Muppets Most Wanted does what most sequels fail to do, it's better than the original. Although technically not the second Muppet movie, it's the second in this latest reboot of the franchise. A reboot that I'm really liking.
Muppets Most Wanted picks up right at the end of the last film with the gang left on Hollywood Blvd trying to figure out their next move. Soon they are approached by a shady talent manager named Dominic Badguy played by a very hilarious Ricky Gervais. Dominic convinces the Muppets to go on a world tour, which is a ruse to get them to Europe. In Siberia, Dominic's partner and Kermit Doppelgänger, Constantine is getting prepared to break out of prison. Constantine is the worlds most dangerous frog! The plan is to have Kermit mistaken for Constantine and thrown in jail. With the authorities thinking that Constantine is once again safe behind bars, the duo can continue their crime spree. The muppets are all too clueless and trusting to realize that Dominic has pulled one over on them.
The plot is of course silly, but the jokes are hilarious. A lot of the jokes depend on the viewers knowledge of pop culture and there will be plenty of people who will "not get it". However, for those who do, it's very funny. My favorite parts included a nod to A Chorus Line and actor Danny Trejo playing himself as a prison inmate. There are also a handful of jokes that rely on the viewer having seen the first film. It's nothing that will confuse you, but it is helpful to have seen the first film. Plus the first film is a darn good movie!
What really works in Muppets Most Wanted are the human actors. Tina Fey is great as a lovesick prison guard. I love Ty Burrell on Modern Family and it was fun to see him as an Interpol agent working with Sam Eagle to crack the case. The two have chemistry! The only downside was many of the scenes with Burrell and Sam Eagle were used in the trailers and they lost their impact in the movie. The film is filled with celebrity cameos. I can't imagine anyone turning down a role in a Muppet film!
We saw Muppets Most Wanted at the Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. I love this venue and the live stage show with Miss Piggy and Kermit was really cute. They got the whole audience to sing Mahna Mahna, which makes everyone smile. The only miss was no Waldorf and Statler in the balcony. I think everyone was expecting it.
I absolutely loved the new Monster's University short Party Central, that was shown before Muppets Most Wanted. Mike and Sulley use creative measures to ensure that Oozma Kappa has the best Frat party ever. I really hope that a sequel to Monster's University is in the works.
I really enjoyed Muppets Most Wanted and I imagine that I will find it just as funny when I buy the DVD.