The 2011 return of the Muppets, while not the greatest of movies, did boast an enthusiastic Jason Segel and Amy Adams. The music was fun, and most of the movie felt original, with a sense of purpose.
The Muppets Most Wanted, which I missed in theaters and finally managed to catch on Blu-ray (packaged as The Muppets Most Wanted: The Unnecessarily Extended Edition), is a dud. The franchise lost a lot of steam during its initial heyday, and the same already seems to be happening with the comeback.
As with 22 Jump Street, this is a sequel in which the big joke is how useless and unoriginal a sequel can be. Director James Bobin, who directed the 2011 film, contributes to the script that uses the evil doppelganger gimmick for few laughs.
The movie picks up directly after The Muppets (it even has Segel and Adams stand-ins viewed from the back; neither returned for this movie). An evil Russian frog, who looks exactly like Kermit (except for a mole), steals Kermit’s identity, while Kermit is carted off to a Russian prison.
The whole thing feels like Bobin and his co-writers are out of ideas, and the cast of human guest stars is a bit underwhelming. Ty Burrell gets the most laughs as a detective investigating some robberies, while Ricky Gervais’ attempts at humor largely fall flat. Tina Fey gives it her best as a Russian guard in love with Kermit, but even she seems a bit lost.
The music is flat; the jokes are stale; and the magic is already wearing off. There have been no announcements about another sequel (this one underwhelmed at the domestic box office), so the Muppets have definitely stalled.
Apart from a pretty great joke involving Danny Trejo, there’s really no reason to see this. On the bright side, it is better than Sex Tape, the film Segel made after leaving his newly re-launched Muppets behind.
Special Features: This package includes three versions of the movie (extended, theatrical and the Statler and Waldorf cuts). The extended version has 12 more minutes that you won’t care about. There’s a blooper reel, a music video and a few other features that you probably won’t watch.