I’m going to start off by confessing, I love the Muppets. My parents made sure I received a healthy dose of the show and the films when I was young, and they got me hooked. I absolutely love the first few films, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan.
This feeling of indifference includes 2011’s The Muppets. While I understand most people adore that film, and really believed it to be a nostalgic film exhibiting a true care for the characters, I just didn’t feel it. To me, it feels like a Jason Segal movie with Muppets as supporting characters. While almost every critic sung the films praise, I just went home and put on one of the classic Muppet movies to feel better.
Muppets Most Wanted picks up literally at the end of 2011’s The Muppets, at the conclusion of the large musical finale. Kermit and the others realize the cameras are still rolling, and therefore it must be… the sequel! They immediately erupt into a music number that specifically references sequels, and how they fail to live up to the original. It was at this point my pessimism began to shift.
The film finds Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy, Gonzo, and the others taking their famous Muppet Show on a world tour. But, as you might suspect, it doesn’t go as planned. The group takes ill advice from Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), and ends up an accessory to a string of heists engineered by Badguy and his boss, Constantine, who looks identical to Kermit (with the exception of a face mole).
Identities are swapped, the gang is pursued as suspects by Sam the Eagle and Jean Pierre Napolean (Ty Burrell) and Kermit ends up a prisoner in a Siberian gulag headed by Nadya (Tina Fey), hopelessly waiting for his friends to notice he is missing and to come to his rescue.
The movie plays it straight while offering up very funny self-referential gags, wild antics, and hilarious cameos from stars like Ray Liotta, Tom Hiddleston, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz, Lady Gaga and others.
For the first time in many, many years it feels like a REAL Muppet movie, and one I can highly recommend. It’s funny, ridiculous, and the new bad Muppet Constantine is absolutely hilarious and more or less steals the show.
I also have to mention as a high point, the songs. Like every successful Muppet film, music is essential. The songs in Muppets Most Wanted are hilarious, melodic, and REALLY catchy. Whenever the movie erupted into song, my three year old HAD to get up and dance. The songs really are brilliant.
Sure it has some weak spots, such as it’s running time being a tad too long, and the Muppet Walter, who was introduced in the 2011 film (and who really grinds my gears), but overall I would give Muppets Most Wanted a strong recommendation. It’s good for families and children, and great for fans of the Muppets.
Muppets Most Wanted still manages to gross more than it cost, resulting in a profit, so I sincerely hope this is the beginning of good things to come.
Shot on the RED Epic and presented in 1:85:1 format for your television, the results for the Blu-Ray are spectacular. The movie is colorful and vibrant, and the disc handles the palette beautifully. Colors aren’t overly saturated and at times are striking. Blacks are perfect, contrast in wonderful and detail is impressive. Every fuzzy piece of felt comes across the television with perfection.
For reasons I don’t know at the time, the audio format presented here is DTS-HD. This is a lossy format, NOT the DTS-HDMA we see on most Blu-Ray discs, especially from Disney. While the mix is certainly capable, it does lack the tightness and punch of other movies that come in lossless format. It’s possible many people won’t even notice since this isn’t a film you would earmark as one to show off your system or revel in it’s sound design, but nonetheless a lossless format would have been preferred.
The version that comes with the blu-ray is titled the Unnecessarily Extended Edition. It features more than 12 extra minutes not seen in theaters. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was added other than noticing the Christoph Waltz cameo was extended, but nothing seemed out of place either. A nice extra.
This disc also features the Statler and Waldorf Edition which is an edit of the movie that lasts about 2 minutes, so as to not subject anyone else to the torture 😉 (If it isn’t obvious, Statler and Waldorf are the old joking codgers who constantly make jokes and profess how awful they find the Muppets to be.)
The other two features are Rizzo’s Biggest Fan, which is a short little feature about Rizzo the Rat being upset he is not in the movie, and the music video for one of the film’s songs I’ll Get You What You Want performed by Brett Mckenzie.
Muppets Most Wanted is a worthy entry into the Muppets film catalogue and earns it’s strong recommendation.
Have you picked up your copy? Let us know what you think of the special features in the comments!