“The Muppets Most Wanted” opened in theaters today. The movie harkens back to the old TV show with the motley crew of muppets like Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo, whimsical musical numbers and surprising guest appearances by some of today’s popular celebrities like Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, and cameos by Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo. Recently, my 8 y.o. and I enjoyed an advanced screening of the film and it was wonderful.
Let me tell you. If you are going to watch a Disney movie in a theater, watch it at the El Capitan on Hollywood Blvd., if you can. It just brings the whole movie-going experience to another level. (As if watching a movie before its opening date wasn’t exciting enough!)
In a nutshell, the movie is about the Muppets going on a European tour and getting tied up in an international string of crimes as everyone’s favorite muppet, Kermit the Frog gets replaced with his look-alike, number one criminal, Constantine. But what’s always made “The Muppet Show” fun and entertaining is the interaction between the human actors and the muppet characters. In this movie, Ricky Gervais, who plays Dominic Badguy (its pronounced Badjeee – it’s French) the con-artist tour manager, gets the lead human role and does some singing and dancing. So does Tina Fey, as the Russian prison guard. But may favorite characters in the movie have got to be the prisoners – with many surprising actors playing the roles (You’ll have to watch it to see who I’m talking about).
Here are 5 reasons you should see “Muppets Most Wanted:”
Go see “Muppets Most Wanted” if you’re looking for some family-friendly fare that isn’t lame.
Go see “Muppets Most Wanted” if you are a child of the 80s and want to go on a nostalgia trip about the old TV show.
Go see the movie to see if Kermit and Piggy finally tie the knot.
Go see the movie if you like movies with surprise cameo appearances by known (and not so known) actors.
Go see the movie if your kid wants to watch a kid movie and you don’t want to watch something animated.
My son enjoyed the movie over-all, even if he didn’t fully appreciate the cameos (He only recognized Usher from “The Voice,” after which he asked, “What’s an usher?” which means I had to explain the joke in the movie.) It wasn’t quite “Frozen” but it was fun. We both agreed this movie was better than the previous one which featured Walter (and Jason Segel).
Personally, I really enjoyed the musical numbers especially when the prisoners including Jemaine of “Flight of the Conchords” were performing. So imagine this “Flight of the Conchords'” fan’s happy surprise when she found out that the music was written by the other half of the comedic musical duo, Bret McKenzie! True, there were no catchy songs but they were pleasant ear candy enough in the context of the movie.
To be honest, it’s the kind of movie you could wait to watch on DVD but like I said, for a truly enjoyable time, watch it at the El Capitan Theater. After the movie, be sure to check out the exhibit of movie props like items from Ms. Piggy’s wardrobe.
PS. I just have to mention that if you are surprised by Ricky Gervais’ singing and dancing, remember that he was in fact a singer in his past life! Let’s not forget this little gem from the 80s, a pop band (Seona Dancing) led by, yes, Ricky Gervais!