Thursday, March 20, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: Muppets Most Wanted

Wow, wow, wow.

That is my impression of this movie.

Image © Disney.

My first review screener here locally, and even though it was 10am and we were sitting in front of the world's most obnoxious moviegoers ever (more on them in a second), this movie is just as amazing as the 2011 "The Muppets". Just as hilarious, just as many guest stars, and just as incredible a storyline.

"Let's Do A Sequel!" Image © Disney.

The story begins just as the director calls cut on the final dance number in the previous movie, and our beloved Muppets are left standing around, bored. They decide to do a sequel, and after a fabulous musical number in an ode to sequels, they choose the plot (suggested by Ricky Gervais' character... or just Ricky Gervais, I honestly couldn't tell which he was at that point) of a world tour.

"Badguy" or "Gervais"? Image © Disney.

Gervais plays Dominic Badguy--pronounced "Badge-y"--who infiltrates the Muppets posing as a talent agent. Meanwhile, his boss, the infamous "Most Dangerous Frog in the world" Constantine, breaks out of a Russian gulag. Constantine bears a striking resemblance to Kermit, save for one key feature: a mole on his cheek. He is the most wanted criminal in the world, and needs someone to take the fall for his escape in Russia, so he manages to glue a fake mole to Kermit's face and sends him off in his place. Meanwhile, Constantine steps in as Kermit-surrogate, which the other Muppets don't seem to notice (except one!) and uses the show as his alibi while he performs his evil deeds.

Major LOL at "Evilen Froggen"! Image © Disney.

While the Muppets tour the world, their stops happen to fall in line with massive criminal heists... coincidence? Ty Burrell (of Modern Family fame) as Jean Pierre Napoleon of Interpol and Sam the Eagle of the CIA don't think so. They put their differences (and giant badges) aside to crack the case of the supposed "Lemur" burglaries that are seemingly following the Muppets' tour.

"Mine is bigger." Image © Disney.

Meanwhile, Kermit rots in the Russian gulag with warden Nadia (played by the illustrious Tina Fey). Nadia might have a teeny, tiny secret about why she knows that Kermit is not Constantine but still won't let him leave...

Does Tina Fey look good in EVERYTHING? Image © Disney.

Will Kermit's friends notice his absence in time to rescue him and thwart Constantine's evil plot, which includes Kermit's worst nightmare: marrying Miss Piggy! (Okay, side note here: I totally thought they had been married forEVER. I mean, that scene in the end of Muppets Take Manhattan, where Piggy has the real priest? Yeah. Alas, I guess I was wrong about that. Sigh.)

Piggy's best wedding dress of all, I think. Image © Disney.

All in all, the movie has plenty of call-backs to classic Muppet antics... Gonzo pulling stupid stunts on stage, Statler and Waldorf providing peanut gallery commentary, guest stars out the yin-yang, over-the-top musical numbers... you name it. The writing is still snappy, yet it still manages to provide the necessary tugs at the heartstrings in the right places. Fans of the franchise won't be disappointed for sure. Gervais, Fey, and Burrell all manage to steal the show from our favorite puppet pals. Definitely a win for family movie night!

Image © Disney.

Be sure you arrive early as well to see the new Monsters University short, Party Central, in which Mike and Sully "steal" the best party of the year for their Oozema Kappa brothers. Pure comedy gold!

Who doesn't have a plastic cooler like that? Image © Disney.

Now, for my story about the people behind us! While the showing we went to was provided for review purposes exclusively, these people must not have ever set foot in a movie theatre in their entire lives. I swear it. And no, sadly it wasn't the small children in tow who were the problem, save for one Sprite shower I received via a straw and the kid blowing in it through the seat cracks. Nope, it was the parents who had no sense of proper movie-going decorum. Kicking seats, bringing something wrapped in a giant sheet of cellophane (not just a small plastic bag... oh no! This was, like, the sheets of cellophane you wrap giant fruit baskets in!) and constantly feeling the need to adjust said cellophane during the movie, talking at volume levels acceptable only in one's living room, using the back of my seat as a handle to stand up and lower themselves into their seat (at one point, said handle included my braided hair!)... every awful thing you can possibly imagine from a movie attendee, save for taking a cell call in the middle. If it wasn't a free showing, I would have attracted the attention of an usher and had them removed. Plain and simple. So, moral of this long digression: Don't be a jerk when you go see a movie! 

Image © Disney.

Muppets Most Wanted  is rated PG and opens in theatres everywhere TOMORROW, March 21st.

Disclosure: I was provided a free screening of this film for review purposes. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.

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