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'Muppets Most Wanted' is very funny

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Muppets Most Wanted

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Fans of big screen musicals have a new film to see in theatres this weekend. A sequel to the 2011 film "The Muppets," "Muppets Most Wanted" opened complete with all of the characters first made popular by the television series of the 1970s.

This film picks up where "The Muppets" left off. Now that the Muppets are back together, they are convinced by their new manager, Dominic (played by Ricky Gervais), to go on a world tour. What they do not realize is that Dominic is working with a master criminal, Constantine, who has just escaped from a Russian prison. Constantine looks almost identical to Kermit except he has a mole on his face. He ambushes Kermit, which results in the real Kermit being taken to the Russian prison, and the faux Kermit joining the rest of the Muppets. In prison, Kermit meets Nadya (played by Tina Fey), a guard and a big fan of his. She persistently thwarts his escape attempts while the Muppets are slow to realize an imposter is in their midst.

The writing is crisp, and the pace is lively. Like the other "Muppets" films, this movie has a lot of funny jokes and appealing musical numbers. One memorable number is the opening where the colorful characters sing about sequels.

The 21st century filmmakers do justice to the superb ensemble of characters that made the Muppets so successful 40 years ago. The whole gang is here: Fozzie Bear, Animal, and of course, Miss Piggy are true to their original personalities.

The other characters are strong too. Ricky Gervais is very good as Dominic, who hates working with Constantine. Tina Fey is effective as Nadya, who is good at her job and loves musicals. Like the other films in the franchise, this movie has a lot of great cameos. Among them are Christolph Waltz and Frank Langella.

"Muppets Most Wanted" is a lot of fun for fans of the series.

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