Sunday, March 30, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted

**1/2 out of ****

What can I say? The movie has an opening musical number calling out the fact that most sequels aren’t as good. This movie isn’t as good as the 2011 Jason Segal passion project, The Muppets but with the continued direction of James Bobin (Flight of the Concords”) and Segal’s writing partner from the last film, Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek), Muppets Most Wanted still has some big laughs.

The problem is that it has too much of everything. The cameos are prevalent to the point that every time a human face is onscreen you may wonder where you’ve seen them before –and yet they have very little to do. Some of the Bret McKenzie’s musical numbers are really good but there are one too many of them. Even at 107 minutes, the movie feels too long for what it is. This may be a problem for impatient kids, who I cynically believe are too over-stimulated by today’s entertainment to get much out of the puppet entertainment I loved as a child.

The endearing characteristics of The Muppets still exist. The sense of humor and heart is there even if it’s hard to capture what Jim Henson gave them. This movie finds inspiration from the jewel thief plot of 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper, involving adventure abroad, sinister bad guys and Muppets behind bars. I was generally entertained by it, but I was done with it before the final act.

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