by Bret McKenzie are, in a word, brilliant. He won an Oscar for his songwriting for The Muppets and we’d be shocked if he wasn’t at least nominated for his work on Muppets Most Wanted.
From the Constantine-Ricky Gervais tap dance-worthy I’m Number One (You’re Number Two) and the track that starts the film (and feels incredibly like an old show-stopping classic Hollywood musical moment) to the Ty Burrell-Sam the Eagle tongue-twisting Interrogation Song, McKenzie has truly outdone himself. McKenzie’s songs are not only catchy, but they keep the plot moving in a brisk and delightful manner.
When we first saw that Muppets Most Wanted trailer, we wondered how they would handle the whole doppelganger thing with Kermit and Constantine. But, after witnessing Bobin’s film, Movie Fanatic can report that it is nothing short of genius. Constantine’s running of the Muppets while they think he's Kermit -- even though he has a Russian accent -- is one long and always paying off joke.
Our Muppets Most Wanted review also has to salute the use of the celebrity cameo, a standard for a Muppet movie. You’ve seen the ones advertised in the Muppets Most Wanted big game trailer… P. Diddy, Christoph Waltz, Salma Hayek and Tom Hiddleston.
But, there are legions more and they’re not simply “ah-ha” moments. The cameos are brilliantly used to further the story or make a knee-slapping joke.
When it comes to the future of the Muppets, considering how terrific The Muppets was, and how bloody fantastic Muppets Most Wanted is, let’s hope there is a third, fourth and fifth film as audiences -- young and old -- are privileged to be living in what appears to be a Muppet renaissance.
Before heading to see Muppets Most Wanted, catch up on the Muppet magic and watch The Muppets online.