#REVIEW: “MUPPETS MOST WANTED”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
It is without question that Jim Henson was a Visionary; a revolutionary Artist whose work was as unique as it was inspiring. And thanks to Disney his work, The Muppets, continue to inspire us. Since purchasing The Muppets in 2004, Disney have produced four Films, the most recent of which is the first traditional Sequel starring the felt-skinned Squad.
Subtitled Most Wanted, it begins immediately after its self-titled Predecessor. Whilst in the early efforts of establishing its subject matter a Kansas City Shuffle is pulled on Kermit, and a villainous Frog takes his place and crew on an international tour. Meanwhile Kermit, having been forcefully disguised as the criminal Constantine, is locked-up in a Siberian Gulag. The hilarious hi-jinks that unfold thereafter are better seen than described in detail.
Nevertheless, it is important to note the Humans that aid in the humour. Ms. Piggy and her Tourmates are managed by the deceptive Dominic Badguy (pronounced: “bahd-jee“), who is played by Ricky Gervais. Gervais’ wit is form-fitting with regards to his Character, a disgruntled Second-in-Command who is desperate to make a name for himself. Across the European expanse, behind the bars of the Gulag, Kermit is supported by the brilliant Tina Fey. Fey plays Nadya, a Security Guard with a lust for Broadway… and a certain Amphibian. Last but not least there’s Ty Burrell who plays Jean Pierre Napoleon. Napoleon is a French investigator intent on solving the crimes that follow The Muppets; a stereotypical stab at the European disposition, and a hilarious one.
Many more Stars find their way into the Film, but like the jokes there are too many to be named here. Speaking of the jokes however, it’s interesting to note how contemporarily “meta” most of them are. This charming aspect about The Muppets is their self-awareness of the rolling camera and many of the laughs alone come at their own expense.
Perhaps the only troubling aspect of the Film is the lack of Jason Segel, missing after a fantastic display in 2011’s Instalment. That said, his void is filled by the addition of Nega-Kermit, also known as Constantine. This Criminal-Mastermind is not only Kermit with a mole, he’s the means by which Fans are shown once again the power of The Muppet’s lead. Kermit in our Society has become a symbol for the Man who created him, the eternal Avatar of Jim Henson himself – the Frog we’ve all come to love, and have never been forced to live without. There’s bliss embedded in that truth, as well as in every frame of Muppets Most Wanted, is in theatres now via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada.