Muppets Most Wanted opens with a song about Hollywood’s concepts about sequels and their inferiority in general. It’s amusing because of the comedy within lyrics and the surprise appearance of the musical number. But The Muppets Most Wanted makes the mistake of being too self aware as it is ultimately a decent, but ultimately inferior sequel. Muppets Most Wanted is unfortunately lacking the wit and charm of the previous Muppets resurgence film and has significant flaws. However, Muppets Most Wanted is still a fun, yet confused film.
One of the flaws of Muppets Most Wanted is the lack of screen time that the Muppets themselves have. While Kermit and Miss Piggy are given major roles, many other Muppets are reduced to almost cameos. While the new Muppet films are adamant about giving a major role to their newer Muppet character Walter who was introduced in the 2011 The Muppets film, he is overused in comparison to some of the classic characters. While there are some good gags, none of the other characters are given enough development.
The human actors are generally good. Ricky Gervais is one of the best parts of the movie, proving that his humor can still be funny in a family film. Tina fey and Ty Burell are also great and provide good contrasts to the Muppet characters. There are many great cameos, especially Christoph Waltz, Ray Liota, and Frank Lagella. However, all these are underused. The film relies on the shock humor of the cameo appearance, but doesn’t actually develop any of the cameos into intelligent jokes.
Similarly to the first Muppets film, the best part of Muppets Most Wanted is its musical numbers. There are many musical numbers throughout that are smartly written and expertly performed, giving this film a legitimate chance at getting an Academy Award nomination for its songs. While these songs are awkwardly edited into the film, they are enjoyable and entertaining. The songs are by far the funniest aspects of the film.
The humor in Muppets Most Wanted is hit and miss. The film has many amusing moments, but never is uproariously funny or generally hilarious. While some of the gags are predictable, the film does a good job at being original. The problem is that the film is way too dramatic. It is a natural tendency for family films to force in heart and emotion into the middle of the film, the 2011 film did it smartly. Muppets Most Wanted has many drawn out dramatic moments that fell distracting and out of place. They film’s emotional core is odd and feels out of place as well, especially during the film’s melodramatic climax.
While this review seems rather scathing, Muppets Most Wanted is still a decent film that is still superior to many family films out there. While there are definitely issues, they will be overlooked in comparison to the film’s humor and fun plot. While it’s no masterpiece, Muppets Most Wanted is still enjoyable and fun for families seeking a two hour escape. Grade: +C