For years the Muppets were everywhere cementing themselves forever as iconic parts of pop culture, but there was a time where they had all but disappeared for the most part. Thanks to actor Jason Seagal’s love for the characters he spearheaded their return to where they belong on the big screen with 2011s The Muppets. It came as no surprise that this movie brought them back to the forefront not only putting a sequel in the works, but also a TV special that was sadly pretty bad. When the highly anticipated trailers to the latest entry Muppets Most Wanted were released they were less than impressive and looked like they lacked the passion of the previous film and instead was just a by the numbers cash grab, but could there be more to it than it appeared or is it time to turn out the lights for good?
Muppets Most Wanted follows the Muppets on a world tour finding themselves wrapped in a European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick. The film picks up at the exact moments of the last films ending, only to head in a direction that completely throws out what happened in the last film in a somewhat clever way complete with probably the only memorable song in the whole film. That being said they make a statement later in the film that kind of counters what they decided to do, but is so subtle most may miss it. The story works fine and is careful not to just rehash the first film and it quite entertaining, but lacks the passion that made the last film so great. Here it plays more by the numbers with nothing about it ever feeling like those behind it cared near as much about making the film, but instead just followed the formula of a lot of the later movies that they produced that worked but not as well. The music which was amazing in the previous films was just flat this time around. As mentioned the opening number is funny and works great, but the rest of the songs are just missing something. None of them ever have that memorable feel although most of them are saved thanks to some fun visuals to go with them. Most of the film itself feels forced and never flows or feels natural like the previous films. As with any Muppet movie there are tons of cameos, but here they aren’t all that enjoyable as they are just forced on you way too often and fast. Most of them have no point other than to just say look here they are and it gets old quick. The non-Muppet cast does a fine job with Ty Burrell being the best of the bunch thanks to his ongoing silly banter with Sam the Eagle. Tina Fey is fine as is Ricky Gervais, but neither offer anything to the film that couldn’t have been easily replaced.
This is far from a bad movie, it is a lot of fun in its own right it is just missing the passion and simplicity of the previous film and some of the originals that made them stand out. Shoving in cameos and forcing jokes wears thin fast. Kids that like the Muppets will no doubt have a great time as will any of those that grew up on the characters, but just don’t expect more of what The Muppets delivered because it just isn’t there. In addition to the theatrical release of the film, this Blu-ray also includes numerous bonus features including a longer blooper reel, a music video, and more as well as two other versions of the film including the extended cut and Statler & Waldorf’s cut adding to the fun. Get ready to light the lights and grab your copy of Muppets: Most Wanted The Unnecessary Extended Edition Blu-ray on August 12th.