[guestpost]Welcome guest reviewer, Mitchell. He is back to share his opinion of the new Muppet Movie with us. He loves to share reviews of the latest films. See his other movie reviews here. [/guestpost]
If you ask anyone they will say the same thing. “I love The Muppets!” The feeling is universally positive when it comes to our singing and dancing pals. They hold a near and dear place in the hearts of millions. I personally can’t sit through most of their stuff without shedding at least one tear. So this beckons the question why didn’t the movie do as well as its predecessor? I believe there is more then one right answer to this question.
The first thing that placed a bad taste in the public’s mouth was the absence of The Muppets Co-Star/Writer Jason Segal. Segal has a strong fan base that draws from a wide variety of people and age. His enthusiasm on the last film was intoxicating and got people excited to see the picture. With the announcement of his non-involvement, fans began to question the success of the film without the leading man that got us so excited.
Muppets Most Wanted Review
The release date was horrible. Why they decided to bring out a Muppet movie in March is beyond me. The timing of when a movie comes out is an inexact science. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that blockbusters come out in the summer, or that family films come out around the holidays. The Muppets (2011) came out the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This led to a great release and reaction from everyone. It took me until a few weeks ago to even see the film because (sadly) there were other things that took my attention, and no one in my group of friends wanted to see it.
After seeing the trailer, you basically know the plot. The Muppets go on a world tour and Kermit gets switched with international criminal and look-alike; Constantine. The film had supporting actors Tina Fey, Ty Burell, and Ricky Gervais. Though funny at times, I felt that the characters they played were way too over the top. Making the Muppets the straight men never goes over well. I would have liked to see Burell play more of a Phil Dunphy, and Fey as a Liz Lemon type. Bottom line, they weren’t utilized the right way to get the full potential out of their performances.
The movie was enjoyable. There were several great Muppet jokes and gags that stayed true to the genre. The cameos were heavy and fantastic as always. The Muppets themselves were great and kept you interested. However, Kermit spent the majority of the film separated from the rest of the gang. This made the plot jumpy and hard to follow at times. And the lack of attention spent on individual Muppets was heart breaking. I consider the best Muppet movie to be A Muppet Christmas Carol. Not only for its incredible story, casting, and music; its integration of Muppet characters is flawless. Like Kermit said on Saturday Night Live, I never go to a Muppet movie and say “I can’t wait to see the humans!”
The songs were fun, but not catchy enough to leave you singing all the way home. I don’t see another Oscar for Brett McKenzie.
The biggest red flag was the theming of the film. In title alone the film is very close to The Great Muppet Caper. Hollywood has been making this error a lot recently and especially with reboots. The sequels aren’t just bad; they’re almost complete rip offs of a previous film in the franchise. For example, the last half hour of Star Trek Into Darkness was basically Wrath of Khan (only predictable and not as good). Most Wanted had theming from both The Great Muppet Caper, and Muppets Take Manhattan. So much so that throughout the film they point it out. This was funny, but they neglected to point out the biggest repeat of all; the marriage of Kermit and Piggy. We have already seen them get married and it was brilliant. I can’t even watch the wedding scene without getting choked up.
All in all, the movie was good enough not to be considered the worst (Muppets from Space still holds that title). But with the mistakes made and failure to pull a big box office number, I fear for the future of the Muppet franchise.
On a side note, the Monsters University short: Party Central, was fantastic. All of the frat and sorority houses on campus are having parties, and per usual Oozma Kappa's is falling flat. So Mike and Sully begin a scheme to turn their flop into “Party Central.” The set up was a lot of fun, and the shenanigans set up by the dynamic duo make for a Classic Pixar short. We aren't due for a new full length Pixar film until next year. I haven't felt this kind of anticipation since the gap between The Incredibles and Cars. Enjoy this short folks, it's all we are getting for a while.