Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Not as good.
This film was selected from ‘The 250’
I’m actually a big fan of the first film in the revamped Muppets cinematic universe. It was smart with its writing and comedy, it was perfect with the characters, and the songs were really catchy. When news came around that Muppets Most Wanted was coming out, I, like the rest of the world, was just a little confused. The story was done, and I wasn’t entirely sure it needed a sequel. Each of the classic Muppets movies worked as a standalone feature (I do believe), but none of them were specifically connected to each other…which made this one weird immediately. So I had my doubts…how did it turn out? Pretty much how I expected.
The story itself takes place immediately after the last film. So much, in fact, that it begins on the last frame of the last movie (with a ‘The End’ title and everything). It then decides to take things up a notch as the Muppets decide to go on a world tour. Ricky Gervais plays Dominic Badguy, who of course is the bad guy of the film. He works for an evil frog named Constantine, and you guessed it. The Prince and the Pauper. Basically, Kermit and Constantine trade places because Constantine is working his way up the Burglary ladder in an attempt to eventually steal the Crown Jewels.
I’ll tell you the three things I liked about the movie first.
The very beginning of the film was reminiscent of the first movie in regards to self aware humor. The Muppets sing a song about movie sequels, and how they aren’t always as good as the first. It was good to start off on that note because it sets the tone for the rest of the film, and self-aware comedy is perfect for this type of movie. Unfortunately, the self-aware humor mostly stops there.
The cameos in this film were done a little bit differently than the first, mostly speaking…the actors weren’t playing themselves. Most of them had little characters here and there, and for some reason or another…I think I liked that better. It allowed the most random celebrities to play the most random characters…which really did add to the level of humor the film mostly had.
The songs. I may like the songs in the first movie better all around…but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the songs here. It’s not really the songs as much as it is the style they chose for the songs. It was really unique and they sounded really cool. Most of the songs are set apart from any modern musical because the style itself feels aged, but like an aged wine. The sound was just unique…I don’t think I really cared much for the lyrics or the characters singing the songs, though.
That’s what I did like, so what about what I didn’t? To put it lightly, it just didn’t have the same kind of spunk the first one did. What set the first one so far apart from any other Muppets movie is by creating a sort of comedy that both kids and adults can enjoy equally, especially that self-aware stuff that I’m guessing Jason Segel was a god at writing. So now, it felt more or less like the classic stuff they used to do that only kids could enjoy. So the jokes themselves weren’t as strong. Also, just merely the fact that Jason Segel didn’t play a role in the film this time…that’s really sad. You can see just how much of a difference his passion was in the first movie. Can I also point out that The Prince and the Pauper has been done before? So that feeling of originality was also washed out.
I don’t want to make it sound like the film is horrible, because it isn’t. Some of it works decently well, but if you want the God’s honest truth, they were forced to make this movie because the producers waved money at them and said figure something out, we need a sequel…so here we are.
Look at my list of three things above.
The heart and soul of the first movie is completely gone here, and most importantly, isn’t replaced with anything else in return.
I’m pretty sure Ty Burrell was playing Inspector Jacques Clouseau…think about it.