The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Waiting for Intermission: Review of “Muppets Most Wanted”


After a long year of papers and presentations, sometimes the best film is one that brings us back to our childhood. Specifically, our childhood devoted to Jim Henson. Recently the Jim Henson Company released a triumphant return of everyone’s favorite felt characters. Director James Bobbin comes off the success of this last film and brings it for the new sequel “Muppets Most Wanted”.

This film follows the Muppet crew on their first international tour following their reunion. At the same time, the most dangerous frog in the world–Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel)–has escaped from Russian prison to steal the English crown jewels. Aided by his ‘number two’ Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), Constantine switches identities with Kermit (voiced by Matt Vogel) and joins the tour with the Muppets. Hilarity then ensues in the form of stalled weddings, international police partnerships, and a Russian prison variety show. Complete with fantastic jokes, wonderful cameos, and sharp dialogue, the film reminds audiences why they tuned into the “Muppet Show”.

One of the characteristics so captivating about the Muppets is their self-awareness. Right away, the film breaks the fourth wall by picking up right when the cameras cut at the end of the previous film. The Muppets spend the film’s first minutes discussing possible plots before deciding on going on an international tour. And no opening segment would be complete without a musical number, aptly poking fun at how sequels never compare to the original.

Mixing the self-aware with the self-deprecating provides the backbone for Muppet humor, adding another level of hilarity in addition to situational zaniness. These moments of self-awareness continue throughout the film, with wonderfully snide comments remarking on the disappearance of side characters or how this is actually the seventh Muppets film, making “Most Wanted” not an original sequel. This lower layer of humor not only cuts across generational divides, but also brings in a new army of Muppets fans in general, making it entertaining for all audiences.

The fire for the film’s humor no doubt comes from its over-the-top ridiculousness. From ‘badge-comparing’ contests between the French detective Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) and Sam the Eagle (voiced by Eric Jacobson) to a “Chorus Line” composed of Russian prisoners, the film is unapologetic in its own zaniness. The film escalates the ridiculous factor in a way that does not feel contrite or slow down the overall pacing. Audiences will find themselves laughing from their own disbelief.

As with any Muppets film, searching out for cameos comprises half the fun. This ninety-minute film is a veritable “Where’s Waldo” of celebrities and singers, including Tom Hiddleston, Frank Langella, and Celine Dion. While the first Muppets film since their hiatus was similarly entertaining, “Most Wanted” brings more in terms of chemistry between the Muppets themselves. Now that audiences spent the first time watching the Muppets come back together, we can finally see them doing what they do best: putting on a show everyone will love.

The movie does have some minor hiccups. A few of the jokes become stale quickly and some of the plot devices lose any sort of logic, even for a Muppet film. Thankfully, these hiccups did not become so that the Muppets turn into a caricature of themselves. The film maintains the balance between hilarity and sensible grounding. If you need a laugh in the light of final exams, then I suggest you take the next bus down to the Waterfront and see this movie.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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