“I have seen every prison movie, including the one in space,” says strict Siberian labor camp guard Nadya (Tine Fey) to hapless Kermit (voice of Steve Whitmire). He’s been mistaken for Constantine, the World’s Most Dangerous Frog (voice of Matt Vogel) and, captured while trying to escape the prison camp, Kermit’s now forced to direct the annual “Gulag Review,” teaching hulking prisoners to sing and dance “I Need this Job” from “Chorus Line.” That’s the setup for this funny, family-friendly Muppet romp.
Can the real Constantine and his #2 Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) successfully steal Britain’s Crown Jewels? Do Miss Piggy (voice of Eric Jacobson) and Kermit finally tie the knot? Will you enjoy “MMW”? I did.
Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, the Muppets’ many other guest artists, and a talented voice cast, have a great time in this zany caper flick. Gervais, Fey and Burrell are principal human characters: Gervais is duplicitous Dominic Badguy who, in white dinner jacket and black tie, may remind viewers of a James Bond villain. Fey is Nadya, tough, no-nonsense prison camp guard who falls for Kermit’s innocent sweetness. She gets the film’s take-away line: “I guess you were right, Kermit. This is your family, and families belong together.” Burrell is Inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon, Clouseau-like police detective, following clues with overbearing Muppet Sam Eagle (Eric Jacobson). The splendid Muppet cast includes the voices of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goetz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel (whose Slavic Constantine is a hoot), and Peter Linz.
Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Selma Hayek, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, James McAvoy, Miranda Richardson, Stanley Tucci, Christopher Waltz, and everybody else in movies has a cameo.
“Muppets Most Wanted” is wacky, pun-filled, outrageously accented, song-and-dance, PG-rated family fun. Directed and co-written by James Bobin (Nicholas Stoller co-writer), it’s got Muppets, silly musical numbers, goofy lyrics, and non-stop popular-culture references. Watch for spoofs of (among others) James Bond, Inspector Clouseau, Mr. Bean, Hannibal the Cannibal, Ingmar Bergman, Charles Aznavour, “The DaVinci Code,” “E.T.,” “Oliver,” “Mission Impossible,” “Lawrence of Arabia” – and classical ballet. It’s a tour of Europe – Berlin, Madrid, Dublin, London, plus gulag scenes in Siberia.
Rated PG for mild action, “Muppets Most Wanted” runs 112 minutes. The show belongs to Constantine, the World’s Most Dangerous Frog – or “Evilen Froggen,” as he’s called in Berlin. Stay through the credits for more fun.
“Muppets Most Wanted” –
That would be Constantine,
World’s Most Dangerous Frog –
It’s funny being mean.