'Muppets Most Wanted' lets the audience in on the joke - New York News

'Muppets Most Wanted' lets the audience in on the joke

Updated:

By: Josh Terry, Deseret News

The opening sequence of “Muppets Most Wanted” is an elaborate musical performance. For five minutes, crazy, colorful puppets sing a song called “We're Doing a Sequel” directly to the audience.

It's an explicit admission by the characters (and the filmmakers) that they are about to embark on one of Hollywood's most cherished and tired traditions. And if you look at the big moneymakers of the last few years, you can hardly blame them.

Yet, when it comes to the Muppets, such candid, fourth-wall-breaking behavior is just part of the charm and almost the expectation. We've all been in on the joke for four decades. We all know what they are doing; no one is fooling anyone. So let's just have fun with it.

Thus, “Muppets Most Wanted” is able to drop all pretense and be exactly what it wants to be: another fun adventure with some beloved characters and a boatload of celebrity cameos.

This time around, the Muppets are about to take their manic brand of zany vaudeville on the road, thanks to a shady new manager named Dominic Badguy (played by Ricky Gervais), who wants to lead them on a tour of European performances. What the Muppets don't know is that the tour is merely a smokescreen for an elaborate jewelry heist and that their fearless leader Kermit has been replaced by an impostor.

Turns out Badguy is really the second-most-wanted criminal in the world, a character who goes by the name The Lemur. And the No. 1 criminal? That would be Constantine, a Russian criminal who recently escaped from a gulag. Constantine happens to look exactly like Kermit, only with a mole on his upper-lip. Late one foggy night, a switch is made: Kermit winds up in the gulag, and Constantine applies a little green makeup to his mole and steps in as the Muppets' new master of ceremonies, albeit with a comic Russian accent.

From here the story settles into three plot lines: the Muppets' ill-fated tour, Kermit's hard time at the gulag (which is run by Tina Fey) and a joint effort between the CIA and Interpol to track down The Lemur. Along the way, all sorts of hijinks ensue, pop culture references abound and roughly half the stars in Hollywood drop in for a quick cameo. Seriously, sometimes this movie feels like the cinematic equivalent of Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie.

Luckily, all the traditional Muppet savvy and wit is present, along with a number of energetic musical numbers penned by Bret McKenzie, formerly of HBO's “Flight of the Conchords” (Jemaine Clement, the other Conchord, also plays a role at the gulag). Fans of the Muppets' lighthearted and intelligent humor will appreciate all of the pop culture nods, such as when Kermit tries to hide the escape tunnel in his cell behind a black-and-white glamour poster of Miss Piggy, or when Animal embarks on an epic 1970s-style drum solo.

Stuff like that will sail far over the heads of the younger members of the audience, and you could make the argument that “Most Wanted” is targeted more at adults than it is at children. But there's plenty to make everyone happy.

It's hard to say whether “Most Wanted” will come anywhere near the top of fans' lists of all-time Muppet adventures, but thanks to that wink-wink opening number, does it really have to?

"Muppets Most Wanted" is rated PG for some crude humor and mayhem.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Prayer service for Atlantic City casinos

    Prayer service for Atlantic City casinos

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:28 PM EDT2014-08-20 16:28:08 GMT
    Hundreds of workers who will lose their jobs at three Atlantic City casinos scheduled to close in the next few weeks are looking for some divine intervention. Employees of Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza will hold a rally Wednesday night followed by a prayer service at a nearby church.
    Hundreds of workers who will lose their jobs at three Atlantic City casinos scheduled to close in the next few weeks are looking for some divine intervention. Employees of Revel, the Showboat and Trump Plaza will hold a rally Wednesday night followed by a prayer service at a nearby church.
  • Ultimate lemonade stand in Flatiron District

    Ultimate lemonade stand in Flatiron District

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:39:26 GMT
    When 826 NYC, a nonprofit organization that fosters creative writing skills, asked children ages 9-12 to dream up the ultimate lemonade stand, the responses were huge. The winning project of  The Great Lemonation Imagination Collaboration was turned into a real lemonade stand complete with free lemonade in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The organization's members were also required to help run the stand that went up at Broadway and 23rd Street on Wednesday.
    When 826 NYC, a nonprofit organization that fosters creative writing skills, asked children ages 9-12 to dream up the ultimate lemonade stand, the responses were huge. The winning project of  The Great Lemonation Imagination Collaboration was turned into a real lemonade stand complete with free lemonade in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The organization's members were also required to help run the stand that went up at Broadway and 23rd Street on Wednesday.
  • Times Square characters: we don't work for free

    Times Square characters: we don't work for free

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:02 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:02:47 GMT
    Times Square characters want to be taken seriously and want their tips. The mostly immigrant workers are now called the Association of Artists United for a Smile and are fighting to protect their jobs, in light of a recent crackdown. Jorge Duran says he stands around for hours, sweating inside a costume, and says it is annoying and unfair if he poses for a good picture and gets nothing.
    Times Square characters want to be taken seriously and want their tips. The mostly immigrant workers are now called the Association of Artists United for a Smile and are fighting to protect their jobs, in light of a recent crackdown. Jorge Duran says he stands around for hours, sweating inside a costume, and says it is annoying and unfair if he poses for a good picture and gets nothing.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices