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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
More Muppet Magic
by Betty Jo Tucker

It's time for Muppet mania.

It's time to have some fun.

It's time to thank the Muppets

for everything they've done!

Have you ever thought a movie was made just for you? I think that’s called delusions of reference, but it actually happened to me while watching Muppets Most Wanted. This entertaining romp includes most of my favorite things: singing, tap dancing, comedy, and The Muppets, who always make me smile.

As the world’s most avid movie musical fan, I fell in love with the film’s Mel Brooks-like production numbers including “We're Doing a Sequel,” “The Big House” and the spectacular finale “Together Again."  Plus, this time we get to see Kermit in a dual role, for he plays both our unassuming hero AND the dastardly villain Constantine, who just happens to be Interpol’s Number One most wanted criminal. What a treat!

Although the plot may be a bit more complicated than the usual Muppet fare, who cares? The Muppets pull out all the stops with their performances as the troupe puts on shows throughout Europe. Little do they know these events are a cover for daring robberies which Constantine and his Number Two most wanted criminal partner (the very funny Ricky Gervais) have planned. Constantine manages to put an artificial mole on Kermit and disguises his own distinguishing facial mole with green make-up, then pretends to be Kermit. In the meantime, Kermit is mistaken for this most wanted criminal and sent to a Siberian gulag.

The movie goes back and forth showing how the two Kermits handle their situations. Constantine’s biggest problems involve his Russian accent (“I have a cold”) and a French Interpol agent (Ty Burrell) who’s reluctantly working with Sam the Eagle. The real Kermit pines away for Miss Piggy as well as his other friends until one of the guards (Tina Fey, simply marvelous here) recruits him to help with her prison review --and this gives Kermit a chance to shine as he turns burly, hardened criminals (Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Jemaine Clement) into song-and-dance men.

Will Constantine be successful with his nefarious plans? Will Miss Piggy fall for the fake Kermit? Will the real Kermit escape from his prison existence?

While answering those questions, Muppets Most Wanted offers clever homages to numerous films, a variety of fun songs by Bret Mckenzie, and hilarious cameos by such stars as Salma Hayek, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Frank Langella and Christoph Waltz (who dances a waltz with Sweetums). Be sure to watch for scenes reminiscent of The Shawshank Redemption and A Chorus Line (with the actual Michael Bennett choreography).   

Directed and co-written (with Nicholas Stoller) by James Bobin, this eighth Muppet movie comes across as one of the best. Happily, that special Muppet magic is still going strong. 

(Released by Walt Disney Pictures and rated “PG” for mild action.)

For more information about Muppets Most Wanted, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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