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Muppets Most Wanted (2014) good movie
USA, 107 min, Rated G (ON) G (QC)
Reviewed 03/14, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

James Bobin - Director
James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller - Screenplay
Don Burgess - Cinematography


"Disney’s 'Muppets Most Wanted' takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine - the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit." - muppets.disney.com/muppets-most-wanted


Together again, again, Kermit the frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the lovable Muppet Show gang take a wocka-wocka world tour by steam train at the eager suggestion of slick new co-manager Dominic Badguy (played by Ricky Gervais), in this delightfully fun musical comedy sequel from The Muppets (2011) director James Bobin. Feeling slightly reminiscent of The Great Muppet Caper (1981), a sinister plot unfolds when recently escaped criminal mastermind and Kermit look-alike Constantine takes over the touring show unnoticed, leaving the real Kermit haplessly imprisoned in a remote Siberian gulag. Muppets Most Wanted co-stars Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, as Russian gulag head guard Nadya, and French Interpol detective Jean Pierre Napoleon, respectively. It also features the usual assortment of celebrity cameos, including Christoph Waltz, Salma Hayek, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Saoirse Ronan, Céline Dion, Zach Galifianakis, Frank Langella, and Rizzo the Rat.

Spawned from visionary American puppeteer Jim Henson's (1936-1990) acclaimed UK-produced TV series, The Muppet Show (1976-1981), Muppets Most Wanted marks this big screen franchise's 7th sequel of the double Oscar nominee, The Muppet Movie (1979), after The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), Muppets from Space (1999), and the Academy Awards' Best Original Song-winner, The Muppets (2011). In 2012, Henson's Muppets were inducted into the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Walk of Fame with a sidewalk star at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard, across the street from their creator's posthumously dedicated 1991 star. Muppets Most Wanted's famous flippered lead, Kermit the frog, was also honoured with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, in 2002 (at 6801 Hollywood Blvd), at that time to celebrate his 45-plus years in show business. Kermit's first TV appearance was reportedly in mid-1950s Washington, long before his national US broadcast debut as a cornerstone character on the long-running, Carnegie Foundation-funded children's educational series, Sesame Street, which first aired in 1969. This frog's got legs.

This time around, Dominic Badguy - pronounced "Bajee", it's French - convinces Kermit and his Muppet Show players to capitalize on their near-miraculous comeback seen in the last movie by taking their Los Angeles-based, vaudeville theatre-style variety acts around the world, starting in Berlin. Yes, their eastbound steam train goes non-stop from America to Germany. It's a Muppet movie, just roll with it. Meanwhile, dastardly mole-faced Russian frog Constantine, the world's most wanted bad guy - pronounced "bad guy", it's not French - has escaped prison, evaded authorities and is on the loose in Berlin, boldly switching places with Kermit by gluing a mole to his face to resemble Constantine's. Kermit unwittingly ends up arrested as Constantine and is swiftly thrown into the Russian's Siberian gulag cell under the watchful eye of head guard Nadya. Constantine, not Kermit, rejoins Badguy and the Muppets, as Kermit, not Constantine, to use their touring stage act of progressively unruly skits as the perfect front for a diabolical crime spree that sends Not Kermit and Kermit's unsuspecting troupe happily hopping from Berlin to Madrid and then Dublin, before the ultimate Crime Of The Century is hatched in London, England.

Where the cinematic love letter that was The Muppets revived this franchise from the ashes of several really, really forgettable TV misfires, Muppets Most Wanted is the theatrical assertion that fans' love for these characters wasn't misplaced or taken for granted. (Read more)

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