Muppets Most Wanted
Cert: U / 113 mins / Dir. James Bobin
There's a moment in the opening musical number of Muppets Most Wanted where an arch comment is made about sequels usually not being as good as their predecessors. This glint of self-awareness is about as clever as the film gets, unfortunately, and everything that follows only serves to underline the point. It's not that the movie is bad at all, but it's certainly lacking the spark that can make the Muppets so much fun to watch.
And that, for me, is the main problem I had: for all the mayhem, singing, shouting and general slapstick, I wasn't feeling the fun. The plot, revolving around a Kermit-lookalike and a series of art/jewel robberies, often feels lazy, as do a lot of the performances. There are chucklesome gags and strong setpieces, but it's not go-to-the-cinema-for material. Outside of Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell's plot-specific parts, there are a myriad cameo appearances which you get the impression are the result of beleaguered showbiz managers being badgered into calling Disney to ask for spots for their clientele. A few of these work quite well; the rest are as inconsequential as in the last theatrical installment.
And that, for me, sums up the film. Light, inoffensive, and thoroughly inconsequential. There's no shame in a movie ticking those boxes, but it should really have gone straight to DVD.
Muppets Most Wanted certainly feels like it's been made with a lot of care, just not much love. The work that was done in 2012 to reinvent the franchise seems to have come to naught, as it slips firmly back onto the rails which saw it lose steam to begin with. This outing will keep the younger audience happy enough, but there's little there for anyone else.
Muppets: you're better than this.
In all honesty, it probably does.
DVD, tops. You can safely wait until it's a fiver, as well.
Not out of choice, but I probably wouldn't switch it off.
I don't think so, but it wouldn't surprise me if one was buried in there.
Did anyone else leave with the feeling that maybe Celine Dion doesn't get the joke?
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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