“Muppets Most Wanted”: Constantine steals the show

“Muppets Most Wanted” highlights a Kermit the Frog look-a-like named Constantine that infiltrates the Muppets on their European tour while Kermit wallows in a Siberian gulag. If it sounds silly, it is, and that’s the way it should be. The film takes together everything that you want in a Muppet movie and then adds Tina Fey, Ty Burrell and Ricky Gervais. Naturally, this just makes things better. While the emotional arc is not as prevalent as in “The Muppets”, the film is still a delight to watch with jokes that suit every age and characters we all know and love.

The movie is full of guest appearances, wacky gags and memorable songs (sometimes too memorable). It is a bit too long though, stretching a good twenty minutes longer than it needs to be, and it also seems to be more a collection of gags and sequences strung together from country to country rather than an arcing plot. The villain Constantine and the Interpol agent played by Ty Burrell may be too interesting and fun for their own good, stealing the show. The plot weighs down without their screen presence during intervals of the story. The thing about the Muppets though is that sometimes just being in their presence and laughing at their jokes does not make a lack of strong as much of a problem as with other films. The fact that they are the Muppets does compensate for a wish-wash story in a way because it still is fun.

Somewhat bothersome is the role of Miss Piggy. She is always the most vocal, most charismatic and iconic of the Muppets, but she is reduced here to the “female” role: not sure of what is going on, doubting herself and needing to be rescued. As a hard-charging, take-what-you-can pig, she should be more fully developed and instrumental to the plot.

“Muppets Most Wanted” succeeds as a film that’s fun, first and foremost. All other issues aside, fun is the priority and fun is what we get.

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