1 The Mickey Mindset: Muppets Most Wanted Film Review

Friday, March 21, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted Film Review

Mitchell Stein- Jumping right back on the big-screen after the tremendous success of their last film, The Muppets return once again to movie theaters with an all-new absoloutley brilliant adventure. I honestly can’t contain all my positive thoughts in just one review article, but I’ll do my best to keep it short. I won’t spoil anything for you of course, so don't worry, this review is completely spoiler free. Unless you're worried about finding out if it was any good. 

Thank goodness for us, just moments after their last film, The Muppets are renewed for a sequel. The furry freaks break out into a rousing musical number about their new film, and how sequels don’t quite live up to their predecessors. This song does not just break the fourth wall, it completely demolishes it! This broken fourth wall effect remains throughout the entire film, and the Muppets are constantly making references to their older films and they even poke fun at them! This is the Muppets humor at its absolute best.

The human cast is incredibly brilliant. There was some dispute over Ricky Gervais playing the main human role, with one side in favor of Gervais and the other against, but I can assure the latter group that at no time does Ricky take over and make his own film, he’s really just there to move the story along a lot faster with a brilliant sense of humor. In fact, I was super excited when he was cast in this movie. I was a fan of Ricky Gervais a while before this film, and he plays his part so well, has a splendid singing voice, and dances! Dance monkey, dance!

Tina Fey does an excellent job at playing Nadya, a Russian gulag prison guard who kind of ends up having a thing for Kermit. She’s funny, but at no time is this movie about her, the humans really do help things speed along in these films, and Ty Burrell (well known as Phil Dunphy on ABC’S Modern Family) plays Jean-Pierre Napoleon, an Interpol agent working alongside Sam the Eagle in this crime case that the Muppets end up getting tied into. Burrell easily steals the show out of the three main human actors, delivering the most comedic slapstick moments and great one-liners. This cast is easily my favorite human cast in a Muppet movie. The celebrity cameos are fantastic in this film, but they at no time steal the stage from the Muppets. The cameos which I least expected to like were by far my favorite, and the ones I was looking most forward to wasn’t really as much as expected, and some were even cut from the film!

Not even just human cameos, but the Muppet cameos are incredible! I won’t spoil the surprises, but I will say that I was super excited to see some characters after many years off the screen. There are some characters that I was never expecting to see ever again, and some of them only appeared in one Muppet production. If you thought the last movie had fantastic obscure Muppet cameos, prepare yourself for even more obscure characters. There’s less than in the last film, but the ones that can be found are fantastic and really, really obscure. I love it. 

I can understand why some people prefer the last film over this movie. The last movie was really all about the nostalgia. It looked back at the Muppets and paid tribute to the Muppets past productions and successfully rebooted the franchise. While the last movie was about looking at the past, this movie turns around and moves towards the future of the Muppet franchise. I admit, I got a little teary eyed at the end of the last film the first time, (I’m waiting for the Muppets to induct me as a Muppet too. Lucky Walter.) and of course during the “Rainbow Connection” scene (which Muppet fan didn’t?), but if they continue to look at the past the franchise will move nowhere. They have to push ahead and come up with a lot more wackier storyplots and keep people interested. This movie won’t make you cry, and it’s really not trying to. It’s another very Muppety adventure starring the Muppets as the main stars! It’s a great adventure and there’s just so much happening in it that it requires multiple viewings.

Some people are concerned about the film’s running time. At 113 minutes, Muppets Most Wanted marks the longest Muppet movie in history, but to be honest, doesn’t feel a moment too long. At no time did I start nudging around in my seat, or at all bored. This is easily the most jam-packed Muppet movie and it all moves so quickly, it’s so much fun. 

Not only is the humor and story a lot of fun, but the cinematography in this film is by far the most advanced puppetry to ever be seen in a Muppet movie, and probably in any puppet-related production for that matter. You’re drawn into this world where you just completely forget that they’re puppets at all, and they do such incredible things which some of them you’ve probably seen in the trailers. It’s fantastic, kudos to the entire special effects crew. The only thing that kind of bugged me was a terrible green-screen effect near the end of the movie. You’ll know when you see it, it’s impossible to miss.
Other than that, this movie deserves an Oscar for Best Visual Effects in the 2015 Academy Awards. I’ll flip over a table if it’s doesn’t get a mention at the Oscars.

The soundtrack is great! I’m not going to go into detail of every song, but from the moment Kermit strums the strings to his banjo to “We’re Doing a Sequel” which is so catchy and so hilarious. The extended version of the song can be heard on the movie’s soundtrack which became available on March 18th.  “I’m Number One” is catchy and I feel like dancing every time I hear it. “I’ll Give You Anything You Want/Cuckoo in Malibu” is perfect and sounds like an 80’s style romantic disco song, which is really what it’s set to feel like, but it’s much better than the last film’s “Me Party” scene. It’s just perfect. “Something so Right” is a beautiful slow song sung by Miss Piggy and Celine Dion, it’s so perfect that I hope this makes it into the mainstream media and becomes the next “Skyfall” for a couple of months. I hope Celine Dion has that star-power.

There’s just so much to say about this movie, there’s just so many things that Muppet fans will go crazy for. There’s so many callbacks to original films, Muppet cameos, and every Muppet is in-character and hilarious. The action is incredible and was not something I would find in a Muppet movie, especially the fact that the stars are puppets. Filming a James Bond action type sequence with the Muppets was not something I expected.

Because I’m worried that if I keep talking I’ll probably end up spoiling it for you, I’ll wrap it up here. I’ll just let it be known once more that I was not disappointed at all, I was just left wanting so much more, I didn’t want it to end, but of course, all great things must come to an end, and an ending that will make Muppet fans jump out of their seats in happiness. I did not see that coming, as I avoided all spoilers in the past few months. I was just disappointed that many scenes had to be cut due to time, and some were so heavily used in the trailers that I was looking forward to some of those. I really hope those make it to the Blu-Ray release. 

That’s all I’ll say for now. If you enjoyed the last film or are a die-hard Muppet fan like myself, you’ll be entertained throughout the entire feature. It’s a great new Muppet adventure and I hope they continue making many more movies.

If that’s not enough, the movie has a short featuring the Monsters University characters named Party Central which is really funny and sets the stage well for the feature to come. You really get a bang for your buck when you pay to see Muppets Most Wanted in theaters. 

Muppets Most Wanted opens in North America on March 21st 2014.

Our other half of The Mickey Mindset, Ryan Dosier wrote his review on our sister site, The Muppet Mindset. Read his review right here! 

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