Muppets Most Wanted intended to strike while the iron was hot, right on the heels of the huge critical and financial success of The Muppets. While much of that film’s charm is retained in this well done sequel, it never quite reaches the level of nostalgia and meta-brilliance of that film. But with that being said, Muppets Most Wanted is a worthy and fun Muppets film that keeps the franchise relevant in modern pop culture.
Perhaps it was the loss of Jason Segel and Amy Adams that took some of the heart out of this film for me, but as most Muppet films do, they changed up the cast for this film. Ty Burrell, Rick Gervais and Tina Fey pick up the slack and are obviously having a lot of fun, but come across almost as cartoony as the Muppets in most instances – although Gervais’ crooked talent agent Dominic “The Lemur” Badguy is probably my favorite character in either film.
Muppets Most Wanted revolves around the escape of the dangerous criminal Constantine, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Kermit (except for his mole), and his subsequent identity swap with Kermit. There’s some great bits with Constantine trying to ingratiate himself with the Muppet group and made for a really fun character.
Constantine’s plan is to steal the Crown Jewels with his #2, Dominic “The Lemur” Badguy, all the while Kermit is locked up in a Siberian Gulag with Tina Fey’s prison guard Nadya overseeing the prisoners. Fey has a great opening song set in the prison that is one of many really clever and cute songs throughout the film.
Ty Burrell does his best Inspector Clouseau impression as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon, while having the least interesting character of the three celebrity leads, but does get paired with my favorite Muppet, Sam Eagle. So there’s that. The duo have some international rivalry silliness since Sam Eagle works for the CIA (obviously) and both are hunting down “The Lemur.”
The video on the Blu-Ray looks fantastic and the vast and diverse color palettes used from their international locations couldn’t be crisper. This is definitely a film to see in full glorious HD rather than DVD or poor streaming quality online.
While the presentation of the film is stellar, the special features are a bit of a letdown. One of the most heavily marketed selling points is the The Unnecessarily Extended Cut, which is a fairly accurate name. The disc set has the 107 minute theatrical cut and the 119-minute extended cut. There’s some genuinely funny stuff on the extended version, but just as many really lame scenes. Adding perhaps six minutes instead of 12 minutes would’ve been the sweet spot.
Also included is The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History, which I admit I’m always a sucker for blooper reels and had a blast watching this one. Probably my favorite supplemental feature on the release, the segment is 10 minutes long and has outtakes and other fun stuff with the Muppet gang.
The remaining pieces are shorts including Rizzo’s Biggest Fan, in which the rat himself airs his grievance to real-life director James Bobin about his lack of screentime in the film. It’s kind of fun, but utterly forgettable even though I really enjoy Rizzo. The original haters, the brilliant Statler & Waldorf, have a short with their own sarcastic goofy “cut” of the film. I love these guys and could’ve used more of them in these special features. Finally, things are finished out with the music video for the catchy and amusing song from the film “I’ll Get What You Want” by Bret McKenzie.
While Muppets Most Wanted didn’t work for me quite as well as the film before, it’s still a great family movie that I’d recommend to all ages. The Blu-ray release looks and sounds great while having some truly fun special features that are disappointingly light on overall material. The supporting goodies won’t keep kids or adults occupied for too long, but the film itself is a great quality addition to any family or Muppet fan’s collection.