Muppets Most Wanted plays better at home
Now on Blu ray and DVD, Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” sees the entire Muppets gang embarking on a global tour that includes Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But, as usual, mayhem follows the Muppets as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper to stela the crown jewels. This nefarious plot is headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais). Meanwhile, Kermit is detained behind bars by Nadya (Tina Fey), as Ty Burrell tracks all the shenanigans as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.
Back in 2011, Jason Segel teamed up with writer Nicolas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie and director James Bobin to reintroduce the Muppets to a new generation, while showing audiences who grew up on them exactly why they loved them as much as they had as children. The sequel brings back everyone minus Segel, which sadly leaves Muppets Most Wanted without a heart to its story, reducing the follow up to a series of sketches and cameos strung together with a threadbare plot that feels like The Muppets reimagined with a Family Guy mentality. To top it off the lovable Walter who was at the center of the previous film has been relegated to a ‘barely existing’ supporting role, something the film itself actually calls out.
The human cast, who are all underutilized and wasted to some degree, manage to fair better on the small screen than they did in theaters .Fey and her smorgasbord of celebrity inmates still deliver the most laughs, but the sheer magnitude of cameos, most of the blink and you miss them variety, plays better when you can rewind to figure out exactly how the celebrity was used. While Fey does manage to bring some of her unique spin to her character of Nadya, Gervais is really undervalued and because of such never quite meshes as Number 2. Burrell’s role is the one that benefits from the versatility of the home screen the most as the shtick he is required to deliver is less tiresome when you can skip by the more groan worthy parts. While not entirely Burrell’s fault, the script does him no service and the terrible accent he is forced to use losses its comedic possibilities in the first scene he appears in, the chemistry between him and Sam the Eagle plays better on a second viewing.
The major highlight of the film comes in the excellent music. Bret McKenzie has again shown an ingenious way of talking plot points and incorporating them into witty songs that capture the audience’s imagination. The disco inspired brilliance of ‘I’ll Get you What you Want’ rivals any song McKenzie wrote and recorded for the first movie or his band Flight of the Conchords. The music stands to be the real winner of Most Wanted. As mentioned before, the sheer amount of celebrity cameos in the film is staggering, and as expected some work better than others, but they also provide some of the biggest laughs of the film.
The Blu-ray comes with 3 different versions of the film on the disc, the regular, extended and Statler and Waldorf cuts, with the final of those versions coming in a tad bit shorter than both of the other versions. The disc also feature the music video for ‘I’ll Get You What You Want’, a blooper reel and a featurette focused around Rizzo the rat.
Inferior to the brilliantly conceived and executed The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted sadly does not fully deliver what is most wanted by audiences. While the film plays much better at home, and children will still love spending time with their favorite characters, this new Muppet adventure remains uneven and meandering. And by removing Segel the film, Most Wanted loses a key aspect that the prior film had so much of, heart.
Till Next Time
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